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Pay trends on the rise for 2015

Ian Anfield examines the pay trends seen in the construction industry this year

How to prevent frozen pipes this winter

During the cold weather, pipes can become frozen and in some circumstances burst. This can result in considerable inconvenience and damage to property and can be expensive to repair. By understanding how to prevent frozen pipes in the first place, you can reduce the risk and help to keep your property safe this winter.

Keeping the solar industry fighting fit

Following the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) consultation closing last month, there is understandably mounting concern that this will put the brakes on all the progress that has been made in solar adoption over recent years. Steve Everard at Rexel UK explains why the solar industry is still fighting-fit, with more success to come.

Step-by-step guide to delivering an annual underfloor heating system check

Continental Underfloor gives installers a simple checklist for underfloor heating (UFH) servicing

Stoves: a stylish winter warmer

When specifying a wood burning stove, installers need to get it right in terms of style, application and making sure the product is sourced from a reputable supplier. Simon Holden offers some sound advice.

Boost your brand

Carrie Young talks about why marketing matters for installers

Installers warned to be wary of ‘copycat’ controls

Martyn Bridges voices his concerns over the growing presence of problematic non-accredited heating controls within the industry

Save your customers money on domestic heating with heating oil

James Brook gives his top tips to pass on to customers on how to save money when buying heating oil.

Why industry should keep up to date with the Paris Climate Summit

Sally Davison encourages those in the building services industry to keep their eye on the upcoming Climate Change Conference

Ditching your old van fleet makes business sense

The economy may be showing signs of recovery, but when it comes to buying new vans there’s evidence that businesses still have concerns about financial stability, according to Neil Burroughs.

A seven-step plan to reinvigorate the energy efficiency industry

Predictions of the demise of the energy efficiency industry in the wake of cuts to Green Deal funding needn’t be true, Martyn Reed, operations director for Elmhurst Energy, has said, and has set out a seven-step plan to be presented to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Work smarter, not harder

Carrie Young looks at how installers can make the most of their smartphones or tablets and the business support tools available to them

Direct supply to Gas Safe installers can cut out the cowboys

Andrew Crown believes direct supply of domestic boilers exclusively to selected Gas Safe registered installers is key to ensuring customer safety, thereby cutting out installers who are not Gas Safe registered.

I got 99 problems but my job ain’t one

Even the most experienced and skilled of installers can face problems from time-to-time. While we know some challenges can be unavoidable, the customer usually won’t appreciate excuses and will still expect the job to get completed on time and within budget. Chris Ingram looks at the most prominent examples of this and offers some top tips on how to handle the situation.

UN Climate Change Conference promises new era of UK energy efficiency legislation, says Elmhurst Energy

Martyn Reed believes the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris may mark a renewed focus on energy efficiency in the UK, following the dramatic cuts to ECO, the Green Deal and the Feed in Tariff (FiT).

Advising business owners on the benefits of water saving devices

Water usage is a part of life that many people have become more aware of in recent years. Be it in terms of the potential savings cutting water consumption can provide, or as part of an awareness of the effect wasting water can have on the environment, interest in this area is unlikely to dry up anytime soon, says Tony Ellerker

Green Deal failure leaves energy saving gap for landlords that needs to be filled

Karim Goudiaby explains why the Green Deal failed landlords and outlines what he feels is the way forward for energy saving in the private rented sector.

Skills shortage provides opportunity for savvy construction job hunters

Martyn Makinson discusses the shortage of skilled workers in construction and provides tips to help candidates improve their chances of securing a job.

Poor ventilation: an office worker’s worst enemy

Tony Ellerker explains why proper ventilation is a must have in working environments and why everyone, from installers to office workers, can benefit from being aware of the associated health benefits.

The importance of health and safety in protecting your assets

Lucie Simpson outlines the dangers of not having proper health and safety procedures in place.

Jobs could be at risk if sector support is slashed

Hundreds of jobs could be at risk if support and subsidies for the renewable energy sector are slashed without proper consideration of the impact on the fast-growing sector, says Andy Boroughs.

Make changes to ensure summer is a profitable period

There are a number of ways installers can increase profits in what is traditionally a quiet period, says Peter Northwood, director of Connected Homes at HomeServe’s free Smart Installer Club.

Shining a light on carbon monoxide, the silent killer

John Lawless urges gas installers and engineers to help spread awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and its symptoms.

