News

Labour shortages intensify on back of firm workloads

Although recent official construction data has been a little mixed, the latest RICS Construction Market Survey for Q1 2015 shows labour shortages in the sector intensifying alongside feedback that workloads are continuing to rise. Some 63% cited labour shortages as an issue followed by 55% highlighting finance.

OFTEC launches solid fuel registration service

OFTEC has extended its range of competent person registration services to include solid fuel appliances, following government approval by DCLG Building Regulations.

Plumbers and HVAC engineers revealed to be stressed, yet confident

Plumbers and HVAC engineers are feeling confident about their prospects but are also feeling under pressure, according to the latest annual health check survey by ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction industry.

Homeowners could be ‘letting the wrong ones in’

UK homeowners are at greater risk of allowing rogue tradespeople into their homes by prioritising qualities such as good manners over checking credentials, new findings have suggested.

Top 20 features sought by house-hunters

Warmth and security top the list of essential qualities homebuyers look for in a property, according to a new survey commissioned by gocompare.com.

Solar panels catch fire in council building blaze

Council workers had to be evacuated from Hove Town Hall today after a blaze involving solar panels started on the rooftop of the building.

UK tradespeople kick off a busy year

The year has got off to a busy start for UK tradespeople, according to recent research from Screwfix.

Fix it the first time, say consumers

Field service organisations need to become more efficient and fix a problem on the first visit, according to a new study commissioned by Trimble, the building construction solutions provider.

SummitSkills launches three-year strategic plan

National occupational standards, apprenticeship frameworks and qualifications are the core focus of work outlined in SummitSkills’ new strategic plan for 2015 to 2018.

Ukip plan to axe energy department 'beyond barmy', says Unite

The proposal in the Ukip manifesto to abolish the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has been branded as 'beyond barmy' by Unite, the country's largest union.

Seminar programme brings latest industry news to technicians

Throughout the summer, OFTEC will be on the road across the UK and Ireland holding a series of free local seminar events for registered technicians.

FMB responds to housebuilding policies in party manifestos

The importance given to housing in the Conservative Party manifesto should be applauded but it will be important for the next government to remain focused on housing supply as well as housing ownership, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Plumber fined for dangerous oil-boiler installation

A plumber from Malswick has been fined after installing an oil fired boiler at a property that left the homeowners at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

OFTEC lobbies prospective MPs for “more realistic” heating policies

OFTEC and FPS have written to more than 500 prospective parliamentary candidates, urging them to support proposals for a radical shake-up of home heating policies for the UK.

Plumbers warned pressure on push-fit pipes is causing flood of water escape claims

Plumbing contractors are being warned to take extra care over the installation of push-fit pipes after a spate of high value claims for water damage.

Green Party supports VAT cut on housing repairs

The Green Party has pledged to cut VAT on housing repairs and renovations.

Free installer events in the east of England to support green growth

SustainaBuild isoffering a range of targeted events and networking opportunities designed to equip small and medium sized installation businesses to grow and access new and existing markets.

E.ON pays over £7 million penalty to Citizens Advice after overcharging customers

E.ON has made a £7.75m payment to Citizens Advice after incorrectly applying increases in price and termination fees to some former customers who expressed their wish to leave the company after price rise announcements in 2013 and 2014.

UKLPG welcomes DECC Heating Fund, but warns rural householders could miss out

The UK’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (UKLPG) has welcomed the confirmation of a £25 million government capital funding programme to support local authorities and their partners to tackle fuel poverty.

B&ES joins the fight against heart disease with donation

The Yorkshire division of the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) has made a £3,000 donation to the British Heart Foundation, to participate in the fight against heart disease.

Viessmann plans to steal the show at PHEX 2015

Viessmann will be showcasing its new combi boiler and four-pipe system at this year’s PHEX shows across London and Manchester.

Government rejects proposals to make electrical safety checks mandatory

Mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector are being called for once again by the NAPIT Trade Association.

Bury bad jobs with Inta’s new Bodger’s Plate

Anti-scald bathroom product manufacturer, Inta, is giving clumsy and rushed installers a helping hand to mask the mess with the launch of its new expert cover up, the Bodger’s Plate.

Home repairs left undone by over 65’s through fear of finding good tradesmen

Anxiety about finding trustworthy tradespeople is leaving older people across the country struggling with home repairs, according to research by TrustMark.

