News

Renewable installer breaks back in fall from height

A solar panel installation firm and its technical director have been prosecuted after an employee broke his back when he fell six metres through the roof light of a barn in Northamptonshire.

Industry must capitalise on new opportunities, says RICS

The private housing sector is driving a construction industry revival, according to the RICS Construction Market Survey for Q1, although skills shortages still threaten recovery.

Construction activity is on the rise, according to report

Construction activity rose to pre-Christmas levels last month, after a sharp drop in February due to the bad weather, according to a report released today.

HomeServe reveals home emergency trends

A faulty boiler is one of the most common home emergencies, according to research carried out by Canadean on behalf of HomeServe.

Late payment remains a concern, says Forum

Despite positive news on the UK economy, the continuing culture of late payment remains a concern for many small businesses, according to the latest research from the Forum of Private Business.

Energy switching times to halve by end of the year

Switching energy supplier is set to become much quicker, with energy companies confirming they are committed to slashing switching times by 50% by the end of the year.

HWA joins IMechE in calling on government to produce roadmap for energy storage

With attention turning to the security of UK gas supplies following events in the Ukraine, industry is calling for government to produce a roadmap for energy storage.

Tradespeople are travelling further to to get jobs

British tradespeople are travelling on average 355 miles a month to get to jobs the length and breadth of the country, according to new research by Direct Line for Business, the equivalent of travelling to New York and back every year.

Polypipe is admitted to the London Stock Exchange

Polypipe Group was yesterday admitted to full trading on the London Stock Exchange main market.

Plumber prosecuted over illegal gas work at two fast-food restaurants

An Essex plumber was given a suspended prison sentence and community service after carrying out illegal and unsafe gas work at two fried chicken shops in Southend-on-Sea.

Stockport plumber arrested for tax fraud

A 36-year-old plumber from Stockport was arrested yesterday on suspicion of failing to pay the correct personal and business taxes for almost 10 years.

Installers encouraged to visit PHEX+ to meet with the biggest names in the domestic and commercial sectors

Installers wanting to stay up to date with latest technology and market developments, including the Renewable Heat Incentive, are invited to attend the PHEX+ exhibition on 20 and 21 May at Alexandra Palace, London.

HHIC responds to ECO consultation

The Heating & Hotwater Association is concerned that low prices currently being paid for installations under the Energy Company Obligation could lead to lower quality installations.

Installers reminded to watch out for the launch of the Water Label

APHC is reminding installers that the Water Label will start to appear on a wide range of products as of summer 2014.

Honeywell to work with Warwick University on pioneering research into behavioural change

Honeywell is partnering with Warwick Universwity in an 18-month programme to develop proven best practices for energy reduction through long-term changes in human behaviour.

Suspended prison sentence for illegal installer

An unregistered Staffordshire gas fitter has been handed a suspended prison sentence for potentially endangering lives through illegal gas work.

Industry raises concerns over Third Party Inspection

Electrical Safety First has raised concerns over changes to the way electrical work in the home is checked to ensure its safety.

Breathing Buildings wins patent dispute

Natural ventilation specialist Breathing Buildings has successfully defended the University of Cambridge's Passive Stack patent for low-energy e-stack ventilation technology.

Electrical contractor fined after apprentice falls from height

Electrical contractor Austin Gregg has been fined after a teenage apprentice fell four metres through a fragile rooflight at a farm in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

Tradespeople are 'highly skilled entrepreneurs', says survey

Tradespeople are hardworking, highly skilled and have an entrepreneurial spirit that is helping them recover from the economic downturn, according to a new survey from Ironmongery Direct.

Independence would see an increase in Scotland's energy bills

Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Edward Davey has made the positive case for the UK's single energy market, showing how independence would increase people's energy bills.

Third-party inspector scheme "undermines" registered electricians

Electrical governing bodies NICEIC and ELECSA will not be operating a third-party inspection scheme, amid fears that it will undermine registered electricians and result in dangerous electrical work.

Heat pump manufacturers welcome domestic RHI launch

As the domestic RHI launches today (9 April) heat pump manufacturers remain optimistic that the demand for domestic installations will increase, but stress the importance of correct specification, installation and maintenance.

RICS prompts homeowners to get defensive

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has recommended that homeowners repairing their properties following the recent floods should consider additional flood defence measures.

Industry welcomes launch of domestic RHI but warns 'only time will tell' if it is enough to encourage real renewable growth

Industry rushes to support the launch of the long awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive today, which aims to boost the uptake of renewable heating

Domestic RHI launched

The long awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is officially launching today, the Department of Energy & Climate Change has confirmed.

