Green Deal trials begin across the UK

Businesses such as Homebase and B&Q will soon begin home insulation trials to gauge the likely consumer takeup of the Green Deal.

Chemical water treatment gets official EST backing

The domestic heating chemical water treatment industry has achieved a real boost to its energy-efficiency credentials with the announcement that the Energy Saving Trust will endorse chemical inhibitors from Autumn 2011.

Homeowners 'improve rather than move'

Increasing numbers of homeowners are deciding to improve rather than move home, according to new research from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which could provide new opportunities for tradesmen.

Ed Miliband weighs into solar feed-in tariff fight

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for the government to rethink its plans to reduce the tariffs available for solar panels.

More focus should be on SMEs for microgeneration

Mick Williams of plumbers' merchant Williams & Co is urging government to recognise the role of small business for microgeneration.

Salford houses from 1970s 'still beat current energy-efficiency standards'

A study carried out by the University of Salford has suggested that a 30-year-old low-energy house design project in Manchester is still far more efficient than typical houses built to comply with current building regulations.

London Welsh RFC rugby club needs you!

The London Welsh RFC Rugby Club is looking to its membership for a qualified plumber to carry out a survey on the club's showers.

The end of the cheque guarantee card

The Cheque Guarantee Card scheme ceases today, 41 years after it was first introduced. Cheques with a guarantee number on the back will no longer be covered by the banks if the customer's account lacks the money to cover the cost.

Workplace fatal injuries 'up significantly'

The numbers of workers killed on construction sites increased last year for the first time in four years.

Northern Ireland's Apprentice of the Year is...

A young Co Antrim man has been awarded the inaugural Plumbing & Mechanical Services Apprentice of the Year 2011 title at a ceremony at Belfast City Hall.

Scottish quality scheme launched for green energy installers

Scots planning to install green energy technology in their home or office can now make sure they choose a properly qualified local installer, thanks to a new body launched this week by Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

Footballer opts to finish plumbing course

Former Aberdeen youth football player Rory McAllister has joined a part-time club so that he can finish his plumbing courses before continuing his sporting career.

Home maintenance spending falls

Spending on home maintenance provided by tradespeople fell by 3% last year to £6.7 billion from £6.9 billion in 2009 says a report by Lloyds TSB.

Investigation into selling solar PV welcomed

The microgeneration industry has welcomed the findings of a Which? investigation into the selling of solar electricity systems.

Insurers get tough on ductwork fire hazards

The HVCA warns that poorly-maintained kitchen extraction ductwork is a huge fire risk, as insurance companies are refusing to pay up if a fire is traced back to incorrectly-fitted ductwork.

Accidental death verdict after electrocution

A heating engineer who was electrocuted while carrying out routine work was "very experienced" and "extremely conscientious", an inquest has heard.

'Legislation needed' to tackle metal theft

The energy networks are calling on MPs to bring in legislation to tackle an increase in the 'dangerous crime' of metal theft.

Last chance for MPs to force a rethink on feed-in tariffs

A House of Commons committee of MPs is due to meet today to decide if the government's controversial cuts to feed-in tariffs (FiT) warrant further debate in the House of Commons before going ahead.

Help educate consumers about the dangers of hot water

CIPHE is calling for plumbers to educate their customers after baby dies from hot water burns after climbing into a bath.

Gain third-party endorsement to reassure customers

Plumbers should consider third-party endorsement on websites to reassure customers concerned about getting ripped off by rogue tradesmen.

Protect the domestic Feed-in Tariffs

Plumb Center is urging the government to protect Feed-in Tariffs, which give homeowners cash incentives to choose renewable solutions to their energy needs.

Women make it a first for Walsall Housing Group

Karina Patel and Rachel Toor have become the first women to complete a plumbing apprenticeship at Walsall Housing Group's Skills Centre.

Green Deal excludes merchants

The Builders' Merchants Federation has expressed concerns that the Green Deal relies too much on corporate businesses that will dominate the marketplace.

