Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
Renewable training academy opens

The Easy MCS & Easy Green Deal training academy has been officially opened to an audience of industry leaders ranging from government level through to certification bodies and prospective installers and advisors.

Mark Cobb Installations is bought by WT Parker

Mark Cobb Installations has been sold to WT Parker, saving the jobs of around 30 members of staff, after the business entered into administration in August.

Travis Perkins launches bathroom showroom

Travis Perkins has begun a national rollout of bathroom showrooms to improve service for its trade customers.

Showerlux ceases trading

Shower enclosure manufacturer Showerlux UK ceased trading on 23 August, with 16 staff being made redundant.

UPDATED: Government to end 5% VAT rate

The government is set to withdraw the 5% reduced VAT rate for energy-saving materials installed in buildings used by charities, APHC has learned.

Survey reveals further fall in workload

Almost one in three firms have seen a fall in their workload during the first six months of 2012, according to a survey carried out by the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES).

Worcester scoops Which? Best Buy awards

Worcester, Bosch Group's Greenstar range has received 23 Best Buy accreditations in the most recent Which? report unveiled today.

Selling off council houses could kick-start housebuilding

A think tank is arguing that expensive council houses should be sold when vacant and the money reinvested in building cheaper homes.

Installers need to make most of opportunities in tough market

Alpha responds to low boiler sales figures by encouraging installers to focus on upselling ancillary products.

Competent persons scheme notifications for cavity wall insulation up a third

In the first six months of 2012, just under a quarter of a million cavity wall insulation installations were carried out under the Cavity Wall Insulation Self Certification scheme (CWISC) - a 36% increase in installations under the scheme compared to the first six months of 2011.

Calor warns about dangers of unlawful filling of LPG cylinders at autogas refuelling sites

Calor Gas has issued a safety warning following reports of unlawful and dangerous filling of its portable LPG cylinders at self-service petrol stations and other autogas refuelling sites.

Remeha Commercial launches Trade Counter Service

Remeha Commercial, UK manufacturer of heating and hot water systems and products, has launched a new trade counter service to offer greater flexibility to installers, heating engineers, consultants and specifiers.

Falsified asbestos record leaves school and engineers at risk

Two men have been fined after committing fraud by falsifying a record stating that a school in Abingdon had been properly cleaned of asbestos.

Landlord prosecuted over CO poisoning

A landlord received a suspended jail sentence for endangering lives after a mother, her partner and her eight-year-old daughter suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty boiler at their flat in Lewisham.

British workers spending time and money brewing up

British businesses are losing precious time and money each year by using kettles rather than instant hot water boilers, according to recent research.

APHC encourages employers to take part in gas competency review

Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors has created a short survey covering a number of points put forward in the findings of the Gas Safe Register (GSR) report.

Construction safety precautions prevent prosecution

"Making workplaces safe, even in the construction industry, is not rocket science," says Michael Slade, managing director of health & safety specialist Bibby Consulting & Support.

Get to grips with new products and legislation through online courses

Plumbers' merchant Graham has seven new online courses, designed to help users become familiar with changes in the renewables market, thanks to the Greenworks Learning Gateway portal.

Fight back against unfair reviews

Reputation agency gotjuice.co.uk has announced it is investing £250,000 in new online services to help tradespeople fight back against 'unfair and untrue reviews' posted online about their businesses.

Be Gas Safe!

HVP is proud to support the second annual Gas Safety Week, taking place from 10 to 16 September, 2012.

Commercial RHI 'needs heat pumps'

Commercial-scale air-to-water heat pumps must be included in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) 'as soon as possible', says Daikin UK managing director Peter Verkempynck.

A 'raw deal' for rural renewables

OFTEC is warning that the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Green Deal policies will mean rural homeowners will have no incentives to go green.

Federation launches online Field Report service

The Heating Engineers & Allied Trades Federation has launched a new online Field Report service to make it easier for members to address problems they encounter in the field.

Figures show 'rapid decline' of construction industry

ONS figures on the decline of the construction industry shows the government is 'not doing enough', believes Calor Gas.

Firm receives £10,000 tax fine for name change

Small businesses are being warned to always keep the taxman informed after one firm receives a £10,000 fine after changing its name.

