Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies in the heating and air conditioning industry could see opportunities to provide equipment, technology, or advice to their counterparts in the UK.
Climate change and technology advances are expected to spur significant growth in the UK’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) market.
Heat waves across Europe this year took their toll. In the UK, the temperature hit a record 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit in July, closing a runway at London Luton Airport when a tarmac melted and delaying trains over fears of buckled tracks, according to Time magazine.
A report to Parliament in October 2021 estimated that only about 5% of residences in the UK have some kind of cooling unit. More than half of the cooling demand in the UK comes from offices, followed by retail businesses and hospitals. Over the next decade, air conditioning use could nearly double, according to various forecasts.
Global warming is a major driver of the anticipated increase—both because of the hotter temperatures it brings and because of the UK’s commitment to slash carbon emissions. Demand is also increasing for integrated “smart technologies” that include controls to remotely manage ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Meanwhile, the government is also calling for an overhaul of the heating systems in UK buildings. That includes a goal to phase out the installation of new and replacement natural gas boilers over the coming decade.
Sales in the UK’s heating and cooling industry totaled $1.9 billion in 2022, and the sector is projecting a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% through 2027, as consumers seek updated HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption or use more renewable resources.
Government initiatives have boosted the HVAC market with a variety of incentives, and all newly constructed buildings must comply with the regulations. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, the Department of the Environment is increasing the minimum efficiency standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps.
Wisconsin companies with products, technology, or services in the HVAC industry could have growing opportunities to serve the UK market in the coming years.