Staff business mileage claims must be verified

The HMRC is cracking down on companies in an effort to claw back unpaid taxes due on fraudulent mileage claims.

Prosecution for false gas registration

David Jackson has been prosecuted by the HSE for carrying out gas work at an elderly widow's home without being registered.

HMRC opens criminal cases over tax evasion

HM Revenue & Customs has launched 16 criminal investigations following the closure of its recent tax amnesties.

Heating engineer jailed for tax fraud

A Dublin plumbing and heating owner who defrauded the Irish Revenue of over €44,000 in VAT has been jailed.

Fined for flytipping

A plumber has been ordered to pay £655 in fines and costs after being prosecuted for flytipping bathroom scrap.

Plumber facing manslaugher for CO poisoning

Plumber Paul Williamson and Malden Plumbing & Heating face charges of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm after a woman died in her home of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Green Deal Code to tackle unqualified engineers

Householders wanting to take up loans for improvements under the Green Deal must use approved installers for any work to qualify.

Gas installation company fails

As one prevails, another fails, as gas installation company Seaflame goes into administration.

Good news for these plumbers

It's not all doom and gloom as Blackwell Heating & Plumbing Services reports a £1 million turnover this year.

Brechin City Striker thinking of plumbing future

Plumbing apprentice and Brechin City striker Rory McAllister is being advised to finish his training before accepting offers to play elsewhere.

Installer charged over carbon monoxide death

An installer has been charged over the death of a 24-year old woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

World's plumbers will head to Scotland

Edinburgh will welcome hundreds of plumbers to this year's World Plumbing Conference in September.

Home repair warranties increase as homeowners seek to 'avoid disaster'

HomeServe increased its revenue by 27% to £467.1 million during the 12 months to March 2011, after selling 15% more insurance policies.

From plumbing to modelling

A plumber has reached the final stage of Screwfix's national competition to find a real tradesman to star in its latest workwear catalogue.

Chelsea footballer shows interest in plumber's home

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, is seeking to sell his mock tudor home in Bromley, Kent, and has had interest from a former Chelsea footballer

Green Deal could have 'little value' to contractors

An industry body has warned that the government's Green Deal could have little value to contractors if few householders take up the loans.

Heating engineer seeks help searching for past employers' insurer

A former heating engineer who claims he contracted the deadly lung disease asbestosis while working for a company based in Paisley, Scotland, is appealing to people to help him trace his previous employer's insurers.

Britain's favourite plumber revealed

Following a fantastic response to City Plumbing Supplies' search for Britain's Favourite Plumber, we can now reveal the 2011 winner and runners up.

Profits on the up for Wolseley

Plumbers buying from Wolseley helped raise the company's third-quarter operating profit by 30%.

Plumbers rule!

Plumbers and heating engineers dominate the shortlist for the 2011 best Which? Local business award.

Light fingers at B&Q

A woman who could not afford a plumber's bill for home repairs went to a DIY store and stole the tools to do the job herself.

UK flying the flag for carbon emissions

The UK has become the first country in the world to announce a legally-binding target for greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020.

Watchdog delivers 'worst news on emissions'

Experts fear record rise in carbon emissions could eventually lead to 'mass migration and conflict'.

Construction bankruptcies take sector to brink of recession

The construction industry has experienced a surge in insolvencies in the first quarter, leading to speculation that government cuts have had a detrimental effect on the sector.

Wolseley selling UK divisions rumour

Reports suggest that Wolseley has put three of its UK divisions, including Build Center, up for sale.

Corgi dispute costs heating firm

A company owner who deliberately resigned his Corgi registration and openly flouted the requirement to register has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £41,000 prosecution costs.

Thieves targeted by Cumbria police

Police have increased patrols in South Lakeland to combat a massive rise in metal theft, after metal, particularly copper, was stolen from roofs, tradesmen's vans and outbuildings.