News

Plumber who left house at risk of 'lethal' explosion gets suspended sentence

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is urging people who had work carried out by Staffordshire plumber Mark Austin to contact them, after he received a suspended sentence for leaving a house at risk of a 'lethal' explosion.

Compensation scheme for Asbestos linked cancer patients

A tariff scheme to compensate future mesothelioma victims where the liable employer or employers' liability insurer cannot be traced is being cautiously welcomed by the British Safety Council (BSC).

Solar panels still have investment value for homeowners

Solar panels will still offer very good investment returns for domestic properties despite the coming reduction in Feed-in Tariff (FiT) levels, according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).

Don't forget to nominate your favourite UK builders' and plumbers' merchant!

There are still seven weeks to make your nominations for the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence - the construction industry's only dedicated ceremony to reward builders', plumbers' and timber merchants in the UK.

New qualifications to prepare NEETs to work in construction

New qualifications from EAL will give 16 to 24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training skills to help them gain training and work in the construction industry.

B&ES president highlights industry's Olympic success

The "enormous contribution" made by the construction industry to this month's London Olympic Games has been highlighted by Sue Sharp, the incoming president of the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES).

Builder fined after causing death of elderly couple

A builder has been given community service and fined £75,000 after work he carried out caused the death of an elderly couple from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Minister calls cash-in-hand payments to the trade 'morally wrong'

A Treasury Minister has said paying tradesmen in cash in order to receive a discount for work carried out was "morally wrong".

Surrey plumber jailed for 12 months for tax evasion

A plumber from Surrey who avoided paying income tax for five years has been jailed for 12 months for tax evasion after investigators uncovered £50,000 of unpaid taxes.

Triton campaigns for thermostatic showering

Shower manufacturer Triton has launched a campaign to help raise the profile of thermostatic showering after a survey showed most homeowners are unaware of the safety benefits.

Green Energy EU launches 'alternative' to government Green Deal

Green Energy (EU) has launched an alternative to the government's Green Deal which allows households to pay for their initial solar investment in a short period of time.

APHC achieves UKAS accreditation for Green Deal

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors can now operate a Green Deal Competent Person Scheme and certify installers in preparation for the scheme's launch in October.

New website supports gas industry

Gas engineers and plumbers can now benefit from an online library of over 8,000 manuals thanks to a free industry website.

Final changes to FiT published

The future of the FiT scheme was established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) today, following consultation in February.

DECC announces non-domestic RHI consultation

Installers are being asked to weigh in on the future of the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme today, as Government launches a consultation to try and provide greater certainty to the market.

HSE issues guidance on its cost recovery scheme

Guidance for a cost recovery scheme being introduced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) outlines the risks and regulations in advance.

The demand for controlled ventilation

Steve Mongan, head of marketing at Xpelair Ventilation Solutions, discusses fixed vs demand controlled ventilation (DCV) and asks which system type is best.

APHC proves competence

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) Certification ltd. has achieved accreditation as a Competent Persons Scheme Operator.

First CoRE breakfast meeting for installers

A leading expert on energy reduction in building projects will share his expertise at the first Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE) breakfast event, on Tuesday, 24

Over a third of construction SMEs are cutting jobs, says Federation of Master Builders

Employment prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector are continuing to deteriorate, according to survey figures.

CBI welcomes UK Guarantees scheme

Chancellor George Osborne announced multiple measures to fund major infrastructure projects today, which he claims could lead to £50bn of spending in the economy.

Local authority fined for gas safety failings

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham was fined £83,600 last week for failing to arrange annual safety checks on gas appliances in tenant accommodation.

Illegal gas fitter escapes jail

A Barnsley plumber who posed as a qualified gas engineer, leaving a household in danger, was given a suspended sentence yesterday.

Restrictions and fines brought in as first Olympic Lanes open

Heathrow welcomes record numbers through its gates and Olympic lanes are opened on the M4 from Heathrow into central London.

Homeowners can now control their central heating on the go

Homeowners could save up to £140 a year on energy bills thanks to a remote heating control system launched by British Gas this week.