Fuel tax freeze could save van drivers almost £1,000

Chancellor George Osborne’s recent Budget announcement to scrap a planned increase in fuel tax will save the typical tradesperson almost £1,000 this year alone, according to findings by UK van leasing company Vanarama.

One in 10 Green Deal companies non-compliant

One in 10 Green Deal companies have had their certifications revoked due to non-compliance of the Green Deal Code of Practice, the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has revealed.

Government gets tough on energy market misconduct

Energy regulators will have powers to prosecute people suspected of abusing the energy market, under new regulations that come into force on 13 April 2015.

Third phase of GDHIF closes

The £70 million available through the third release of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been fully allocated.

Plumb and Parts Center launch roadshows to help installers understand ErP

Plumb and Parts Center have joined forces with key heating manufacturers to help installers understand the new EU regulations and the implications for their businesses.

Industry calls for VAT reduction on all energy efficient materials and their installation

As the election approaches and politicians debate over the rate of VAT, the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) is calling on all political parties to set VAT at 5% for all energy efficiency materials.

£25 million central heating fund for local authorities

Local Authorities on the front line of tackling cold homes can now apply for their share of a £25 million Central Heating Fund, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has announced.

Government campaign highlights risks to offline construction businesses

Construction businesses will struggle to grow if they don't embrace the internet, according to the government's new Do More Online campaign.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey at Battersea Power Station

Cold water could heat one million homes

At least one million homes and businesses across England could access renewable heat hidden in our waterways, according to DECC.

New Foundation to support entrepreneurs

Saint-Gobain, in association with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is launching a new Entrepreneurship Foundation to help small businesses embrace sustainable building.

Trader given suspended jail sentence for asbestos exposure

A tradesman has been given a suspended jail sentence after exposing a household and workers to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos fibres at a home in Bramhope, Leeds.

More new exhibitors than ever at PHEX+ exhibition

An unprecedented number of new exhibitors have signed up to this year's PHEX+ exhibition, which is returning to London's Alexandra Palace on 20 and 21 May, 2015.

Holiday promotion takes off for OSMA

OSMA is preparing to launch the 'Take Off With OSMA' campaign, which will roll out more than 10,000 prizes through participating UK merchants from 7 April 2015.

Plumbfix to offer Sunday deliveries

Trade supplier Plumbfix has announced it is extending its next-day delivery service to include Sundays.

Rise in Scottish building apprentices

The number of building apprentices registered in Scotland in 2014 rose by 7% to 1,553.

New plumbing apprenticeship standard launched

A new level 3 Apprenticeship standard for Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians has been launched this month as part of the government's Trailblazer programme.

A new information hub from Pegler Yorkshire

Pegler Yorkshire has launched a website focused on the individual requirements of specifiers and installers, and helping them find solutions for prevailing industry issues.

New consumer protection scheme for district heating

Customers connected to district heating will soon benefit from a new consumer protection scheme.

Ideal Standard supports Water Saving Week

During Water Saving Week (22 to 28 March), Ideal Standard is supporting Waterwise, to remind people of the importance of saving water.

£200 million-worth of housing projects up for grabs

SME contractors from Ealing are being invited to a free event in Southall on 25 March, to find out about upcoming work contracts worth £200 million.

Pegler Yorkshire announces operations review

During a review of its operations, Pegler Yorkshire has announced a proposal to consolidate its UK manufacturing and the possible closure of its Leeds facility.

Businesses can now take solar panels with them and keep tariff if they move

Businesses will be able to take their solar panels with them when they relocate, allowing them to continue to reap the benefits of lower energy bills, under new changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT).

Landlord carries out illegal gas safety checks

A landlord from Torquay illegally carried out annual gas safety checks at his properties despite not being registered gas engineer, a court has heard. 

2015 Budget 'a disappointment for energy efficiency'

A wage increase for apprenticeships, frozen fuel duties and help for first-time buyers were among the key spending plans outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in yesterday's Budget.

Travis Perkins transforms its plumbing and heating division

The plumbing and heating division of Travis Perkins Group plc has announced a major programme that is transforming the way its two merchant brands, City Plumbing Supplies (CPS) and Plumbing Trade Supplies (PTS), serve customers.

Two men fined over illegal gas work

Two men have been fined for organising and carrying out illegal gas work as part of a construction job at a property in Suffolk.

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