News

Employers struggling to fill positions not considering apprenticeships, survey suggests

Three quarters of UK business owners struggle to find the right employees according to a new survey.

Mark Group collapse triggers call for energy policy overhaul

Industry is calling on government to rethink its entire approach to energy policy following the collapse of one of the country’s biggest installers of energy saving measures including insulation and solar panels.

Housing market recovery boosts demand for heating systems

The UK housing market has witnessed a strong recovery over the past two year, with government figures showing that between 2009 and 2013 the total number of housing starts in the UK grew by 31%. New housing and first-time installations represent an important market for domestic heating, accounting for around 25% of total sales of domestic heating systems.

Customer hesitancy to act on refrigerant ban is harming business, air conditioning industry survey says

Air conditioning (AC) contractors believe the reluctance of customers to update their system to a more energy efficient, lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant, eight months after a ban on replacing R22 refrigerant was introduced, is restricting new business, a survey has found. (Click image to see full infographic)

New measures intoduced to tackle poor customer service from energy companies

Energy & Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd today announced new measures to investigate and tackle poor customer service from energy companies.

Open letter demands that government reconsider Feed-in Tariff decision

A joint statement signed by seven renewable energy associations and urging reconsideration of the decision to close Feed-in Tariff preliminary accreditation has been sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Businesses back UCAS style system to expand access to apprenticeships

A ‘UCAS-style operation’ is needed to strengthen access to apprenticeships for teenagers, according to City & Guilds and senior figures from businesses including Barclays, TUI and McDonald’s.

Versatile gas remains central to energy future, IGEM conference told

Gas is central to the future of a value-for-money energy market that can meet 2050 emission reduction targets, energy industry figures at the Annual Conference and Engineering Update, have been told.

Johnson Controls and Hitachi complete joint venture agreement

Johnson Controls, Hitachi Ltd and Hitachi Appliances Inc have completed their global joint venture agreement and will immediately commence operations of Johsnons Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, it has been announced.

Torquay landlord fined for not undertaking safety checks

The landlord of a property in Torquay risked the lives of his tenants by not undertaking annual safety checks on gas appliances in the property.

CO regulations for landlords come into force from start of October

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is notifying private sector landlords about the introduction of important smoke and carbon monoxide regulations later this week.

Government bill to enshrine term 'apprenticeship' in law backed by electrical contractor

A move to outlaw inadequate training courses and apprenticeships that leave students without the proper qualifications has been supported by a Milton Keynes-based electrical contractor.

Graham requests help in search for 'customer hero' employee

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant has launched its search for a Graham ‘customer hero’, as part of its Graham Heroes Awards, in order to reward employees who have demonstrated exceptional customer service.

West Herts College celebrates students

Plumbing students from West Herts College's Kings Langley campus have been honoured by the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE).

Apprenticeship levy 'could see companies pay twice'

The government's plan to create three million new apprenticeships in the next five years may have serious financial implications for construction firms, according to payroll business Hudson Contract.

ErP labelling software launched by Plumb and Parts Center

Plumb and Parts Center has launched its new ErP calculator to coincide with the ErP Directive becoming law on 26 September.

BEAMA agrees with Respublica on need for home improvements ‘After the Green Deal’

BEAMA has welcomed a report from Respublica containing clear proposals that could trigger a widespread uptake of energy efficiency home improvements.

APHC warns plumbing and heating engineers about the dangers of asbestos

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is reminding members of the plumbing and heating industry about the dangers of asbestos following the prosecution of a self-employed heating engineer for removing asbestos lagged pipework in a domestic property with no precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.

Oxfordshire construction 'meet the buyer' event to be held in October

Construction companies in Oxfordshire have been invited to a free 'meet the buyer' event in Oxford on 8 October to learn more about upcoming work contracts.

Elderly or disabled homeowners in Cornwall invited to benefit from Gas Safe grant

A grant has been made available to elderly or disabled homeowners for essential gas maintenance and gas-related repairs to their home, as part of a £5,000 award to Cornwall Council’s Home Solutions team.

Campaign urges government rethink over cuts to small-scale renewables

A campaign opposing the government’s plans to cut financial support to small-scale renewables, including solar panels, was launched by RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association on 25 September.

New home levels continue to rise despite August dip, according to NHBC statistics

Housebuilding activity in the UK this year is set to top levels seen in 2014, according to new figures released today by NHBC.

Quality Plumber Week celebrates army of skilled plumbers

The second Quality Plumber Week, which takes place from 28 September to 4 October, celebrates the essential and highly skilled work plumbers carry out every day.

Scottish meet the buyer event planned for Edinburgh

Construction companies from around Scotland have been invited to a free Meet the Buyer event in Edinburgh on 1 October to find out about upcoming work contracts.

Prevention is better than the cure for legionella and water scalding, CIPHE says

Hot water scalding and legionella poisoning should be tackled by improving use of prevention measures such as thermostatic mixing valves rather than attempting to develop better treatments, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) says.

