News

Home Improvement Fund issues over £2m funding

An estimated £2.61 million was issued to households through the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) during the scheme's first week, according to industry estimates.

Heating engineer charged with manslaughter after death of 72-year-old woman

Self-employed Peter Sykes, 68, from Hadleigh appeared in Norwich Crown Court yesterday (17 June) charged with manslaughter and accused of causing the death of Annette Coe when he failed to properly service her boiler.

Study from Nest provides a new level of data about residential CO events

Nest has released its first summary of field data on carbon monoxide (CO) events, using its internet connected alarms which provide real time insight into the incidence of high CO levels in homes.

Labour and material shortages likely cause of surprise drop in construction output

According to construction and property consultancy, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT), shortages of skilled staff and materials are likely to have contributed to an unexpected drop in construction activity in May.

Octavia trial makes district heating a hot topic for landlords

A pilot project by Octavia Housing is helping landlords re-think how they deliver heat and tackle fuel poverty in thousands of social housing properties across the UK supplied by low carbon district heating systems, by allowing them to monitor system performance and energy use in real-time.

Advice from BCA on getting the best price for resale vans

British Car Auctions (BCA) is offering the small enterprises that use vans, helpful advice on what to consider when buying their next vehicle.

Illegal gas fitter put lives at risk in Hyde

A builder who illegally carried out gas work at two homes in Hyde has appeared in court charged with putting the lives of two families at risk.

55 hour week for one in five heating and ventilation engineers

A study commissioned by Electrical Contractors Insurance Services (ECIS) has found one in five heating and ventilation engineers work 51-55 hours a week while one in five plumbers work a 46-50 hour week.

SMEs lose more than £7 billion each year from missed payment opportunities

Research from Barclaycard reveals small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are losing out on hundreds of pounds a week - £7.5 billion across the country each year - by not offering customers the option of paying by debit or credit card.

Snowdonia river polluted by heating oil leak

A pollution spill in Afon y Bala, North Wales, has led to a warning that people should not swim in the river. The source of the spill has been identified by officials as leaked heating oil.

Boiler broken by beehive in Littleport

A heating engineer was confronted by a swarm of 15,000 bees when he opened up the boiler in the kitchen of an engineering firm in Littleport, Cambridgeshire.

Unison urges an energy review of homes to avoid large scale fracking

The union Unison have announced a new proposal to address the UK energy crisis by reducing the need for large scale fracking. The report will be released today (16 June) at the union's Annual Energy Conference in Brighton.

A third of new homes exempt from zero-carbon standard

Figures released today (13 June) from construction data providers, Barbour ABI, reveal that up to a third of new homes could be exempt from meeting the government's zero-carbon homes standard, following plans outlined in the Queen's Speech last week.

Number of fuel-poor households has dropped by almost 5%

The number of households in fuel poverty has dropped, according to statistics published today (12 June) by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Futureproof helps installers make the most of Green Deal shake-up

A national network for installers has seen a "significant increase" in enquiries following the launch of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. Futureproof says the new incentives for homeowners to carry out energy efficiency improvements will boost the activity of installers.

Baxi welcomes Green Deal Home Improvement Fund launch

Baxi has welcomed the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), which was officially launched on Monday (9 June).

Unregistered gas fitter given suspended prison sentence after carrying out illegal work

An unregistered gas fitter has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete 180 hours of community work after carrying out illegal and dangerous work at two homes in Essex. Anthony Hoskins, 49, from Essex, fitted gas boilers at homes in Brentwood and Ingatestone in 2012 and 2013, despite not being a member of the Gas Safe Register, as UK law requires.

Kent plumber prosecuted after gas work caused a 92-year-old woman to suffer headaches and falls

A 92-year-old woman suffered dizziness, headaches and falls after a Kent plumber taped over a gas flue in a flat directly above hers, a court has heard.

Swale Heating supports the AA's home emergency service

Swale Heating has teamed up with the Automobile Association (AA) to provide their insured customers with a 24-hour emergency service for central heating and boilers across the South East and East Anglia.

Landlords and tenants will save money with minimum energy efficiency standards

New research for the UK Green Building Council and WWF has found that introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties will cost landlords less than £1,500 on average per home, and will save tenants over £400 a year on energy bills. This is far less than previous studies have shown.

Score big during the World Cup with Travis Perkins' Fantasy Football game

To promote World Cup fever over the 2014 tournament, timber and builder's merchant, Travis Perkins has launched its first Fantasy Football game. From 12 June, 2014, customers will be able to test their football knowledge and managerial skills to win the chance of meeting the Barcelona team.

Price of home heating oil continues to fall for householders in Northern Ireland

Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), who represents the domestic oil heating and cooking industry in Northern Ireland, has announced a continuing fall in the price of home heating oil.

New tube guidance creates level playing field across Europe

Revised guidance on the selection of copper tube and fittings for use in refrigeration and air conditioning systems has been agreed by two industry bodies.

Polypipe Ventilation helps facilitate industry guide

The Domestic Ventilation 2010 manual, which forms part of BPEC's Ventilation Installer training programme, has been revised with input from across the domestic ventilation industry.

