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Case study

BRB Ltd: championing low carbon heating technologies

BRB Ltd began their business transition towards zero-carbon heating technologies 17 years ago. We spoke to operations manager John Connolly about the business’ experiences.

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BRB ltd team photo. Standing in front of the BRB van


BRB Ltd began their business transition towards zero-carbon heating technologies 17 years ago. We spoke to operations manager John Connolly about the business’ experiences to inspire others in the heating industry to make the move into renewable technology.

John also discussed BRB Ltd’s strategies for increasing the business’ installation capacity and its transition from fossil fuel to low carbon heating technologies.

The company, established in March 2003, operates across various sectors including commercial, industrial and residential. With a workforce of 50 employees, including apprentices, they specialise in gas central heating, electrical heating, heat pumps and solar panels. They also offer service repair contracts and care plans for gas appliances and heat pumps. 

BRB Ltd predominantly install air-to-water heat pumps. The decision to move into heat pumps was driven by demand, particularly from contracts with local authorities. This gave the company a competitive advantage due to very few companies offering heat pump installations. 

Training and certification

While originally only requiring the F gas qualification for gas boiler installations, BRB Ltd now emphasises the importance of qualifications for heat pump systems design. John also highlighted existing plumbing and heating skills as being very transferable when it comes to installing heat pumps.  

The company is MCS certified, helping to demonstrate compliance with industry standards, while annual reviews to keep them up to date with best practice. 

Installer looks at pipe work

Educating customers

Training and education on heat pump technology and controls are essential, especially for ensuring customer satisfaction and system efficiency. John suggested:

“A lot of younger generations are installing heat pumps due to ethical reasons, and they are very keen to learn about how to control them through the apps.” 

Growing the business

To meet increasing demand for heat pump installations, BRB Ltd has expanded, adding more installation teams and office staff.  

They also believe taking on apprentices is paramount to addressing the skill shortage within the industry. As the demand for skilled professionals increases, apprenticeships help maintain high standards and customer satisfaction. Regarding apprenticeships, John explained: 

“You’re ensuring that the industry will continue to grow and that there’s always enough qualified people because as it stands there’s a serious skill shortage.” 

Man stands on scaffolding installing solar panels on a roof.


Like other heat pump installers, BRB Ltd faces challenges such as misinformation, inadequate installations by some installers, and supply chain issues.

They emphasise the need for proper education, accurate designs, and a fabric-first approach to installations to avoid inefficiencies and customer dissatisfaction. John said: 

“A problem the industry is facing is installers putting in heat pumps to properties that are not suitable for heat pumps […] then homeowners are complaining that their electricity bills are ridiculously high and heat pumps get a bad name.” 

There are also logistical issues transitioning from traditional heating systems to heat pumps. Installers must contend with supply shortages and grant processes, which require them to plan carefully and manage resources efficiently.

Looking to the future

Their goal is to inspire others in the heating industry to follow suit by sharing their experiences and insights, ultimately contributing to a greener and more sustainable future. As the industry evolves, education and awareness play pivotal roles in shaping perceptions and driving positive change.

Despite obstacles, John believes the future lies in the widespread adoption of heat pump technology.

Last updated: 20 June 2024