Regional Winners

South West Regional Winner 

Name: Craig Brookes
Business: C Brookes Plumbing & Heating

Please tell us about a project you are particularly proud of – what was the problem and how did you solve it for the customer? 

A project I’m particularly proud of is an air source heat pump installation for a recent customer. I had been called out to service his gas boiler, which I found did have some faults and the system was fairly old at this point. The customer already had a solar cylinder on his property, it unfortunately had a split coil but he still had an interest in renewables – my expertise. We spoke in depth about the benefits of moving to a renewable energy source and it was a no brainer for him to update his system to something that was going to future proof his system.

So, I started work on getting his system updated. I did an in-depth survey of his property to prepare for any possible challenges during the job that I would have to overcome. Luckily for me, his property was problem free. The job itself included re-piping the customer’s heating pipework and changing all the radiators in his property for a low flow temperature to ensure the heat pump was working at an efficient level. I sized the new pipework for a DT5 and sized the customers emitters to run at 45-degree flow temperature at design temperature, all pipework was insulated to minimise heat loss. I also had 5.2kW of Solar PV along with a GivEnergy inverter and 5.2kW of GivEnergy batteries to assist in the running costs of the heat pump. This allowed us to also supplement the customers’ demands for hot water by heating his hot water from the excess electricity produced by his PV panels through a Eddi immersion controller.

Which products did you select for the job and why? 

Vaillant Arotherm Plus 7kw air source heat pump – I chose this heat pump because its performance was better than other heat pumps on the market. This particular heat pump and kit comes with a 5-year warranty also which means the customer is covered into the future if something does go wrong down the line.  I have also fitted Vaillant boilers for years and know how good the backup and support is should there be any problems.

Tell us what was different or unique about this job? Why does it stand out? 

This job was unique as it was the first installation of an air source heat pump where I managed to do a full design and installation ourselves. I’ve previously gone through manufacturing companies for the design of an install and it actually makes the job harder which is why I now design all my installs myself. This allows me to explain to the customer each benefit to my chosen design. Especially with renewables a lot of training goes into it with the engineers and the heat pumps need very careful design to make sure it all runs properly and there’s no faults. This does add some pressure to the job, but like this job here it’s all worth it for the end result.

And finally, tell us what the end result was for your customer? 

The customer has told us he is very happy with the finished product. He has protected himself against future price increases in energy bills and now has the opportunity in the future to add an electric vehicle charging point to his property. He has reduced his carbon emissions and also made his property much more future proof. He has told us his property has been warm and comfortable to live in during the last winter period. I’ve received a few recommendations from this customer since completing the job which is always a great sign that the customer is happy with our work. I also heard from Valliant that they were happy with my work after the first service.