Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
Increase in union membership in bid to save jobs

Ireland's Technical Engineering and Electrical Union has signed up 1,500 new members this year as some suggest non-unionised workers are first to be let go by employers.

Access to gas flues could be tricky

With heating engineers being required access to gas flues by 2013 for inspection, gaining access in flats could be an issue.

Pipe dream come true for plumbing entrepreneur

The creator of an ingenious device that provides a temporary fix to burst water pipes has won the Scottish heat of The Pitch 2011 in search of Britain's best new companies.

Parking frustrations in Oxford

A plumber is at his wits' end after receiving no parking assistance while working in the Oxford area.

Fear of plumbers grips nation

The British masses have been gripped by oikodomophobia, a fear of negotiating with tradesmen.

Industry must get tough on standards after Which? report

Plumber Charlie Mullins believes the industry must get tough on plumbing standards after the Which? consumer report condemned heating engineers.

OFTEC in conflict with Europe

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is fighting a proposed 7% penalty on non-modulating oil boilers.

Solar campaign launches with website

A new campaign designed to educate and inspire UK homeowners to adopt solar technology has launched.

'Ghost' plumbers arrested in tax raids

Five plumbers have been arrested and around 600 are under civil investigation by HMRC for failing to pay the right amount of tax.

Another one hikes the gas

npower has become the latest gas and electricity provider to increase its domestic prices with fixed rates for the next two years.

Plumber pipes up against merchant

The Court of Appeal has passed judgement in a legal case between an installer and supplier, ruling that the installer was entitled to rely on the supplier to ensure that goods were fit for purpose.

Heating engineers 'cutting corners' cost customers cash

Domestic gas boiler engineers are not carrying out basic checks and are suggesting expensive, unnecessary repairs, according to Which?.

West End debut for plumber-playwright

A Soho plumber whose debut drama is pulling in audiences at a West End playhouse has revealed how living in Theatreland inspired him to become a professional playwright.

Social housing to get green heaters

A £3 million scheme has been launched to help install eco-heaters in the homes of social housing tenants.

Worldwide demand for plumbers

Plumbers tempted to emigrate should consider Australia, Canada and Germany where they are in the greatest demand, says recruitment specialist.

Prepare for Gas Safety Week

Gas Safety Week takes place from 12 September and is supported by the APHC.

Secure your oil

Installers should be selling enhanced security on oil tank installations as thieves continue to target heating oil, according to a recent survey.

Homeowners reject Green Deal

Almost half of householders in a trial of the Green Deal grant rejected the scheme, despite promised long-term savings.

Scot plumbing firm ceases trading

Scottish firm Park Plumbing & Heating has ceased trading after founder and owner Steve Park admitted it had been struggling since the economic crash.

Law firm notes rise in asbestos deaths

The latest statistics from the HSE show that asbestos is the biggest killer of work-related diseases caused by past working conditions.

Calling all apprentices

Pronto Plumber is hosting an apprentice meet-and-greet day on 10 September at Bedford College's Plumbing Centre.

Driving U round the bend

HomeServe's drainage engineers recovered over 5,000 pairs of pants, knickers and socks from the nation's pipes last year.

Glasgow contract worth £120 million available for subcontractors

A Scottish building contractor is looking for subcontractors for a two-year framework covering up to £120 million-worth of work across Glasgow.

Installers should wait and see before registering for 'confusing' renewable schemes

Lack of information on the installer schemes that form part of the Green Deal is likely to cause confusion, according to the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors.

Construction survey reveals private and public sector split in fortunes

A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that private sector construction rose in Q2 this year, while government cuts saw public sector work fall.

One month left to declare unpaid taxes or face higher penalties

HMRC has warned plumbers have until 31 August to tell HMRC about any tax they owe, and to make arrangements to pay any interest and penalties.

Football clubs can compete to be the best loo-ser

Football fans can enter their club into a competition to win a £100,000 makeover for the fans' loos from some of the industry's leading bathroom companies.

