News

Energy-saving measures boost house prices

Making energy-saving improvements to your property could increase its value by 14% on average, and up to 38% in some parts of England, according to new research released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

NIA welcomes Scottish government funding

The National Insulation Association (NIA) has welcomed the news that the Scottish government will be providing almost £50 million of funding to help make homes cheaper to heat.

SELECT welcomes government initiatives on Public Procurement Reform

SELECT, the trade body for Scotland's electrotechnical industry, has welcomed the positive tone of the recent debate on the Public Procurement Reform bill.

CORGI addresses the 'silent killer'

'Improving gas safety in social housing' was the topic at the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group seminar this week (12 June), with CORGI Technical Services and the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) highlighting the importance of raising standards, sharing best practice and moving forward.

Free app boosts homeowner and tradesman relationship

TrustMark, the government-endorsed quality mark to help people find reputable tradesmen, is calling on homeowners and tradesmen to have an open conversation at the start of every job to ensure a successful working relationship.

Court for illegal Norfolk gas fitter

A Norfolk plumber has appeared in court for illegally carrying out gas work for a landlord in Norwich.

Employers invited to help shape future skills

Employers, employer bodies and other organisations are being invited to inform the work that SummitSkills is carrying out over the coming months, which will shape the skills and competencies of those working in the building services engineering (BSE) sector.

Ventilation and temperature affects student results

The performance of school children in the classroom is negatively affected by poor ventilation and temperature control, according to a recent wide-ranging study.

Plumb Center and Parts Center release apps for Android

Plumb Center and Parts Center have released apps for Android phones, putting a range of features at customers' fingertips.

Written contracts protect consumers best, says FMB

A written contract for building work is the best option for consumers wanting to protect themselves against unscrupulous tradesmen, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to the Draft Consumer Rights Bill.

Scotland declares new CO regulations

Scotland recently announced new Building Regulations on carbon monoxide (CO), which not only raises awareness of the deadly gas but also creates an opportunity for installers to demonstrate their duty of care.

Fully funded Green Deal training available to installers

Installers are being offered a Green Deal and ECO training and support package, fully funded by government grant, from EU Skills Network and QMSA.

FAS acquires Ashvale

Fire and Air Services Group (FAS) has successfully acquired Ashvale Fire Services.

House sales highest since 2010

The amount of homes sold in the UK over the past three months reached its highest level since January 2010 as buyers across the country began to return to the market, says the latest RICS residential market survey (11 June 2013).

OFTEC promotes workmanship warranty

Installers need to offer a workmanship warranty for the protection of consumers, according to the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC).

Glenigan monthly league tables: Top 50 Contractors and Clients

Glenigan league tables are produced from comprehensive UK construction activity data.

Illegal gas work leads to court for Swindon builder

A self-employed builder from Swindon has been fined for carrying out unsafe work on a boiler that exposed an elderly resident to risk.

Less than 200 homes signed up for Green Deal

Fewer than 200 homes have signed up for the government's flagship Green Deal scheme, according to the BBC and national newspapers.

Intuit Pay now available on Android

Intuit Pay, which launched on iOS in March, is now also available on Android.

Plumbing tutor honoured at Lion Awards

Learners, teachers and experts from the education industry came together this week to honour the achievements of one the most exceptional vocational tutors at City & Guilds' Lion Awards.

Quinn Radiators delighted with EC ruling defeat

Radiators with high output and low water content are the perfect emitters for low-temperature systems, according to Quinn Radiators' managing director Nick Whitwell, who recently welcomed the defeat of a European proposal to label radiators as unsuitable for use with heat pumps.

British Gas apprenticeships are "great news" says GMB

Two hundred new British Gas apprenticeships were announced yesterday (6 June) at the GMB Congress in Plymouth.

Customers sceptical about renewables

There is a lack of awareness and reluctance among consumers to switch to renewable heating technologies, according to new research conducted by Ipsos MORI and the Energy Savings Trust.

UK construction output returns to growth in May

May showed a rebound in output levels and intake of new work across the UK construction sector, according to data from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).

Plumber sentenced following gas explosion

A Lincolnshire plumber has been prosecuted for carrying out illegal gas work after a couple suffered severe burns in a major explosion at their home.

Ideal Standard hosts Beautiful Use of Space

Bathroom solutions specialist Ideal Standard is hosting a two-week-long event at the Bath Room - its resource centre in Clerkenwell, London - to unveil its latest product innovations.