Community service for fraudulent plumber

A plumber has been given an unpaid community service order for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work at a home in Milton Keynes.

Bosch welcomes CHP tax exemption

The Chancellor's decision to exempt Combined Heat and Power from the "carbon floor price" as part of the 2014 Budget review has been welcomed by a leading commercial and industrial heating manufacturer.

ENA welcomes Ofgem's move to enable a smart grid

Ofgem has announced plans to change industry arrangements to better facilitate the use of advanced smart meters, which will enable network operators to save customers' money.

FPB urges government to stop changing employment law

The Forum of Private Business is proposing a shake up of regulation to support small business growth, by suggesting government should only regulate once in any one area of employment law every parliamentary term.

Gas fitters fined for unsafe gas work and deceiving customers

An unregistered gas fitter and his employee were fined after carrying out illegal gas work and leaving a gas fire in a dangerous condition.

Two year pay deal for FMB

The Building & Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council has agreed a two year pay deal following the successful conclusion of negotiations between the Federation of Master Builders and Unite the Union.

Smart Meter In-Home Displays will save Great Britain £6bn

A predicted £6 billion of savings could be made on households gas and electricity bills from the In Home Displays offered to consumers as part of the Smart Meter rollout, according to research published on 4 April.

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is only for the rich, says OFTEC

The government's £1.8 billion domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is costly, impractical and unlikely to attract mass consumer support, according to OFTEC.

Government urged to set energy efficiency standards for private rented sector

More than 30 organisations including the UK Green Building Council issued a joint statement on 3 April urging government to set a minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes.

Gas fitter fined thousands for leaving residents at risk

An illegal gas fitter and his company have been fined more than £10,000 for a series of gas safety breaches that put residents at risk.

TrustMark relaunched

TrustMark, the government-backed quality mark for reputable tradesmen, was relaunched this week by Consumer Minister Jenny Willott with new improved standards of consumer protection under a renewed master licence from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

House building still on the up despite February fall, reports NHBC

The number of new homes registered in the UK increased by 14% for the rolling quarter December to February compared to the same period last year, according to figures released on 28 March by NHBC.

HHIC asks Greg Barker to remove red tape and simplify Green Deal

The Heating & Hotwater Industry Council is calling upon the Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change Greg Barker to simplify Green Deal.

Green Deal Communities funding increased

Local Authorities across the country are to receive a share of £88 million to help deliver the government's Green Deal home energy efficiency improvement programme.

Gas Safety Trust supports research into the environmental and health impact of the use of biomass fuel

The Gas Safety Trust has awarded a grant to Cranfield University to investigate the environmental and health impact of the current trend of an increasing use of biomass fuel for the production of heat and electricity generation.

NAPIT challenges Qualified Supervisor model following woman's death

NAPIT has called for changes in building regulations after a court heard a woman was electrocuted, saying the case highlighted longstanding concerns over the Qualified Supervisor model.

Bristan offers UK plumbers social media tips

Bristan is pledging its support to plumbers to help them make the most of social media for their business.

Today's tradesmen are well qualified and happy in their work

A formal education to degree level, as well as professional qualifications, is common place among today's tradesmen according to research carried out by AXA Business Insurance.

Future of SME contractors is "threatened", says Constructionline

The rising cost of doing business, coupled with an escalating pricing war, is threatening the future of SME contractors, according to Constructionline.

Calor Gas acquires Chive Fuels

Calor Gas has expanded the Liquefied Natural Gas side of its business with the acquisition of Chive Fuels.

Over half of UK tradespeople left in the lurch by customers

Research from Direct Line for Business reveals that over half of tradespeople in the UK have attended a call out in the last 12 months only to find that the customer was not home.

Charity rebrands as Electrical Safety First

The Electrical Safety Council has rebranded as Electrical Safety First, following 18 months of research and consultation to determine how the public, industry, government and other stakeholders, viewed the organisation.

Insulation association concerned as Green Homes Cashback scheme ends

The National Insulation Association is concerned that there are currently no plans in place to extend the Green Homes Cashback scheme past 31st March, meaning consumers will lose out and jobs could be lost in the insulation industry.

NAPIT calls for installers and advisors to get behind Green Deal

In response to the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council's (HHIC) comment on the Green Deal needing installer support to survive, NAPIT has called for installers and advisors to get behind the government initiative.

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