Benefiting from a multi-technology approach

Oil Installer magazine - Dave Ewins
Featured in the very first issue of Oil Installer, Dave Ewins of Davanna Heating has been embracing oil and renewable energy technologies for five years. He recently appeared in Renewable Energy Installer to discuss a ground source heat pump installation, and says his business has benefited from a multi-technology approach.

The number of renewable jobs increased after Dave reached the National Heat Pump Awards final. He works with solar thermal technology and ground source heat pumps, while continuing to enjoy installing Worcester and Firebird oil boilers.

Significant fuel savings

Recent work has included combining traditional oil heating with renewables. One job involved installing a solar thermal system linked to an oil-fired boiler.  Dave explained: “On sunny days the system is making a large solar gain, so the oil boiler seldom cuts in. The family had four kids so there was a large hot water demand, yet they were still making significant fuel savings.”

Based in Cornwall, the business is well placed to work on a range of prestigious properties including new builds, second homes and hotels, with clients more receptive to spending money on renewables.

Thinking ahead

Dave admitted: “We try to install solar cylinders wherever we can. Otherwise in two years we will have redundant cylinders, which is a huge waste. We are already putting in solar pipework in all new builds. We’re thinking ahead because in two years this will be normal practise.”

Whilst always keen to win jobs installing oil boilers, Dave does discuss the long term benefits of renewables with the customer; including money savings, adding value to the property and being more environmentally friendly.

He added: “I love the oil industry and am in favour of oil-fired boilers but it would be nice if reliability could be brought up to the standard of the gas boilers we also fit. You can install an oil boiler immaculately and still be called back because of a pump failure, whereas with gas you often only go back to service them. Worcester is very impressive because they have dedicated back-up teams and will send out engineers.”

Dave looks to be employing a winning approach – and the proof is in the invoices. He said: “I enjoy working with the full range of technologies. The only downside of my job is the ever-increasing paperwork!”