HETAS offers reduced membership with Prompt Payer

HETAS has agreed a deal with business register Prompt Payer, whereby registered installers can sign up for premium membership at the reduced price of £35 + VAT.

Lockwoods Construction wins NFB Award

A family-owned construction company that has been based in Liverpool for more than 40 years has won the Refurbishment of the Year award from the National Federation of Builders (NFB).

MPs welcome Parliamentary debate on CO safety measures

Parliament debated an amendment to the government's Energy Bill yesterday (Tuesday 4 June) that will, if passed, dramatically increase carbon monoxide (CO) safety in homes across the UK.

How accepting card payments can help SMEs

Payleven has introduced one of the first mobile Chip & PIN devices, which converts a phone or tablet into a fully mobile debit & credit card Chip & PIN solution, with the same stringent security standards as a traditional card terminal, at a fraction of the cost.

Ceram releases CE marking video

International materials technology company Ceram has released a video which discusses how it can test products to the relevant standards and help guide manufacturers through the process of CE-marking their construction products.

New qualifications for aspiring plumbers and electricians

City & Guilds will be launching two new Level 1 qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework on 2 September 2013.

The UK's most famous plumber

Rob Nash could soon be the most recognised plumbing and heating engineer in the UK after being chosen for a new advertising campaign.

Green Deal door-to-door warning

Haringey Council has warned local residents to be vigilant about salesmen offering Green Deal assessments.

Trust in tradesmen still a consumer concern

The building and landscaping industry is still battling against consumer concerns about rogue tradesmen, according to a recent survey by Bradstone Assured.

StreetwiseSubbie conference urges Cameron to rescue industry

David Cameron stated that he was "very aware of the pressures faced by subcontractors in the construction sector" in his recent letter to the National Specialist Contractors' Council (NSCC), and that "the construction supply chain should not have to wait for lengthy periods to be paid for work they have already completed".

Apprenticeship figures "spectacular", says Mullins

The latest figures on apprenticeships are "spectacular news" according to Charlie Mullins, boss of Pimlico Plumbers.

Green Deal provider in administration

Green Deal provider Enact Energy Renewables has gone into administration.

New tariffs for non-domestic RHI

Office blocks, factories and community centres could be among a number of buildings across Great Britain to benefit from more cash for renewable heat under proposals recently set out by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

CIBSE stresses importance of reducing energy demand

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) recently announced that it has tabled amendments to the Energy Bill which may have a significant impact for the non-domestic building sector, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has said.

Solar PV firm fined for skylight fall

A Midlands firm specialising in the installation of solar panels has been fined for safety failings after a worker sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell through a skylight at a warehouse in Blundell Street, Islington.

Plumbers feeling positive for 2013

Plumbers expect to see improved business prospects in 2013, with the majority (90%) expecting their business to grow by up to 15% this year, according to research conducted by business software and services provider Sage UK.

Online apprenticeship applications and vacancies set new records

Almost 370,000 apprenticeship applications were submitted online between February and April 2013 (Academic Year Q3 2012/13), according to new figures released today (31 May) by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). This represents growth of over 32% when compared to the same period last year.

New code curbs "unnecessary" council safety checks

Local authorities have been banned from unnecessary health and safety inspections under a new code, which came into effect yesterday (29 May 2013).

Illegal boiler installation puts care-home residents at risk

A Dumfries & Galloway care-home provider has been fined for allowing unqualified handymen to illegally install two gas boilers at the premises in Sanquhar.

EC symbol ruling "victory"

The defeat of a European proposal to label radiators as unsuitable for use with heat pumps is a major victory for the industry, according to the Manufacturers' Association of Radiators & Convectors (MARC).

TrustMark expands further into the retail sector

Retail installation company Tradesmen Solutions has recently been approved as a new scheme operator to help provide firms to the government-endorsed TrustMark quality mark, which helps consumers find reliable and trustworthy local tradesmen.

CIPHE raises alarm on faulty specifications

Residents on a Coventry newbuild housing estate have been shocked by their £1,200-per-quarter electricity bills, after the air source heat pumps providing heat and hot water in their homes were incorrectly specified.

Construction SMEs enjoy "highest-performing Q1 since 2008"

SMEs in the construction sector have experienced their highest-performing Q1 since 2008, according to the latest Business Factors Index (BFI) from Bibby Financial Services.

BEAMA champions healthy living with new Green Deal IAQ guidance

BEAMA has published a guidance document challenging all Green Deal Providers to specify continuous ventilation with insulation packages.