Travis Perkins announces 54% rise in turnover

Builders' and plumbers' merchant Travis Perkins has reported turnover up 54% to £2.3 billion in its latest six-month financial statement.

Find out how fitting an Oxyvent tank can improve existing central heating systems

Watch the installation of an Oxyvent tank in a gas boiler system in East London to find out the benefits the new technology can provide.

Plumbing company charges £40 a minute

A plumbing company has come under fire by a customer for charging over £200 for a five-minute callout, according to a local newspaper.

HVCA plans new employment framework for plumbers

HVCA is in dialogue with a group of major UK building engineering services contractors to introduce a new employment framework for plumbers.

Coroner calls for boiler safety law after death

A coroner has called on the government for legislation to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning after the death of a tenant was attributed to a boiler leak.

'Hard graft' will see plumbers succeed in a tough economy

Despite difficult economic conditions and rising costs, 'hard graft' is the key to plumbing success, claims Pimlico Plumbers founder Mullins.

Employer fined for harassing plumber

Employer Martyn Crute has been handed a restraining order by Lincoln Magistrates Court, Lincolnshire, for sending threatening texts and voicemails to a former plumbing employee.

Plumbing contractors could soon face health and safety bills of £133 an hour

Plumbing contractors and other companies that contravene health and safety laws could have to pay £133 an hour for Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors investigating their offences, under government plans to recover costs.

Rising fuel prices are holding back plumbing businesses

The high price of fuel is badly affecting plumbing companies as customers refuse to accept higher prices, warns the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors.

Merchant campaign calls for reduction in MCS paperwork

A campaign by the heating and plumbing sector, spearheaded by merchant Mick Williams, is urging government to reduce the amount of administration required for the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

Metal thefts are costing local authorities millions

Metal theft is rising nationwide as thieves are attracted by the rising prices of scrap metal, costing local authorities millions as police reports indicate a surge in plumbers reporting pipe theft.

Vandals torch B&Q car park display

Vandals set light to a wooden summer house display at a B&Q branch in Bolton town centre, in what the store manager called a "very dangerous" act.

B&Q sales fall by 6.7%

B&Q sales fell 6.7% during the three months to 16 July as a result of the demise of the Focus DIY chain, according to a trading update by parent company Kingfisher.

Asbestos warning for heating and plumbing trades

Plumbers and heating engineers must know their responsibilities or risk serious illness when it comes to dealing with asbestos, Kevin Wellman, acting chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering, has warned.

Mixed reaction to government's renewable heating funding

There has been a mixed reaction from the heating industry to the government's announcement of up to £1,250 funding for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme.

Wolseley UK sells Build Center to Jewson

Wolseley UK has agreed to sell its Build Center division to Jewson. Build Center has 155 branches across the UK and employs 1,600 people.

Notify for free with HETAS this summer

HETAS is offering 10 free job notifications for all new applications before the end of August this year. The offer applies to anyone applying to join the HETAS competent persons scheme for solid fuel, wood and biomass installations.

OFTEC launches one-year registration

OFTEC has launched a 12 month registration option for both individuals and companies. The new annual registration offers a flexible short-term alternative to the existing five-year registration, which is still available.

Teach your customers basic plumbing

West London plumbing contractor Staunch & Flow is launching plumbing courses for absolute beginners this autumn to help its customers avoid call out fees.

Copper thieves strike in Southampton

Police in Southampton have warned plumbers to be on their guard against thefts of copper piping after two similar incidents in one night.

Plumbers face "survival of the quickest"

Plumbers must adapt quickly to the changing business climate, says Charlie Mullins of Pimlico Plumbers.

Newspaper looks into plumbing call-out fees

The Guardian newspaper has highlighted what it describes as "ridiculous overcharging" by some plumbing companies for emergency work.

Carbon monoxide alarms will be included in the Green Deal

The Green Deal will now require a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm to be fitted in every home whose residents are at risk of CO poisoning.