Heating engineer fined for exposing both himself and others to asbestos

A self-employed heating engineer has been fined after removing asbestos lagged pipework in a domestic property with no precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.

Electrical safety 'blind spot' in new safety regulations for private sector tenants, charity says

New regulations designed to provide additional protection for tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) have a major flaw, according to the charity Electrical Safety First.

Tradespeople optimistic for year ahead

UK tradesmen and women including qualified plumbers and heating engineers remain optimistic for the next 12 months following a busy first half of the year, according to trade supplier, Plumbfix. Click image to see full picture.

Installers missing earning opportunities with gas fires, Valor claims

Thousands of gas installers are missing out on potential earnings when fitting gas fires by failing to combine jobs, add value and drive profits, research by heating appliance manufacturer Valor suggests.

Skills shortage and planning system preventing solution to housing crisis

A severe shortage of skilled workers in the housebuilding industry, alongside the current planning system, is hindering efforts to tackle the UK’s housing crisis, according to research released by Lloyds Bank.

Paid travel time ruling will add to financial pressures on companies, says workforce management company

UK employers must re-evaluate their management processes after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that time spent commuting by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time, a provider of workforce management solutions has said.

Aqualisa Showers buyout completed by Lloyds Development Capital

Private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) has backed the management buyout of shower specialist Aqualisa from RBS and Sankaty Advisors.

FMB welcomes Prime Minister's proposals to increase support for SMEs

The government is right to seek to harness the role of small and medium-sized construction companies in driving economic growth, the chief executive officer of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery resigns after 10 years in post

The chief executive of RenewableUK, Maria McCaffery, will step down next year from her role at the not-for-profit trade association, it has been announced.

Annual CO related incident figures fall

Regular flue maintenance was highlighted as being of significant importance in a report analysing accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents associated with the use of mains natural gas and piped Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the UK.

Green Heat achieves Which? Trusted Traders standard

Cambridge-based energy efficiency specialist Green Heat has been officially recognised by consumer champion Which? as one if its ‘Trusted Traders’.

Government launches inquiry into energy efficiency schemes

An inquiry into the running of home energy efficiency schemes is to be held following the end of two key policies – Zero Carbon Homes and the Green Deal.

Boiler manufacturer calls for standardised servicing

Worcester, Bosch Group, is calling for new processes and standards to be introduced for boiler servicing throughout the UK in order to progress and safeguard the industry.

Pensioner jailed for illegal gas work

A 70-year-old man has been jailed for 26 weeks and his grandson fined thousands of pounds for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work in Doncaster.

Builder who capped chimneys at two properties fined for potential gas poisoning

A builder who capped chimneys in two properties has been fined for work that could have led to the build up of poisonous and potentially fatal gasses, following an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Skills gap undermining adoption of low-energy technology, research suggests

Current vocational education and training is inadequate, and ill-prepared to deliver the UK Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to install heat-pump technology in place of gas boilers, new research has suggested.

Millions of homeowners risking lives by skipping gas checks, research suggests

Five-and-a-half million people in the UK are estimated to be putting their health and finances at risk by not getting their gas appliances safety checked every year, according to new research conducted on behalf of the Gas Safety Register.

Help to Buy scheme driving increase in housebuilding, government figures suggest

As well as helping about 120,000 people purchase a new home, the government’s Help to Buy scheme is also boosting the housing market by stimulating housebuilding and increasing housing supply, according to government statistics.

Water treatment more important than ever due to ErP Directive, Sentinel says

Emphasising the importance of water treatment to customers will become even more important as a result of the Energy-related Product Directive’s implementation, Sentinel says.

ADEY pledges its support for Gas Safety Week 2015

ADEY Professional Heating Solutions has pledged its support for this year's Gas Safety Week, which takes place on 14 to 20 September, by urging installers to follow best practice to keep their customers' heating systems running safely and efficiently.

B&ES ensures construction industry is fit for purpose, organisation's president says

The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) is central to ensuring the future health of the industry through education and training, the organisation’s president has said.

Landlord fined for absence of gas safety records

A landlord has been fined for failing to have a valid Landlord Gas Safety Record in place for five tenants housed in his properties.

Cuts to renewables subsidies threaten thousands of jobs, industry bodies say

Thousands of jobs could be at risk following government plans to slash the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates for solar PV by up to 87%, NICEIC and ELECSA have said.

Contest winner Gary Doyle (right).

Gold medal for apprentice in WorldSkills competition

A plumbing apprentice from Northern Ireland has been rewarded for his skill, professionalism and quality of work with a gold medal in the international WorldSkills 2015 competition.

UKLPG calls for boiler replacement scheme to boost energy efficiency

Following announcements that the government is set to make substantial cuts to household energy efficiency funding, LPG trade association, UKLPG, is urging ministers to consider a future rural boiler replacement programme.

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