WaterSafe warns that plumbers are 'burning the midnight oil'

A survey carried out by plumbing assurance scheme, WaterSafe, has found over half of plumbers are working over the maximum working hours within the Working Time Directive.

Green Deal Finance Fund ready to boost new government Green Deal incentives

The Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) believes the launch of the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) on Monday 9 June, 2014 represents a good package of incentives for the consumer to improve their energy efficiency.

Girl power has women leading in race to find Britain's hardest workers

UK Worker of the Year is now in its fifth year, with women dominating the competition to find the UK's hardest workers.

HHIC calls on developers to build 'renewable ready' homes

A leading trade body, the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council, has called for all housing developers to build renewable ready homes. It comes following the relaxation of plans to build zero-carbon homes by 2016 as outlined in the Queen's Speech on 4 June, 2014.

HHIC joins call for CO alarms to be mandatory in UK homes

The Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has joined the Gas Safety Trust in calling upon the government to make the installation of CO alarms mandatory in homes in England and Wales.

Wider installer engagement still needed if GDHIF is to be a success

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) believes that wider installer engagement is still needed if the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is to be a success.

MARC wants radiators included in Green Deal

Representatives from the Manufacturers' Association of Radiators and Convectors (MARC) have met with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to ask for radiators to be included in Green Deal.

Plumb and Parts charity donation tops £600,000

Plumb and Parts Center is celebrating after raising £600,000 for Action for Children.

Community heating systems critical if UK is to meet EU carbon emission targets

Manufacturers of flow control systems and pressure independence control valves, Frese, believes new housing developments should be connected to community hot water systems if the UK hopes to meet stringent European carbon emission targets.

BSS Industrial secures future skills through apprenticeship scheme

BSS Industrial, a leading distributor of heating and pipeline solutions, has launched its own management apprenticeship scheme to nurture home-grown talent and attract external applicants, securing the next generation of highly-skilled and knowledgeable staff across the company.

New bill leaves zero-carbon target "in tatters"

New legislation, announced today as part of the Queen's Speech, has attracted criticism from the industry for scaling back measures to achieve zero-carbon by 2016.

Baxi launches campaign to help consumers reduce heating bills

Baxi, a manufacturer of gas boilers, recently launched the Hard to Treat Heat campaign to challenge the way we heat our homes and businesses in the UK.

Closing the gap between design and as-built performance

According to Zero Carbon Hub, the non-profit organisation holding operational responsibility to achieve the government's target of zero carbon homes in England from 2016, there is now clear evidence of a 'Performance Gap' between the as-designed and as-built energy performance of new homes.

Norwich building company prosecuted after employee severs finger at work

WS Lusher & Son Ltd was fined after an employee lost a finger on a poorly guarded machine. The worker, who does not wish to be named, was operating a vertical spindle moulding machine to cut a groove in a straight piece of wood when his right hand came into contact with the cutter, severing the little finger.

Cumbrian oil firm in court after employee falls from tanker

Cumbrian oil distributor, Carrs Billington Agriculture (Sales) Ltd, appeared in court for safety breaches after an employee fell from the top of a tanker and broke his arm.

Climate Center launches new website to transform speed of delivery to customers

Climate Center, a UK cooling distributor, has launched a new transactional website that gives customers access to stock and pricing information and allows customers to order products online.

Funding growth still a major concern for construction firms

A recent survey has revealed almost two thirds of UK construction businesses plan to seek funding for growth in the next year, but over half of that number are worried their bank will turn them down.

The eu.bac label's third life is about to begin

The European Building Automation and Controls Association 'the eu.bac' has modified its labelling design after its initial development earlier this year.

New legislation requires regular training

New government legislation, coming into force this month, means that all HETAS registrants on the Competent Person Scheme (CPS) will be required to have attended a training course - or a refresher course - within the last five years.

CHOICE training backs 'Get Girls Plumbing' campaign

WaterSafe's recently-launched 'Get Girls Plumbing' campaign has received a boost from CHOICE training in Dagenham, east London, which is giving four women the chance to undertake free training to embark on a career in plumbing.

Air conditioning sales increase 'lies ahead'

Distributor Hushon is gearing up for an anticipated increase in demand for replacement air conditioning as the deadline for R22 phase-out approaches at the end of this year.

Infographic outlines ErP directive

To help installers understand the ErP Directive, Baxi has produced the attached info-graphic.

HETAS clarifies CE marking requirements

HETAS has agreed a statement with Trading Standards following confusion over the CE marking of solid fuel, wood and biomass appliances.

Research project into apprenticeships launched

A research project to explore apprenticeships and industry perceptions of professional recognition across the plumbing and heating sector is to be carried out by the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering and SummitSkills.

Tackling late payments

The Business Secretary is proposing new measures for greater transparency of company payment practices to help smaller firms get paid on time.

Sustained house-building growth continues throughout April, reports NHBC

The number of new homes being registered continues to improve on last year's figures, according to home registration statistics for the UK released by NHBC on 30 May.

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