The smart meter roll-out: putting the control in the hands of the consumer

The energy industry is embracing a long-awaited modernisation and, with the national roll-out of smart gas and electricity meters, the last analogue customer experience will finally enter the digital age, says Naomi Adams

Quality made in Britain

Tony Fisher, director of quality at John Guest, reveals what he believes 'Made in Britain' really means

Making payment as easy as possible

Neil Aitken gives advice to small businesses on how to keep cashflow moving

How to save a life

Tim Jack highlights the vital role carbon monoxide alarms can play in a home, after a widow was put at risk by emissions from the ash of her multi-fuel burner

Industry calls for centralised body for legislation and new regulations

Tony Gittings argues that the industry is in dire need of a central body or council to co-ordinate the burgeoning weight of new and pending standards, legislation and codes of practice. This includes emerging support technologies such as BiM, which he said needs clear and concise communication to the marketplace.

How to sell a smart thermostat in five easy steps

The Smart Installer Club has developed a simple step-by-step guide to help you explain the benefits of smart thermostats to your customers. Peter Northwood, director at HomeServe Alliance, the company behind the Smart Installer Club, explains.

Top six LPG myths busted

Alastair Lovell from Calor, dispels the most common myths about LPG.

Installers urged to check they are compliant with current piping standards

Installers could unknowingly be in breach of British Standards when it comes to recirculating systems, warns Mark Dowdeswell

HVAC industry needs someone to deal with new legislation

Tony Gittings argues that the industry is in dire need of a central body or council to co-ordinate the burgeoning weight of new and pending standards, legislation, Codes of Practice

Clueing up installers for commercial sustainability

Phil Marris discusses how new MEES energy standards present installers with opportunities to drive refurbishment of HVAC systems in the rental market and commercial buildings

Dealing with hard water in your customer’s homes

Hard water is a problem in many homes in the UK. Sophie Mellor shares her top tips on handling hard water issues and preventing homes from being affected in the future.

DECC Central Heating Fund – time to take advantage

It’s a race against time for Local Authorities to claim their share of a £25 million Central Heating Fund announced by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) this March. Applications are being accepted until 5 June 2015, so time really is of the essence, explains Sally Davison

Steady growth in the UK Space Heating market

Keith Taylor, director of AMA Research, gives an overview of the space heating market.

Ask for Underfloor reviews party manifestos ahead of the general election

With the General Election fast approaching and polls suggesting it will be a closely fought battle before the next government is decided, Colin Timmins of BEAMA Underfloor reviews the parties’ manifestos and what they could mean for the heating industry.

Insulating for a better future

As each party broadcasts their manifesto in the run up to the General Election, John Sinfield comments on the announcements.

Five ways to boost customer loyalty

Teres Hager of 1Gas shares her five top tips for increasing customer loyalty and ensuring repeat business.

Seven steps to better cash flow management

Lee Swinerd advises how to safeguard against poor cash flow

CO testing on commissioning a condensing boiler – one year on

Roger Webb from the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) reflects on the TB 143 CO testing procedure.

Can we breathe easy with the new CDM Regulations?

With new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations coming into force this month, Cedrec’s Gareth Billinghurst asks what’s next for building site safety.

Helping insulation installers stay Gas Safe

Thanks to the introduction of the government’s Green Deal and ECO schemes there has been a spike in the number of homeowners looking to make energy-saving improvements to their homes. Mark Krull, from Logic Certification, explains the potential gas safety risks surrounding insulation.

The quiet evolution of the ‘techie tradesman’

YourTradeBase explains how the internet and other technological developments have brought about the 'techie tradesman', and what it means for business opportunities.

Hopes for the Budget

Ahead of the final Budget of this Parliament, Chris Ingram of BEAMA Underfloor sets out his hopes for the announcement on Wednesday 18 March.

Landlords urged to bring properties up to spec

Landlords should act now to ensure their properties meet new energy efficiency regulations, urges energy efficiency specialist Peter Thom

It’s time to talk TPI

As heating controls develop, installers must become better acquainted with technology such as time proportional integral control (TPI), according to Andy Mansfield, marketing manager at Honeywell.

Take care of your vehicle this winter

As the colder months continue, installers will needs to take more care on the roads as reduced visibility and hazardous road conditions increase the likelihood of a breakdown or accident. fuelGenie has compiled these simple winter driving tips to keep tradespeople safe on the roads this winter.

Are you better off leaving medical school and becoming a plumber?

Most school leavers are faced with the classic proposition of choosing which path to take, leave the homestead and head off into the big wide world of University or ‘learn a trade’ and get an immediate job. The former is often thought to be the ‘sensible’ choice, with the trade option meant to be one fraught with difficulty, but for all the talk of glass ceilings it seems to be the most pragmatic option, says Matthew Pierce.

Three ways to make a better business

Working conditions may not have changed much for those in the plumbing and ventilation industry, but things have moved on massively in the last few years on the technology front. So, as a tech-savvy tradesmen, how can you use technology to grow your business and make it more efficient? Benjamin Dyer gives HVP his top tips.