The Hub is a free, online blog site hosted and curated by Mitsubishi Electric in the UK. (https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk). There is nothing else like The Hub currently available for the UK HVAC sector, with the site designed to bring informative, interesting and hopefully entertaining comments and opinions on issues affecting energy use in the built environment.

More importantly for our industry, the site provides a useful resource that HVAC installers can use as a sales tool for their own business growth and plans – as well as a go-to site for reference material, industry comment and their own education. Some of this material is currently available and many sector-specific publications and websites do cover some of these areas already. However, there is no one single site that transcends the traditional sectors in the way that The Hub does, and no other manufacturer’s site that approaches the sector in such an informative and ‘non-sales-focused’ way.

The Hub covers legislation, technology and lifestyle and includes articles from independent industry editors as well as Mitsubishi Electric’s own experts. It provides information on a host of subjects that will allow people responsible for, or involved in energy consumption within our buildings to understand the issues behind some of the biggest changes in our industry.

Since its launch in March 2017, The Hub now has over 150 informative articles and is generating over 5,000 visitors per month. Although the site is hosted by Mitsubishi Electric, it contains independently written articles from a wide variety of editors and industry experts.

The Hub also contains articles from Mitsubishi Electric’s own experts, but these focus on the major issues that affect our industry – rather than simply seek to push sales messages in the way that other sites can sometimes appear to.

These contributors include the editors of leading industry magazines such as: – Modern Building Services – Housing Association – Premises & Facilities Management – Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer – Housebuilder & Developer – Specification – Refurb Projects Since its launch on the 2nd of March 2017, the site has posted over 150 articles covering subjects as diverse as: – F-Gas – Energy labelling and legislation – R32 refrigerants – Heat pumps and fuel poverty – Climate change – Leak detection – Housebuilding – Building regulations – Sustainability – Air quality – Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and how it will affect the letting of commercial properties – Better use of controls to save energy

The curators of the site also use trending topics such as the General Election, the opening of the Premier League football season; popular TV series like Game of Thrones and Love Island, and news such as President Trump’s rejection of the Paris agreement, to engage with visitors. Each article includes a handy guide to how long it will take to read and the site is also optimised for smartphone and other mobile devices, making it easy to access from anywhere.

All about engagement

Mitsubishi Electric has created The Hub to help engage with anyone interested in reducing energy use in the built environment and will continue creating articles that help to inform and educate, in addition to hopefully entertaining the growing audience of visitors. In this way, Mitsubishi Electric aims to provide all relevant information that can help anyone using energy in buildings to understand the key issues and therefore make informed choices.

For the industry, this not only provides installers with a host of informative blogs to increase their own knowledge base, it delivers a useful sales tool to help them educate their own customers on the important issues facing the industry.

The site has been designed to be dynamic and appeal to three distinct audiences: Commercial; Installer; and Homeowner. Anyone responding to a link in an online article, or a dedicated eshot, will be recognised and then presented with appropriate comments or articles when they first arrive at the site. The Hub will then remember them, so that when they revisit, they will continue to receive appropriate and tailored content.

In this way, for example, homeowners will see articles relevant to the domestic market only, and will not be presented with pieces focusing on large chiller or HVAC subjects. Likewise, commercial operators, such as M&E Consultants or Contractors will not see articles on the domestic Renewable heat Incentive – unless they choose to.

Achievements to date

The Hub is deliberately designed to offer B2B thought-leader articles and we therefore shy away from hard ‘sales’ messages. From a standing start in March 2017, we have built the audience up to 5,600 per month (August), primarily by targeting those involved in the commercial construction industry. Although we do not push hard sales messages for our own solutions, where relevant, we do point people to different landing pages where they can find detailed product information on the new technologies and register their interest. The Hub is therefore not overt in pushing the sales message so any enquiry is seen as a bonus.

Since the launch, we have received over 100 relevant and serious enquiries for products as diverse as Hybrid VRF air conditioning; new R32 solutions; and Ecodan air source heat pumps. Probably the best way to judge the site though is for people to visit https://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk and see for themselves.

The site includes an advanced search engine which enables anyone to quickly find all relevant articles on broad subjects such as the environment; refrigerants; heat pumps; R32; and more.

Supporting documents