Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
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.

Unite behind single competency scheme, APHC tells installers

APHC is calling on installers to support its proposals for a single industry competency scheme.

Government announces further modifications to FiT scheme

The Department of Energy & Climate Change has today put modifications to the Feed-in Tariff scheme before Parliament.

Landlord sentenced for gas safety failings

A Tenby landlord was fined £8,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500 at Haverfordwest Magistrates' Court for failing to maintain a gas fire safely within one of his properties.

Twice-convicted gas installer sentenced

A gas engineer has been sentenced after installing a gas cooker without being registered to do so - his third gas safety conviction in four years.

Local firms get help to bid

Planning permission has been granted for the north east's biggest housing-led redevelopment on the banks of the Tyne.

Plumber's anger at copper thefts

A plumber is angry after copper tube was stolen from his van twice while parked outside his home.

Suspended prison sentences for illegal gas fitters

Two men who operated a Harrogate-based plumbing firm received suspended prison terms for falsely claiming to be Gas Safe registered engineers and leaving a local family in "immediate danger".

Cash prize for installer members' club

Adey is offering members of its Installer Club the chance to win £1,000 by revealing the 'dirty' side of their job.

Plumbers unprepared for energy efficiency

Plumbers are almost wholly unprepared for the "drastic change" to the way the UK's homes are heated, according to the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The 'coolest' plumbing job

Recruiters at the British Antarctic Survey say they are on course to receive more than 3,000 applications from plumbers and other trades for 36 jobs.

Landlord fined for no gas cert

A landlord has been fined £10,000 for failing to carry out gas safety checks.

Firms to quit JIB agreement

Seven major building service contractors have formally given notice to resign from a 40-year-old Joint Industry Board agreement.

Gas fitter sentenced for safety breaches

A North Wales man who falsely claimed to be a registered gas engineer has been sentenced to eight months' imprisonment after dangerously installing a gas boiler.

Scrap metal crackdown

Plumbers targeted by thieves for copper pipe may welcome a government crackdown on Britain's £5 billion-a-year scrap industry.

OBE for HVCA president

HVCA president Graham Manly has been recognised in the Queen's awards with an OBE for his contribution to the building engineering services sector.

Solar work drops as FiT cut bites

Solar electricity installations in the last week of 2011 fell by two-thirds on the same period in 2010 following the government's cut to solar subsidies.

FUN FRIDAY: Rock & roll loves Dimplex

Dimplex became something of a rock star when pop band Pulp recently took a little piece of the company with them on their reunion tour.

Best young plumber in the world awarded medal

Shane Trevitt, who was named the best young plumbing and heating engineer in the world this year, was awarded a medal by the Leeds College of Building's annual awards ceremony.

Weeks left for eco-invention competition

There are just a few weeks left to enter Adey's eco-invention competition. The company wants entries from heating professionals, installers and apprentices with an original idea for a product, tool or appliance with a positive environmental benefit.

No town for old vans

The new Low Emission Zone requirements for London are now live. Operators of Y-registration and some 51-plate vans must keep out of London if they want to avoid costly charges and fines.

Government 'wasting taxpayers' money'

The government is set to appeal a court judgement that ruled its plans for cutting the Feed-in Tariff were illegal. But Friends of the Earth has argued this is a "waste of taxpayers' money".

Travis Perkins acquires Toolstation

Travis Perkins has acquired the remaining 70% of the issued share capital of the online catalogue Toolstation from Mark Goddard-Watts and his family trusts.

VAT reduction campaign gets cross-party support

An industry campaign to get a VAT reduction to 5% for boilers and flue heat recovery products has gained full cross-party support in Parliament, after an early day motion was tabled in December.

CIPHE warns against unqualified gas engineers

CIPHE has issued a warning about the dangers of illegal, unqualified gas work after an Ipswich plumber was found guilty of carrying out illegal work at a Thai restaurant.

Bad plumbing blamed for London pollution

Pollution, partly caused by bad bathroom plumbing, has damaged parts of the Lea Valley in London, British Waterways has said.

Woman electrocuted by faulty heating installation

A succession of faults and poor workmanship led to the death of Emma Shaw, who was electrocuted while mopping up water in her kitchen.

Government FiTs cut 'unlawful'

Government plans to cut subsidies for solar panels on homes have been ruled legally flawed by the High Court.

Repair firm to outsource complaints operations

Domestic repair company HomeServe is to outsource its complaints handling operations.

Downing Street petition urges solar PV rethink

The Renewable Energy Association and the Solar Trade Association yesterday delivered a letter and a petition asking the government to rethink its proposals for subsidizing photovoltaic take-up.

HVCA membership approves name change

The Heating & Ventilating Contractors Association (HVCA) is changing its name to the Building & Engineering Services Association.

Asbestos warning ads to return

A campaign to warn workers of the dangers of asbestos is returning - a year after it was dropped by the government.

Serial cowboy jailed for identity fraud

A twice-bankrupt contractor has been jailed for 16 months for acting as a director while banned and posing as an employee to get credit from suppliers.