News

Gas safety 'has improved' since the introduction of Gas Safe Register

New figures show that gas safety has improved since the launch of Gas Safe Register, with courts handing out £500,000 worth of fines to 'cowboy' gas fitters.

Green Deal providers step forward

Some 22 organisations, including merchants and utility companies, have signed up to be among the first Green Deal providers in October.

Construction workers could be owed '£180 million' in unclaimed tax

£180 million of annual tax refunds could be going unclaimed by workers in the UK construction industry, according to figures released today.

UK plc needs 450,000 skilled technicians by 2020, employers review reveals

An 18-month review has revealed an alarming skills gap between the number of technicians in the UK and the 450,000 higher skilled jobs needed by 2020 to boost growth in the economy and ensure the UK remains competitive.

Government delays domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

The government has announced it will delay the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, but extend the current RHPP scheme.

HHIC recommends CO alarms be fitted in homes wherever a heating appliance is installed

The Heating & Hot Water Industry Council has recommended to government that Building Regulations be changed to require a CO alarm be fitted with every heating appliance installation.

Government loses right to appeal against solar PV tariff case

The Supreme Court last week rejected government attempts to appeal against the outcome of January's solar feed-in tariff (FiT) court case.

The government has announced new legislation affecting direct-fired gas water heaters

New changes to Part L will 'eliminate' non-condensing direct-fired gas water heaters, according to manufacturer Rinnai.

Plumber jailed for tax fraud

A plumber from the West Midlands has been jailed for committing £91,000-worth of tax fraud.

Court's ruling on insurer liability in asbestos cases welcomed

The British Safety Council has welcomed a Supreme Court ruling that employer insurance companies are liable in asbestos cases.

BSI has released a new standard to support Green Deal installations

BSI has launched new standard PAS 2030, to support the government's Green Deal initiative and enable households and commercial properties to improve their energy efficiency.

Research reveals extent of Building Control compliance

Research presented to the Building Regulations minister shows that the majority of contractors support inspection by Building Control officers across England and Wales.

Contractors embrace renewables to boost business

New research from Puragen reveals that the majority of contractors are embracing the renewables revolution in an attempt to future-proof their business.

Only 1 in 10 homes benefit from loft insulation

With the government hoping the Green Deal will see millions more homes become fully insulated, research has been published suggesting only 1 in 10 UK homes is actually fully benefitting from loft insulation.

Theft of copper pipe destroys home in explosion

A Cambridgeshire home in the middle of being renovated was completely destroyed last week after thieves stole part of the heating system, subsequently causing an explosion.

Plumbing company goes electric with new emission-free car

Plumbing company Status Heating, based in Birmingham, has gone electric by choosing an all-electric city car as part of its fleet.

Police investigate heating oil scams

Police forces are investigating a scam involving heating oil fraud, where customers are duped into purchasing oil from websites that never arrives.

APHC welcomes City & Guilds Bursary Announcement

APHC has pledged its support of the City & Guilds bursary for learners who wish to study for City & Guilds Plumbing qualifications.

New rules shake up competent person schemes

New rules introduced by the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) will shake up the way that all competent persons schemes operate, according to OFTEC.

Skills showcased in awards ceremony

The Lord Mayor of the City of London presented Master, Journeyman and Apprentice Certificates to a total of 22 recipients at the Plaisterers' Hall last month, including Mark Hemingway from West Yorkshire.

CE marking in fire resistant ductwork market becomes compulsory

A European directive marks a significant change to the fire resistant ductwork market as the implementation of CE marking within the industry becomes compulsory.

StreetwiseSubbie take its LinkedIn group on the road.

Sub-contractors can look forward to a personal boost as StreetwiseSubbie take its LinkedIn group on the road.

Plumbers tap pawnbroker for funds

Small businesses, including plumbers and other tradesman, are turning to pawnbrokers for financial support as traditional sources of credit dry up.

Kier seeks subcontractors in Yorkshire

Kier is holding a 'Meet the Buyer' event in North Yorkshire next week to find new trade contractors and workers for its £6.4 million housing maintenance contract with Richmondshire District Council.

Households in fuel poverty more than triples in seven years

An estimated 4 million households in England are in fuel poverty, compared to 1.2 million in 2004, an independent report published today has shown.