Rising energy prices 'a real concern'

Over half the country are very concerned about rising energy prices, with more than 80% saying they think a lot about how they can save energy in the home, according to a new survey from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

EU Directive 'could scupper Green Deal'

A European Directive that wants to end the reduced 5% VAT rate on energy-saving products could scupper the Green Deal, warns the Builders' Merchants Federation.

Baxi welcomes increased minimum boiler warranties for Green Deal

Baxi has welcomed the recent government announcement that boilers eligible for installation using Green Deal funding must have a five-year warranty.

Housing market continues to stutter

The UK housing market continued to stutter last month, as demand failed to pick up and the supply of new properties coming onto the market fell, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Housing Market survey.

Overheating in new homes is a real concern for NHBC

The NHBC Foundation has launched a new guide to help housebuilders and designers deal with the growing problem of overheating in newbuild homes.

Illegal gas fitter 'endangered lives'

An illegal gas fitter who carried out dangerous work on a gas fire in Colchester has been fined over £10,000.

Manufacturers support campaign for bio-liquids in RHI

A number of manufacturers have written to government in support of the campaign to have bio-liquids included in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

EUA appoints Carl Arntzen as this year's president

Carl Arntzen, managing director of Bosch Thermotechnology, which includes Worcester Bosch Group, has been named this year's president of the Energy & Utilities Alliance.

Half of East London building sites are 'dangerous', says HSE

Almost half of the refurbishment construction projects in and around Stamford Hill in North East London failed health and safety spot checks last week, according to the Health & Safety Executive.

MCS consultation on competence criteria

The recently formed Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) working group have formulated guidance consultation documents to help provide clarity for installation companies.

New Competent Person scheme to help with health and safety

The National House-Building Council (NHBC) has launched a health and safety Competent Person scheme to help builders and tradesmen access health and safety advice and comply with government legislation.

Workplace death statistics must be more detailed, says PASMA

Workplace fatality figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) need to be "more detailed" as the reduction in the number of deaths stalls, according to PASMA and the British Safety Council.

European funding secures energy upgrades for 60,000 Birmingham homes

New funding worth £1.3 million has been secured to help Birmingham City Council establish the next phase of a programme to equip 60,000 city homes with energy-saving measures such as new boilers, improved insulation and solar panels.

Drivers navigate the Games with help from Transport for London

Team GB archer and former "white van man", Simon Terry, urges businesses not to get caught out and to plan their road journeys ahead of the Games.

Government to increase planning application fees by 15%

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has responded to the government's announcement that it will increase fees on planning applications by 15%, saying it could increase the "strain" on businesses.

SkillPIPE names winner of UK pipe competition semi-final

Patrick O'Leary has been named winner of the second UK-wide semi-final SkillPIPE competition heat to find the country's best pipefitter.

Industry 'extremely concerned' over Q2 slowdown in sales

The Construction Products Association's latest State of Trade Survey indicates that, following a relatively good first quarter of the year, product manufacturers suffered from a slowdown in sales in Q2 and are extremely concerned about demand going forward.

Residential construction sees increase

Private house construction starts have increased 40% this year to date compared with 2011, according to construction analyst Glenigan.

Industry salaries exposed by new TV programme

Employees at Pimlico Plumbers are being asked to reveal their salaries to the nation as they take part in a new documentary on Channel 4.

Plumber cleared of manslaughter

A plumber accused of causing the death of a woman through accidental carbon monoxide poisoning was found not guilty at the Old Bailey last week.

More pupils should be encouraged into industry careers, according to employers

Less than one in five employers believe school pupils are encouraged to take up a career in industry, new survey findings have revealed.

Viessmann supports DEFRA's proposal to introduce RHI emissions levels for biomass boilers and is in favour of even stricter proposed EU levels.

Nigel Jefferson, sales director for commercial and renewable products at Viessmann, responds to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) update on RHI biomass emissions levels.

Industry called to work together

Plumbers are being called to adopt a collective approach to the many challenges facing plumbing and heating businesses.

Current demand for boiler operator training is unprecedented, says Spirax Sarco

Spirax Sarco is adding more training courses to its schedule to meet record demand for boiler operator training.

Gas engineer has been arrested after explosion kills toddler

A 32-year-old gas engineer has been arrested by police in London after a gas explosion in Manchester destroyed several homes and killed two-year-old Jamie Heaton.

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