News

Calor to take legal action against cylinder tampering

Calor Gas has given notice that it will take legal action against those who post advice online as to how to tamper with its gas cylinders in order to make wood burners.

Are you entitled to a work uniform tax rebate?

Staff in the construction industry who have to wear a uniform to work could be entitled to claim for a special tax rebate worth £60 a year, according to workwear specialists Alexandra.

Charity renews calls for legislation to protect installers from carbon monoxide

A leading charity is calling for new legislation to make it compulsory for gas installers to be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms and flue gas analysers, as figures show poisoning by the toxic gas has reached 622.

Grants now available for low-carbon commercial vehicles

The government has named seven ultra-low carbon vans that will qualify for a discount of up to £8,000 as part of the Plug-In Van Grant incentive to stimulate the market for ultra-low carbon commercial vehicles.

OFGEM tells electricity suppliers to cut prices or face fuel bill cap

Fuel bills could be slashed after energy watchdog Ofgem told Britain's six largest suppliers to overhaul their tariffs or face a mandatory cap.

Travis Perkins reports pre-tax profits up 37%

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins has reported a 37% jump in pre-tax profits and a 52% surge in turnover last year, despite a depressed construction market, in part thanks to its purchase of BSS.

Welsh school closes after thieves target copper heating system

A Welsh school has been forced to close after thieves broke in overnight and stole copper pipes from its heating system.

HVCA confirms BESNA is 'finished'

HVCA has withdrawn its proposals for the new BESNA M&E contract reforms days after Balfour Beatty withdrew from the reforms.

Government appeals FITs decision

Solar campaigners are disappointed that new energy secretary Ed Davey has decided to appeal to the Supreme Court over the Court of Appeal's decision on Feed-in Tariffs.

Government training scheme launched with mixed response

Pimlico Plumbers' founder, Charlie Mullins, has criticised the government's new £126m training scheme for young people. It would make more sense to give the money to employers directly so that young people could earn while they learn, he says.

BESNA deal 'dead and buried'

The BESNA deal is "finished" after M&E contractors decided to follow Balfour Beatty's lead and abandon the reforms.

Construction safety clampdown in Cumbria

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is targeting small sites in Cumbria as part of a drive to cut the number of work-related deaths.

BEAMA believes government 'remains committed' to renewable heat

The plans for a domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) over the next year have taken a giant leap forward, according to BEAMA's marketing director, Kelly Butler.

Wise up to the dangers of carbon monoxide

Plumb Center and Parts Center have launched 'Wise Up to CO', a new initiative to raise awareness about the fatal effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Balfour Beatty backs down on BESNA contracts

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services is to delay plans to introduce new BESNA contracts for its employees after threatened strike action.

Subcontractors hit by big companies and late payment

Major contractors muscling-in on smaller contracts are proving to be a major headache for small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector, according to a new report.

Tesco is looking for Gas Safe registered engineers

Tesco is opening up its installer network to a wider list of approved Gas Safe engineers, following the launch of the Tesco Home Efficiency Service - a new gas boiler replacement and heating installation service.

Calor issues safety warning over LPG cylinder 'tampering'

A safety alert has been issued by Calor Gas warning people of the dangers of attempting to construct wood burners from liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

Dimplex dismisses rumours that DECC is to cut heat pump subsidies

Dimplex has dismissed rumours that DECC is planning to rein in subsidies for heat pumps as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, to avoid running into the type of financial troubles that have hit the Feed in Tariff.

Pensioner scalded by faulty shower in respite home

A pensioner has been awarded compensation and the Isle of Wight Council fined after he was scalded by a faulty shower in a respite home.

Nearly 90% of workers now signed-up to BESNA

Nearly 90% of construction workers have now signed-up to the new BESNA agreement, despite continuing strike action by union Unite.

Jewson offers to sell 22 branches amid competition concerns

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is considering an offer by Jewson to sell a branch in each of 22 local areas to remedy competition concerns raised by its completed acquisition of Build Center.

Latest construction figures suggest a "bleak outlook" for 2012

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) see little sign of recovery in the construction sector.

