Ingo Hamann, the recently appointed Managing Director of STIEBEL ELTRON Southern Africa (www.stiebel-eltron.co.za) is a man with a vision. He believes that the key to a successful business lies in treating his team, business partners, merchants, clients and various participants in the value chain as family and listening to their needs and advice.
Whilst STIEBEL ELTRON has been a known entity in South Africa for some time, the MD’s seat has been vacant right through the various Covid lockdowns. Recently appointed to head the company’s operations here, Hamann sees this as an opportunity to relaunch in South Africa with a new vision; to participate actively in the green building movement with the company’s building services based on renewables, namely domestic hot water, heating and cooling.
“We have had a presence in South Africa for more than 25 years, but since the local company’s recapitalisation as a full branch of our German parent company, we are saying that STIEBEL ELTRON is here to stay,” he explains.
Indeed, during his first six weeks in SA, he has toured the length and breadth of the business landscape and is busy opening a showroom in the town of George, to strengthen the connectivity for partners and clients along the Garden Route.
STIEBEL ELTRON is already known in South Africa for its instant water heating solutions for applications in the kitchen and bathroom, including hand basins and showers. However, its renewable range, referred to as its “systems technology”, offers a unique opportunity for the residential market, public facilities, hotels and other applications to get off the grid for warm water heating and even for heating and cooling. Notably, the electro-mechanical aspects of heat pumps can be powered using renewable energy sources such as PV power (photovoltaic). These include heat pumps and ventilation systems.
Hamann describes the STIEBEL ELTRON heat pump range as a reliable solution to meet every requirement.
“Much more than just a swimming pool heater, our system allows for comfortable heating or cooling all year round, and all the hot water requirements for a home.”
The company’s local relaunch includes a strong focus on both sustainability and what Hamann calls ‘comfortable living’.
“Much of Europe, especially Germany where I come from, is fitted with heat pump technology, in fact it is a mandatory requirement for new buildings or refits in some of the countries as well. My own home has been fitted with a heat pump and PV system for over 10 years,” he adds.
Listening skills and training
Hamann also firmly believes that there is value in listening to the advice of ‘older people’ who have diverse experiences that can be learned from. In this context he mentions his grandfather. At the age of 16, he finished formal school in Germany to get his first job as an energy electronics technician for an energy service provider (E.ON).
In the following years further training followed, as a gas and water supply technician and heat pump technician. Working his way up through various trades, Hamann became a Master Electrician in Germany, joined STIEBEL ELTRON and has worked in various postings around the world. While working at STIEBEL ELTRON, he finished his part-time studies (Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineer) in 2018, and then moved to the STIEBEL ELTRON branch in China, where he took on the position of Technical Director, before transferring to South Africa as Managing Director.
He brings to STIEBEL ELTRON South Africa a strong belief in and a mission to provide training and education about heat pumps. Both across the company’s ‘family’ and also to South Africans at large, notably via the green building movement.
“Premium service and premium products which consume little energy and bring more safety and comfort to the user are a must have,” Hamann says.
TO BUILD’s editor met Hamann at the Green Building Convention in Cape Town, where he and his colleagues hosted an exhibition stand while also presenting to the Convention audience.
He is keen to form partnerships with housing developers, where he believes that heat pump systems installed into new builds can deliver considerable value to the home, while justifying capital employed over a reasonable payback period.
To boost the presence of heat pumps and other energy saving devices in SA, Hamann also believes that government at various levels need to come to the party by providing tax incentives, rebates and various local financial incentives at municipal level to encourage the migration to green energy, thus contributing to SA’s carbon emission reduction programmes.
For example, the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (https://www.ipp-renewables.co.za/) is aimed at bringing additional megawatts onto the country’s electricity system through private sector investment in wind, biomass and small hydro, among others.
STIEBEL ELTRON’s home comfort products are available from specialized plumbing chains. The company can be contacted directly for details on its range of heat pumps and other renewable energy systems. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org