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ECO reforms increase insulation install targets

Reforms to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) were introduced on 1 April that will provide consumers with extra support to make their homes cheaper and easier to heat.

Apprenticeship policies ‘will not fill growing skills gap’

The government's flagship apprenticeships policies have a worrying lack of focus and will not fill widening skills gaps unless they concentrate on sectors and regions where training is most needed, according to a report released on 30 March.

Elmhurst Energy remains optimistic in the wake of Brexit

Elmhurst Energy, the energy performance assessment specialist, is optimistic about the outcome for the energy assessment industry following Theresa May’s formal triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, beginning the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Plumbase kicks off Innovation Nights

Plumbase has brought back its programme of Innovation Nights, aimed at giving installers a first glimpse of some of the newest products on the plumbing and heating market.

Government urged to devise climate action plan

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) and The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) have joined other leading organisations in writing to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP.

Installers warned over non-approved flue systems

Installers have been urged to take extra caution over their choice of boiler components and accessories, amid a growing number of controls and flue systems being sold on the internet as compatible with certain manufacturers’ boiler models.

SMEs focus on employee benefits, according to study

Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are focusing on the potential of employee benefits to help boost productivity and improve company performance, according to new research from MetLife’s UK Employee Benefit Trends Study 2017.

Potholes 'are killing productive businesses'

Pimlico Plumbers' Charlie Mullins has backed the Asphalt Industry Alliance survey, highlighting that road damage takes the company's vehicles off the road every week.

Building better communities competition returns for 2017

Jewson has announced the return of Building Better Communities for 2017, the competition where deserving causes and tradespeople that make a difference in their local areas can win a share of a £250,000 total prize fund.

Suspended prison sentence for Plymouth man who falsified gas records

An unregistered gas fitter was fined and given a suspended prison sentence on 20 March, for illegally carrying out gas safety work at a rented house in Plymouth.

APHC reminds industry of the importance of keeping certificates

The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is reminding plumbing and heating engineers about the value of retaining their plumbing and heating qualification certificates.

Drayton asks installers for their support to raise money for Red Nose Day

Heating controls expert Drayton is supporting Comic Relief by fundraising for Red Nose Day 2017 with its quirky ‘Brainspotting’ campaign.

JTL announces national plumbing apprentice winner

JTL held its annual awards ceremony at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in London’s Savoy Place on 15 March.

Heat emitters are the missing link in improving the energy performance, says QRL

Installing efficient heat emitters – be they radiators, convectors or surface heating and cooling – is essential to improve the efficiency of Europe’s old building stock.

UK Plumber of the Year competition returns for third year

For the third year running, JT, Plumb Center and Bristan have joined forces to launch the 2017 UK Plumber of the Year competition, following the success of the first two instalments.

Bristan supports ‘Why Wastewater?’ theme for world water day

Bristan is urging installers to talk to customers about the vital importance of saving water this World Water Day.

CIPHE holds annual President's Dinner

Education and career development was the theme of this year's Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering's (CIPHE) 'Dinner with the President'.

UK Heating Group acquired by IRSAP Group

UK Heating Group, an independent UK distributor of designer radiators to the plumbing and heating merchant market, has been acquired by IRSAP Group

Student plumber wins Plumb Center bath full of tools

A budding plumber on the search for an apprenticeship has been crowned the champion of Plumb Center's recent #FillANabis competition.

Baxi to open two new training centres

Baxi is opening two new training facilities in 2017.

Rented properties less protected from carbon monoxide than private homes

The Gas Industry Safety Group (GISG) has reviewed the recently released government figures contained within the 2015-2016 English Housing Survey, and is pleased that they shed more light on the risks of accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents potentially going unnoticed, but also calls for more progress to be made.

No need to bring gas into electric heating debate, says Dimplex

Upgrading incorrectly specified appliances is the key to reducing fuel poverty in electrically heated homes, not connecting properties to the gas grid, says Dimplex, in response to a report by the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA).

Almost five million households at risk from illegal gas fitters, says Gas Safe Register

New research from Gas Safe Register (GSR) has revealed that almost five million people across the UK are putting themselves at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions by employing illegal gas engineers.

CIPHE launches Safe Water Guide

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has announced the launch of its latest publication, the Safe Water Guide: Scald Prevention and Legionella.

Claim costs increase van insurance

Rising claim costs are increasing van insurance premiums, with average prices rising 14.1% in the past year to an average of £1,344, according to analysis from Consumer Intelligence.