HMRC turns the spotlight on home improvements

HM Revenue & Customs is expanding its current tax campaign on plumbers to the wider home improvement market in an attempt to recover undeclared taxes.

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FiT proposals could spell 'Armageddon' for industry

Yesterday's Feed-in Tariff proposals from the government could spell "Armageddon" for the industry, according to renewable energy company Eco Environments.

Fine for explosion risk plumber

An unregistered gas engineer has been fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £800 costs for risking an explosion at a Cheltenham home.

Improvements made to FiT scheme

The government has today announced plans to ensure the future of the Feed-in Tariff scheme to make it more predictable. Transparency, longevity and certainty are at the heart of the "new improved scheme".

Davey puts energy saving at heart of strategy

A new offensive on cutting energy waste has been launched by the newly-appointed Energy & Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey.

Construction industry endorses procurement report

The specialist engineering sector in Scotland has fully endorsed the findings in the report on public sector procurement published by The Jimmy Reid Foundation.

YouTube makes TV star of plumber

Plumber James Lawrence has become a TV personality after a production company picked up his plumbing videos on YouTube for Channel 4's SuperScrimpers.

New director for BSS

Travis Perkins has promoted Andy Raine to commercial director of BSS Industrial as part of a management restructure.

Plumber fights repossession after losing bank credit

Andrew Liberadzki is fighting to hold on to his home after his bank refused to extend the overdraft on his plumbing business and he was forced to fold.

Waiting game for young plumber

Aspiring plumber Michael Driver is struggling to get his foot on to the employment ladder 18 months after leaving college.

Plumber probed by trading standards watchdog

A plumbing firm exposed by Bedfordshire on Sunday newspaper for its excessive call-out charges is under investigation by council trading standards officers.

Steps can be taken to avoid pseudomonas, says B&V Water

The recent outbreak of pseudomonas in Belfast with tragic consequences for three newborn babies and their families has put a previously low-profile pathogen into the spotlight.

Sewer transfer blamed for water bill hike

The rise in water bills is linked to the transfer of sewers to water company ownership, according to chief executive of Drain Claim David Hayes.

Chris Huhne resigns

Chris Huhne has resigned from his post as the energy secretary following being charged with perverting the course of justice.

Union ups campaign over contractor pay rates

Unite is reporting seven large contractors to the Office of Fair Trading, claiming the companies are "acting in an anti-competitive way to drive down the pay and conditions of their workforces".

Banks failing small business over apprenticeships

Training charity JTL has hit out at British banks for blocking businesses from providing employment opportunities for young people.

Jail for plumber's illegal gas work

A plumber has been sentenced to six months in prison for gas safety infringements.

Scrap metal laws tightening to tackle theft

The government is to take action to curb metal theft. Cash payments for scrap metal are to be outlawed and fines "significantly increased".

Bleak long-term prospects for solar

The limited funds available to stimulate the renewables industry will last longer as a result of the government's decision to take its appeal to the Supreme Court, according to an industry insider.

More fury over Bedford plumbers' call-out charges

A plumbing company exposed by a local newspaper and featured on BBC's Watchdog has come under attack again over a £500-an-hour bill.

Factory-fit plumbing

The trend towards pre-plumbed factory made units instead of on-site installation continues. The latest example is Caledonian Bathroom Pods installed in the Apart-Hotel.

Auto-enrolment pensions postponed for SMEs

The government's auto-enrolment pension scheme has been pushed back for small to medium businesses by up to five years following a revised timetable.

Government to take FiTs battle to Supreme Court

The government is to take its legal battle over its plans to slash the Feed-in-Tariff rate to the Supreme Court after losing its appeal.

Aberdeen plumber receives Freedom of London

Allan McIntosh has joined the ranks of celebrities such as Terry Wogan, Annie Lennox and Judi Dench after receiving a top honour.

President explains HVCA rebranding

The decision to re-brand the HVCA from March as the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) was not taken lightly, according to the association's president Bob Shelley.

Solar industry split over legal challenge to Feed-in Tariff

The solar industry is divided on whether the current legal battle over government plans to cut solar tariffs is worth the uncertainty it is causing.

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