Case study

Sunderland Low Carbon Demonstration Project supports local industry

Heat Pumps TrainingHeat Pumps Training

Frank Ord and Sons are a family owned limited company based in Sunderland. The company work on a range of plumbing and heating projects from small domestic maintenance operations to larger scale, commercial work. The company have also periodically received contracts from larger commercial clients, most recently including British Gas. Frank Ord, Managing Director, now wishes to bring in more private commercial work, specifically, commercial heat pump installation and maintenance projects. Currently, 3 staff at Frank Ord & Sons have experience in air source heat pumps but do not have a formal certificate allowing them to install and importantly, to commission systems.

Outline & objectives

Ed Walker, Project Coordinator at Narec DE, met with directors Frank and Christine Ord at a Sunderland restaurant in December 2014 to discuss how the Low Carbon Demonstration Project could benefit them. Following an initial assessment of the company’s requirements, the decision was made to book 3 staff onto the Logic Level 3 QCF Installation and Maintenance of Heat Pumps course running between the 13th and 16th January 2015.

During the initial meeting, Christine was also interested to hear that additional support was available to the company in the form of MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) coaching. Given the company were interested in pursuing the MCS accreditation (effectively the ‘Gas Safe’ of the renewables industry), this support was booked right over 2-3 days in early March 2015. During these two days, Nick Davies, Principal Engineer at Narec DE, will assist the company in how they can achieve MCS accreditation.


Frank and 2 additional staff attended and successfully completed the Logic L3 Installation and Maintenance of Heat Pump Systems course allowing them to install, maintain and commission heat pump systems to an MCS standard. In addition, dates have been set for MCS coaching whereby Frank Ord & Sons will receive assistance in achieving MCS accreditation.

Client testimonial

Frank Ord, Managing Director at Frank Ord & Sons, had this to say about the project: “The lads all found the training really useful and it was a well-managed course with fantastic instructors […] to receive both this heat pump course and the MCS assistance for free is fantastic”. Frank went on to talk about involvement with other technologies; “the heat pumps have been a little bit slow to begin with but we have only had these qualifications for a week or 2 now, we’re also not able to fully commit many staff to this just yet as we have another large gas contract to finish but once we can commit resources fully, we’re expecting high demand. Going forward, we are also really interested in getting someone, probably Richard, [Frank’s son and colleague] trained up in installing Biomass systems”.

Further information

The Sunderland Low Carbon Energy Demonstration project is a £3.9 million investment in a low carbon social housing project which aims to reduce energy costs and tackle fuel poverty, while also contributing to local and national carbon reduction targets. As part of the project, Narec Distributed Energy are providing fully funded business support, consultancy and training to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Sunderland (including sole traders) to improve their capacity, skills and environmental management. Helping to meet the growing demand for low carbon and renewable energy measures.