Changing behaviour 'crucial' to Green Deal

Changing how consumers relate to energy-efficiency messages is 'crucial' to make sure the Green Deal doesn't fail, says HHIC.

Men face jail over B&Q fraud scam

Three men who defrauded B&Q out of almost £50,000 over five years now face a custodial sentence.

Boiler sales hit 10-year low

Urgent action is needed to support the construction industry, says HHIC, as boiler sales fall to their lowest in 10 years.

APHC support attempts to tackle late payment for SMEs

Government reaffirmed its commitment to help improve cash flow for UK firms at a meeting with members of the Small Business Economic Forum (SBEF) last week.

Millions still available for social landlord projects

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) social landlords competition is being reopened, with millions of pounds still available for social landlords to fund low carbon heating into the homes of hundreds of social housing tenants.

Essex company gets sole distribution rights to Thermodynamic panel

Essex-based Ultima Solar has been given sole distribution rights in the UK for the Thermodynamic Panel.

Installer register opens today in preparation for Green Deal

The register for Green Deal Providers, Assessors and Installers opens today, in preparation for the launch of the Green Deal itself on 1 October, 2012.

Installers and contractors encouraged to shop unfair practices

APHC is calling on contractors and installers to use the Cabinet Office Mystery Shopper scheme if they come across any issues while involved in tendering for local authority contracts.

Solar company shut down by court ruling

A solar company which marketed and sold solar panel systems has been wound-up by Manchester High Court following a formal investigation.

Struggles ahead for housing industry

The UK housing industry is facing 'serious headwinds' and will not be improved without much needed finance measures according to real estate services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Consultation on changes to simplify RIDDOR launched

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a 12-week consultation on proposals to simplify and clarify the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Paisley joiner gets community service after unsafe gas installation causes explosion

A self-employed joiner was sentenced to 300 hours of community service last week, after a gas cooker he illegally installed exploded, severely injuring two people.

APHC urges government solar task force to take cautious approach

In a recent DECC blog, Minister for Energy & Climate Change Gregory Baker outlined plans to bring down the costs of solar installations for consumers.

Construction turnover in Q2 increasing but businesses remain cautious

Construction firms are reporting a marked improvement in trading performance in the second quarter of 2012, according to the latest Business Factors Index from invoice finance specialists Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

Bristan opens nominations for SHINE awards

Bristan is opening up its internal awards scheme to its customers and suppliers, who can now recognise the efforts of Bristan employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Get Ready for CE Marking

The Construction Products Directive (CPD) is being replaced by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) which means that CE marking will become mandatory in the UK. Manufacturers of solid fuel and biomass equipment will have until July 2013 to make sure their products meet the CE requirements of the new regulation.

Insulation industry report puts emphasis on customer protection

The report on the operation of the home insulation market from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been welcomed by government and the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA).

Green Deal is 'not in the public interest'

In an open letter, John Colling of MARC Group explains why he believes the Green Deal is not in the public interest.

Gas Safety Trust to help implement CO recommendations

The Gas Safety Trust has announced it will work with the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG) to implement the recommendations outlined in the recent APPGSG report.

Calor issues safety warning after oil drum death

Calor Gas has warned about the dangers of tampering with gas cylinders after an Oxfordshire man was killed trying to turn an empty oil drum into a barbecue.

BMF explains Green Deal opportunities to tradesmen

The Green Deal offers real business opportunities for tradesmen, according to the Builders' Merchants Federation (BMF), which is working with the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to promote the scheme.

New scheme launched to improve fuel oil quality

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is introducing a new Fuel Certification scheme to improve the quality of fuel oil and raise standards in the industry.

Small businesses 'shouldn't pay for health and safety inspections'

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) plans to force small businesses to pay for their own health and safety inspections have been criticised by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

New guidance released to improve domestic energy efficiency

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has released new guidance to help local authorities in England improve the energy-efficiency of their residential housing.

Construction and manufacturing insolvencies top 9,000

Over 5,000 construction companies, and over 3,500 manufacturing companies, have been declared insolvent since September 2010, reveals PriceWaterhouseCoopers.