News

Construction sector blamed for double-dip recession

The struggling construction sector is being partly blamed for putting the UK economy back into recession, after the Q1 2012 GDP figures were released last week.

Renewable energy sector supports 110,000 jobs, according to new report

A new report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Innovas has revealed that the UK's £12.5 billion renewables industry already supports 110,000 jobs across the supply chain, and could support 400,000 by 2020.

Heating engineers launch new federation for the trade

A new trade organisation - the Heating Engineers & Allied Trades Federation (HEATFED) has been launched, which its founder said will help the '"views and feelings of rank and file heating engineers to be heard".

Deputy PM announces more energy efficiency help for poorest in society

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that £540 million of the government's home energy-efficiency programme will be targeted specifically to help the poorest people in society.

Sales of building materials reflect disappointing national construction figures

The latest sales indicators from the Builders' Merchants Federation show that national sales of building materials rose by just 0.6% during the three months from December 2011 to February 2012.

Australia and New Zealand launch migration drive

Australia and New Zealand are conducting one of their biggest migration drives in years to attract skilled tradespeople to emigrate.

Employers concerned over 'bad reputation' of apprenticeships

EAL has backed government moves to tackle poor quality apprenticeships, after an independent survey revealed that 57% of industry employers are concerned about damage to the reputation of apprenticeship programmes.

NAPIT to host free green energy seminar

NAPIT is hosting a free seminar on green energy, with attendees able to access discounts and cashback vouchers worth £190.

Plumber escapes jail for overcharging pensioner

A plumber in Kidderminster has been given a supervision order after being found guilty of overcharging a pensioner for work in his bathroom.

Plumbing for Charity in Central Asia

A group of London plumbers will be volunteering with international housing charity, Habitat for Humanity in Asia this summer.

Plumber takes pride in new, simple to use drain valve

A plumber from Essex has created a new drain cock to rival existing market models.

Britain's plumbers are failing to overcome negative stereotypes, according to a survey

Reliable, qualified plumbers will have to work to change customer perceptions according to a survey carried out on behalf of plumbing services company, In-Home 24.

Bristol gas engineer sentenced to three years for manslaughter after accidental carbon monoxide poisoning

A Bristol heating engineer was jailed for manslaughter yesterday, following the tragic death of a young graduate from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Government prepares to scrap Building Reg changes

Media reports cast doubt over the future of the Green Deal as the government prepares to scrap its plans to implement mandatory Consequential Improvements.

Trustmark welcomes new role for Citizens Advice

Trustmark, the government-endorsed quality mark for professional tradesmen, has welcomed news that the Citizens Advice Bureaux is being given an enlarged role under proposals designed to simplify consumer protection for the public.

New regulations address asbestos concerns

New asbestos regulations came into force this month that could affect thousands of companies and tradespeople across the UK.

Wigan landlord sentenced for falsifying gas safety certificate

A landlord in Wigan has received a 150-hour community service order for falsifying the dates on an annual gas safety check certificate to pretend that it was still valid.

New Greenflame wood pellet boilers join the biomass market

Keen to extend its line of renewable heating products Trianco has launched a range of biomass wood pellet boilers

Worcester's first golden ticket found by Devon installer

A lucky installer from Devon is the first to have discovered a golden ticket as part of Worcester, Bosch Group's nationwide competition, which kicked off the UK boiler manufacturer's 50th anniversary celebrations.

Deputy prime minister unveils more help for fuel poor

At least £540 million of the government's home energy efficiency programme will be targeted at helping the poorest, announced Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg this week.

Zero carbon agenda leaves occupants in the shade says industry

The zero carbon agenda has cast a shadow on issues of occupant health and wellbeing, according to a VELUX industry survey

REHAU reminds specifiers and contractors of WRAS obligations

Manufacturer REHAU is reminding specifiers of pre-insulated pipework that there is a legal requirement for all pipework which is connected directly to the public mains water supply to comply with Water Supply Regulations (WRAS) or Scottish Byelaws.

Water companies urged to employ plumbers to fix leaks

Lewes MP Norman Baker has urged two water companies to use local plumbing businesses to cut water leakage from households' dripping taps.

JTL shocked by Panorama revelations on bad practice in apprenticeship provision

JTL, training provider to the building services engineering sectors, expressed its shock and disappointment at last week's Panorama programme which focused on bad practice in apprenticeship provision.

Building Regulation change could 'backfire', claims HHIC

Government plans to force households to undertake a home survey and spend thousands on energy-efficiency could 'seriously backfire', warns the Heating & Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC).

March data marks strong growth of new orders in construction sector

The strong growth of new orders supporting the rise in construction sector activity could be attributed to the good weather in March, according to a Markit economist.

Traffic warden tickets plumber fixing gas leak

A self-employed plumber who rushed to attend to an emergency gas leak in Wellingborough was fined for parking without a permit last week.

Installers are key to increase RHI heat pump take up, says Stiebel Eltron UK

Heat pump manufacturer Stiebel Eltron UK says installers are the key to increasing the take up of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

CO detectors could be fitted in all homes

A new Government report announced last week is calling for carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted in all homes by law.

Green Deal finance 'could benefit a million UK homes'

Around 1 million homes in England and Wales could benefit from solid wall insulation under the Green Deal, cutting heating costs by 40%, according to a new study from insulation provider Jablite.

Plumbing firms fined over £5,000 for trading standards breaches

Two plumbing firms advertising themselves as local in areas such as Rickmansworth, while actually based in Southampton, were fined by Watford Magistrates's Court on 1 April.

Growing carbon monoxide awareness is 'helping to prevent serious injury'

New figures released by the Gas Safety Trust, the UK's consumer fuel safety charity, suggests that a greater proportion of carbon monoxide incidents are now being identified before serious injury takes place.

Prosecution calls attention to the need for adequate ductwork

The successful prosecution of a London hotel and its manager after a fire has called attention to the need for facilities managers and risk assessors to ensure adequate safety measures are installed in these types of premises.

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.

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