News

OFTEC champions apprenticeships

In the wake of recent criticism over the value of some apprenticeships, OFTEC continues to champion the on-the-job training scheme saying that, if worked effectively, apprenticeships can provide school leavers with an excellent career start and help to combat the UK’s growing skills shortage.

Welsh Water remind customers to wrap up their homes this winter

With the winter upon us, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s ‘Wrap Up Wales’ campaign is reminding customers to make sure that the water pipes in their homes are protected to avoid the disruption and expense that can be caused by frozen pipes.

Solar Trade Association calls for urgent action on proposed VAT hikes

VAT rates on solar PV and solar thermal hot water heating systems could increase to 20% under new proposals from government.

Warm welcome for Chancellor's heat network funding

Bosch Commercial & Industrial has welcomed the Chancellor's decision to commit over £300 million of funding for the introduction of up to 200 heat networks across the UK.

Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants announces expansion

Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants (PPHM) is expanding its premises to meet growing demand from tradespeople across the capital.

Unlicensed worker exposed residents to asbestos

A Surrey man was fined for exposing the residents of a house in Putney, himself and his assistant to asbestos.

Future burning bright for oil, says Worcester, Bosch Group

A spokesperson for manufacturer of heating and hot water technologies Worcester, Bosch Group has urged installers working in off-mains gas areas to stick with oil as the market looks set for a promising time.

Consumers benefit as oil prices fall again

Latest industry figures show heating oil prices have fallen a further 10.5%, with consumers reaping the benefits because the drop in wholesale costs are being passed directly on.

Government spends £12.1 billion with small businesses

The government has spent 27.1% of its total central government buying with small businesses in the last financial year, according to official statistics.

UKLPG hails cylinder theft prosecution as positive

UKLPG has welcomed the successful prosecution of a person who attempted to steal over 400 empty LPG cylinders.

Safety charity warns against counterfeit electrical goods

The charity Electrical Safety First is calling on goverment to tackle the problem of counterfeit electrical goods after sales of such products increased by 12% this year.

Millions of pounds worth of energy lost due to incorrectly specified meters, claims industry expert

Installing the wrong meters is costing millions of pounds of wasted energy every year according to one of the sector’s leading experts.

Care provider fined after scalding death

Ark Housing Association has been prosecuted after a 60-year-old man suffered severe scalding after being lowered into a bath of hot water and later died.

Energy service launched to help small businesses cut costs

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching a new service to help its members reduce their gas and electricity bills.

Worker killed by fall from ladder during boiler inspection

A sub-contractor was fined after a worker was killed when he fell from a ladder during an inspection of a boiler.

Registered engineer fined for signing off illegal work

An unregistered gas fitter illegally installed a domestic boiler and got a registered gas engineer to sign-off his work, leaving the homeowners at risk and landing both of them with hefty fines.

New research questions combi boiler efficiencies

A new study assessing real-life energy use in the home has claimed that combination boilers may not be the most energy efficient way of producing domestic hot water.

OFTEC calls for urgent change to UK home heating plans

OFTEC has submitted recommendations to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee calling for a total re-think on the UK's low carbon heat strategy to instead focus on incentivising solutions that are simple, affordable to install, impose limited disruption on the homeowner and offer competitive running costs.

Industry introduces Home Safety Certificate to help combat issues in rental sector

Representatives from across the public and private sectors are set to come together on 10 December to improve safety in private rented housing.

Landlord fined for leaving tenants at risk from faulty boiler

A Plymouth landlord risked the lives of his tenants by failing to carry out annual gas safety checks, leaving them with a dangerous boiler installation.

Boiler flue removed during a re-roofing contract put tenant’s life at risk

Gary Redman, 55, was in control of roofing works above a flat on Marldon Road, Paignton in March 2014, during which the flue to the gas boiler of the flat below was removed.

Switch2 welcomes £300 million government funding for UK heat networks

Community heating metering and billing company Switch2 has welcomed the government's announcement of more than £300 million of funding for up to 200 UK heat networks.

Skills shortage threatens Chancellor's building plans

The Chancellor's vision of building 400,000 new affordable homes could be derailed by the current skills shortage in the construction industry, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned.

SNIPEF names its Business of the Year

SNIPEF, the trade association for plumbing and heating firms in Scotland and Northern Ireland, has awarded its inaugural Business of the Year Award to LW Haddow of Perth.

Half of Britain’s tradespeople drink the night before operating heavy machinery

A new survey has revealed the construction industry’s drinking habits – with shocking results.

