Get to grips with new products and legislation through online courses

Plumbers' merchant Graham has seven new online courses, designed to help users become familiar with changes in the renewables market, thanks to the Greenworks Learning Gateway portal.

Fight back against unfair reviews

Reputation agency has announced it is investing £250,000 in new online services to help tradespeople fight back against 'unfair and untrue reviews' posted online about their businesses.

Be Gas Safe!

HVP is proud to support the second annual Gas Safety Week, taking place from 10 to 16 September, 2012.

Commercial RHI 'needs heat pumps'

Commercial-scale air-to-water heat pumps must be included in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) 'as soon as possible', says Daikin UK managing director Peter Verkempynck.

A 'raw deal' for rural renewables

OFTEC is warning that the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Green Deal policies will mean rural homeowners will have no incentives to go green.

Federation launches online Field Report service

The Heating Engineers & Allied Trades Federation has launched a new online Field Report service to make it easier for members to address problems they encounter in the field.

Figures show 'rapid decline' of construction industry

ONS figures on the decline of the construction industry shows the government is 'not doing enough', believes Calor Gas.

Firm receives £10,000 tax fine for name change

Small businesses are being warned to always keep the taxman informed after one firm receives a £10,000 fine after changing its name.

Changing behaviour 'crucial' to Green Deal

Changing how consumers relate to energy-efficiency messages is 'crucial' to make sure the Green Deal doesn't fail, says HHIC.

Men face jail over B&Q fraud scam

Three men who defrauded B&Q out of almost £50,000 over five years now face a custodial sentence.

Boiler sales hit 10-year low

Urgent action is needed to support the construction industry, says HHIC, as boiler sales fall to their lowest in 10 years.

APHC support attempts to tackle late payment for SMEs

Government reaffirmed its commitment to help improve cash flow for UK firms at a meeting with members of the Small Business Economic Forum (SBEF) last week.

Millions still available for social landlord projects

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) social landlords competition is being reopened, with millions of pounds still available for social landlords to fund low carbon heating into the homes of hundreds of social housing tenants.

Essex company gets sole distribution rights to Thermodynamic panel

Essex-based Ultima Solar has been given sole distribution rights in the UK for the Thermodynamic Panel.

Installer register opens today in preparation for Green Deal

The register for Green Deal Providers, Assessors and Installers opens today, in preparation for the launch of the Green Deal itself on 1 October, 2012.

Installers and contractors encouraged to shop unfair practices

APHC is calling on contractors and installers to use the Cabinet Office Mystery Shopper scheme if they come across any issues while involved in tendering for local authority contracts.

Solar company shut down by court ruling

A solar company which marketed and sold solar panel systems has been wound-up by Manchester High Court following a formal investigation.

Struggles ahead for housing industry

The UK housing industry is facing 'serious headwinds' and will not be improved without much needed finance measures according to real estate services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Consultation on changes to simplify RIDDOR launched

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a 12-week consultation on proposals to simplify and clarify the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Paisley joiner gets community service after unsafe gas installation causes explosion

A self-employed joiner was sentenced to 300 hours of community service last week, after a gas cooker he illegally installed exploded, severely injuring two people.

APHC urges government solar task force to take cautious approach

In a recent DECC blog, Minister for Energy & Climate Change Gregory Baker outlined plans to bring down the costs of solar installations for consumers.

Construction turnover in Q2 increasing but businesses remain cautious

Construction firms are reporting a marked improvement in trading performance in the second quarter of 2012, according to the latest Business Factors Index from invoice finance specialists Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

Bristan opens nominations for SHINE awards

Bristan is opening up its internal awards scheme to its customers and suppliers, who can now recognise the efforts of Bristan employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Get Ready for CE Marking

The Construction Products Directive (CPD) is being replaced by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) which means that CE marking will become mandatory in the UK. Manufacturers of solid fuel and biomass equipment will have until July 2013 to make sure their products meet the CE requirements of the new regulation.

Insulation industry report puts emphasis on customer protection

The report on the operation of the home insulation market from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been welcomed by government and the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA).

Green Deal is 'not in the public interest'

In an open letter, John Colling of MARC Group explains why he believes the Green Deal is not in the public interest.

Gas Safety Trust to help implement CO recommendations

The Gas Safety Trust has announced it will work with the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG) to implement the recommendations outlined in the recent APPGSG report.

Calor issues safety warning after oil drum death

Calor Gas has warned about the dangers of tampering with gas cylinders after an Oxfordshire man was killed trying to turn an empty oil drum into a barbecue.

BMF explains Green Deal opportunities to tradesmen

The Green Deal offers real business opportunities for tradesmen, according to the Builders' Merchants Federation (BMF), which is working with the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to promote the scheme.

New scheme launched to improve fuel oil quality

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is introducing a new Fuel Certification scheme to improve the quality of fuel oil and raise standards in the industry.

Small businesses 'shouldn't pay for health and safety inspections'

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) plans to force small businesses to pay for their own health and safety inspections have been criticised by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

New guidance released to improve domestic energy efficiency

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has released new guidance to help local authorities in England improve the energy-efficiency of their residential housing.

Construction and manufacturing insolvencies top 9,000

Over 5,000 construction companies, and over 3,500 manufacturing companies, have been declared insolvent since September 2010, reveals PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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.

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