PHPD caught up with Ideal Heating’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jo Shepherd to find out more about the company’s recent name change and what the change in focus will mean for developers looking to heat homes.
Ideal Boilers was a very well recognised brand within the heating sector, why do you think now is the right moment to evolve it to Ideal Heating?
For years, we’ve offered so much more than just boilers for the domestic market. People sometimes forget that we also offer cylinders, smart controls and are the UK’s market leader of high efficiency commercial heating solutions.
With this in mind, and with achieving net zero more a priority than ever, now is the right time for us to evolve. We’ve designed our new brand in such a way that anyone who was familiar with Ideal Boilers will easily recognise Ideal Heating, but now we can better communicate the completeness of our range, while paving the way for future innovation.
Our ambition is to be the number one choice for installers, consumers and businesses when selecting a heating and hot water system. We believe that having a more holistic, future-focussed brand will help us achieve that.
The company has a broad portfolio of boilers for the domestic market. Will this move see any reduction in your domestic boilers range?
In 2019, one in every four new domestic boilers installed across the country bore the Ideal name. Our range is known and loved by builders and homeowners alike for its quality, reliability and value, and for as long as the demand is out there, we’ll be here to meet it.
Of course, the direction of travel towards sustainable alternatives is clear – but we’re talking about a transition, not an overnight change. The development of sustainable heating technologies will continue alongside innovation and sales in the gas-powered central heating market – for us, both are important, and neither comes at the expense of the other.
As part of the brand re-positioning will the company now focus more on low carbon technologies and, if so, what new launches can we expect?
We’re wholeheartedly committed to a more sustainable future, which is reflected in the design of our new logo; there’s a green dot on the ‘i’ for Ideal to symbolise our dedication to a greener future, in place of the previous red one.
Alongside the rebrand, we’ve created an Environmental Division within the business to oversee a programme of investment into research, product development and stakeholder engagement, to support the decarbonisation of domestic and commercial heating. And we plan to launch our first low carbon product early next year.
The UK’s transition towards a net zero future will be a gradual one, which means we must also ensure the continued optimisation of existing technologies, before alternatives become widely available. With this in mind, we’ve recently launched our new Halo range of wireless programmable room thermostats, including a connected version which give users the option to cleverly and efficiently control their heating on-the-go – and to avoid heating an empty home.
Ideal’s parent company is a leader in heat pumps in the French market. Can we expect to see Heat Pumps becoming part of your offer to UK installers?
As part of the government’s commitment to ‘build back better’ from the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve seen the announcement of the Green Homes Grant – under which the government will help homeowners with the cost of installing heat pumps (among other solutions) in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
We are fully supportive of this, and are uniquely placed to draw on the heating expertise from across our parent company, to help make low carbon heating a reality in the UK. We are working closely with our international colleagues to learn from their experience and combine it with our specific knowledge of this market – and heat pumps will have a role to play.