A third of construction firms are put off taking on apprentices by bureaucracy

A third of small construction firms are turned off taking on apprentices because of the bureaucracy involved, according to recent research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

A busy winter for Pimlico Plumbers

Pimlico Plumbers' predictions of a busy winter period for the company are coming to pass after it smashed six of its own records for the number of jobs completed.

NAPIT helps bring rogue installer to justice

A 38-year-old conman has been sentenced to six years in prison after failing to complete work he had taken deposits for undertaking. NAPIT provided key information to help bring him to justice.

Steve Willis Training Centres celebrate success

Steve Willis Training Centres has hosted an awards ceremony for its Apprenticeship graduates.

Mixed industry response to Autumn Statement

There has been a mixed response to yesterday's Autumn Statement by the heating and renewable industry.

Industry must 'tread carefully' following RHI cuts, warns BEAMA

BEAMA has urged the heating industry to 'tread carefully' in the coming months, until all the details of the government's renewable heat and energy efficiency plans are better understood.

Heat Trust launched to address customer complaints

Over 15,000 heat customers can now benefit from free independent complaint resolution and minimum customer service standards.

RHI reform announced in Spending Review

The Chancellor George Osborne has set out the government’s spending plans in the Spending Review, including a £700m cut to the Renewable Heat Incentive and almost £7bn in funding to build affordable homes in England.

Most construction workers have gone to work 'when too ill'

More than 90% of construction workers have admitted going to work despite knowing they were too ill or injured to carry out the task to a high enough standard, according to a new poll from www.constructaquote.com.

SkillPLUMB announces 2015 winner

The SkillPLUMB competition 2015 has named 29-year-old Richard Wilson from North East College Scotland and SugPlumb Ltd as its UK champion after he excelled in an intensive three-day practical exercise at the Birmingham NEC Skills Show.

Charity thrives for HPS at PHEX

HPS Heating Plumbing Supplies raised an incredible £8,840 for Great Ormond Street Hospital during this year's PHEX Chelsea Exhibition.

Wood burners voted among most appealing home features

Wood burning stoves and Agas have joined 'exposed bricks' and 'kitchen islands' as among the most appealing elements people look for in a potential new home, according to a survey by biomass and stove manufacturer, Euroheat.

iKBBI & CAPITA join forces to raise gas safety awareness

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) has joined forces with Capita, which operates the Gas Safe Registration scheme, to form a strategic partnership to promote gas safety awareness to consumers, installers and the wider KBB sector.

Women & Manual Trades group celebrates 40th anniversary

A parliamentary reception to celebrate Women & Manual Trade’s (WAMT) 40th anniversary was held on 17 November.

Investigation underway after bodies discovered at a boiler manufacturer warehouse

An investigation has been launched into the death of two suspected migrants after their bodies were found at the Ferroli warehouse in Branston, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.

MCS proposals to increase onsite visits could cost businesses in excess of £8,000

Microgeneration installation companies could see a significant rise in their overheads if the proposals of a recent consultation by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) are given the go-ahead, says the NAPI Trade Association.

NAPIT pass rates soar in 2015

As debate continues in the construction industry about how to address the current skills shortages and councils ask for new powers to tackle the issue, NAPIT Training has been hard at work to help installers fill the gap. Click to expand image.

Government sets out future energy policy

Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd set out the Government’s future direction for energy policy yesterday, 18 November.

Government must act now to avoid energy crisis next year

Britain is on the verge of an energy crisis, with electricity demand set to outstrip dispatchable supply for the first time from early 2016, according to a new report published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Wednesday 18 November.

Buy heating oil while prices are low, urges FPS

The 1.5 million UK households who rely on heating oil are being urged to buy their heating oil now, before bad weather affects deliveries and price.

Entries open for the 2016 BPEC Charity Awards

Training and certification organisation BPEC has launched its search for next year's recipients of the Life Award, Support Fund and Sport Award.

Tell your customers to prepare for cold weather

With winter fast approaching, WaterSafe, water companies in the UK and the Met Office are advising homeowners, premises owners and facilities managers to prepare for the cold weather.

Dangerous boiler installation causes severe CO poisoning

A gas fitter has been sentenced to community service after his installation of a new boiler system at a cottage near Montrose resulted in severe carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. 

UKLPG urges home and business users to #getaheadforwinter

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures the UK is currently experiencing, rural householders and business owners across the UK should check their supplies of LPG before the cold weather sets in, advises UKLPG, the trade body for the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry.

FMB calls for changes to Apprenticeship Levy ahead of Spending Review

The government needs to revise its plans for a one-size-fits all Apprenticeship Levy or risk exacerbating the growing skills crisis in the building industry, warns the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) ahead of the Spending Review.

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