Heating engineer jailed for duping customers

A heating engineer who duped customers into believing he had official gas safety qualifications has been jailed for 21 months.

One in five illegal gas jobs are immediately dangerous

One in five of the illegal gas jobs Gas Safe Register investigate are deemed immediately dangerous.

Mass arrests made in construction fraud investigation

Investigations into a suspected £15 million money laundering and fraud organisation in London and Northern Ireland led to the arrests of 13 men and one woman this week.

BMA and B&Q 'team up' to help customers save water

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced their plans for a new collaborative piece of industry research.

Bathrooms being made in Britain

Rising fuel and shipping costs, and rapidly rising labour rates, are encouraging British companies to move their manufacturing facilities back to the UK.

Scottish First Minister adds support to World Plumbing Day

Plumbers all over the world used last Sunday to celebrate World Plumbing Day, with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond adding his support to the event.

BSS encourages skills with apprenticeship scheme

BSS Industrial has joined the apprenticeship scheme run by its parent company, Travis Perkins.

Plumbing industry has a 'duty to the nation'

Pamela Taylor OBE, chief executive of Water UK, spoke about the importance of plumbing to public health at a speech to the CIPHE.

New grant available for apprentice employers

JTL, a training charity for the building services engineering sector, is urging firms to take advantage of a new grant worth £1,500 to take on an apprentice.

Government announces £3.5 million funding for Green Deal training

The government has announced £3.5 million in funding to help train hundreds of people in key green skills ahead of the launch of the Green Deal.

Installers urged to give feedback on Building Regulation changes

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is urging all installers to ensure they give feedback on the changes being proposed in the current Building Regulations consultation, many of which will have a dramatic impact on installers' businesses.

Bristol plumber found guilty of manslaughter after 'botched' flue installation

Bristol plumber Andrew Hartley has been found guilty of manslaughter after a 'botched' flue installation which led to the death of Zoë Anderson from carbon monoxide poisoning.

BPEC marks World Plumbing Day with a new DVD

With World Plumbing Day approaching this Sunday 11 March, BPEC has released a new DVD to promote the importance of plumbing to public health and the environment.

Scottish commercial construction orders fall by a third

The construction industry is urging the Scottish government to 'do everything it possibly can' to help unlock the commercial industry's potential for economic growth, as data reveals new orders for commercial development and repair work have fallen by a third since 2007.

Support grows for single industry competency scheme

A number of industry organisations, including Worcester Bosch Group, have pledged their support for APHC's proposals for a voluntary industry-led single competency scheme.

Inclusively-designed products are 'crucial' to the future of UK businesses

Almost three-quarters of adults believe products should be designed with older people in mind, according to a charity survey.

IDHEE Conference moves to Loughborough

The annual Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers (IDHEE) Conference will be held at Loughborough University on Wednesday 23 May.

Wood-burning stove caused devastating fire at builders' merchants

A fire that destroyed a builders' merchants in Wolverhampton may have been caused by a woodburning stove, said fire crews.

Apprenticeships are 'facing an identity crisis', says FPB

The Forum of Private Business has warned that apprenticeships are facing an identity crisis, with business owners concerned that shorter schemes do not provide the same value as longer courses.

Government announces consultation on Building Regulation changes

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched a consultation on changes to English Building Regulations that will come into effect in 2013 or, in some cases, late 2012.

Somerset plumber appeals for apprentice work

Apprentice plumber Polly Case is appealing for work as an apprentice in Somerset.

UK companies 'could save £400 million' by using efficient boilers

UK organisations could save over £400 million a year by taking simple, low-cost actions to improve the efficiency of their hot water boilers, according to new guidance published today by the Carbon Trust.

Go with the flow 'to prevent drought'

Two manufacturers are calling on installers to be more aware of water saving issues and the benefits of flow regulators, after the news that Britain is facing a widespread drought this summer.

Gas fitter charged over Manchester explosion

A gas fitter is to be prosecuted by the HSE after a gas explosion that damaged hundreds of houses and injured 15 people.

Plumbers must 'get to know' their thermostatic mixing valves

Installers are being urged to 'get to know' their thermostatic mixing valves after a survey of more than 200 plumbers revealed that only 17% knew the difference between the TMV2 and TMV3 scheme.

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