Government makes U-turn on National Insurance Contributions

The government has announced a reversal of plans to increase National Insurance Contributions (NIC) from the self-employed by 2% over the next two years.

Pimlico Plumbers to launch new research into careers advice for apprentices

Pimlico Plumbers is launching new research into the role of careers services in promoting apprenticeships.

Plumbing and heating Apprenticeship Board launched

A new Apprenticeship Board has been created to help ensure compliance with new apprenticeship standards in England.

Spring Budget 2017: Business rates, T-Levels and self-employed tax hike

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond has announced in his Spring Budget plans to reduce the tax gap between employed people and those who are self-employed, as well as changes to business rates and the introduction of T-Levels to address the skills shortage.

JG Speedfit launches Flex Your Pex competition

Plumbers, installers and Speedfit stockists have the chance to win up to £300 worth of prizes or a VIP British Superbike race ticket for two, as part of a competition with JG Speedfit.

J Tomlinson gas engineer wins at Building Communities Awards 2017

J Tomlinson gas engineer Macauley Shaw has won the title of Apprentice of the Year (16-24) in the Building Communities Awards 2017.

Skills Partnership established to fulfill industry needs

The Plumbing and Heating Skills Partnership (PHSP) has been created to take over responsibility for the skills needs of the industry, in view of the imminent closure of SummitSkills.

Householders prefer to hire trades who employ apprentices

Consumers prefer to hire firms that train apprentices, according to new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) that coincides with National Apprenticeship Week.

CIPHE boosts members' benefits

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has announced a new partnership that will boost the benefits available to its installer members.

Inspiring the next generation of construction workers

Construction company Robert Woodhead Ltd has joined forces with Dukeries Academy in Ollerton to encourage students to become the next generation of plumbers, electricians, joiners, plasterers and painters.

CHP energy scheme launched

A new energy scheme that will cut bills and carbon emissions for homes and businesses in Gateshead was launched on 2 March.

Chief executive officer of Capita is standing down

Chief executive officer of Capita plc, Andy Parker, has announced he is stepping down after three years in the role, following a sharp fall in profits.

Industry supports National Apprenticeship Week 2017

Today marks the start of the tenth annual National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2017), bringing together employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of apprenticeships.

QRL Radiator Group appoints new international sales director

As part of its ongoing global expansion plan, QRL Radiator Group has welcomed the addition of Leonardo Maschietto as its new international sales director.

25 million homes need energy-efficiency refurbishments by 2050

More than “one home every minute” will need to be refurbished in the UK between now and 2050, according to a report by the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), and it is likely that 25 million existing homes will still not meet the insulation standards required by this time.

More red tape will damage installer businesses, says IDHEE

The Institute of Domestic Heating & Environmental Engineers (IDHEE) is calling for a major sense check before adding any further bureaucracy and accreditation initiatives that limit accessibility and incur costs for installers.

Starter toolkits provided for apprentices

More than 1,700 apprentices will be picking up their free toolkits valued at around £250 each on 9 March courtesy of work-based training company JTL and its partners.

Bathroom trends at ISH 2017

The Pop up my Bathroom trend forum at ISH 2017 gives installers an opportunity to find out more about what makes a bathroom individual.

Installers encourage interest in smart home products, says survey

As the heating industry gears up for a ‘smart home’ revolution in years to come, new research suggests there is a significant level of interest in ‘connected’ products among UK homeowners.

APHC advises businesses to check their employment and contracting practices

With HMRC cracking down on the ‘gig economy’ and with a number of recent high profile cases, the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is advising plumbing and heating businesses to check the legal status of the working relationships that they have with individuals.

Engineering services sector ends 2016 on high, according to survey

More than three-quarters of engineering services firms reported increased or steady turnover during the final quarter of 2016, according to the Building Engineering Business Survey, sponsored by Scolmore.

BSI revises energy efficiency specification

British Standards Institution (BSI) has revised its PAS 2030:2017 specification for the installation of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings.

National award for heating and plumbing entrepreneur

John Savage, managing director of Flame Heating Spares, has been named BQ National Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, after competing against 12 other entrepreneurs from across the UK.

Capita withdraws controversial gas safety certification scheme following pressure from installers

The Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS) scheme has been withdrawn by the company just weeks after it was launched, following outcry from installers on social media.

Apprentices take part in social project to upgrade toilet facilities at Polish school

Ten Geberit apprentices recently attended a working trip to Poland, where their sanitaryware installation skills were put to the test in upgrading the toilet facilities at a primary school in Warsaw.