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August 2018 Newsletter

August 2018 Newsletter

A quarter of Brits now own one or more Smart Home devices, BEAMA releases first ventilation white paper, ECS Registered Electrician reaches milestone, Government funding stalled Carillion hospital, Heating sector thriving, London’s Mayor boiler initiative gets thumbs up and young people encouraged to get on board by construction industry.’

 

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Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicates that close to a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices (excluding smart meters), while one in ten now (8%) have two or more, underlining the growth in the industry. Smart home devices include; smart lighting, smart security, smart speakers and smart thermostats.

Smart speakers remain most popular (11% own one of these), ahead of a smart thermostat (6%), lighting (5%) and security (3%).

The report shows that once someone buys one smart home device, they are more inclined to purchase another. Among people who currently own at least one smart appliance, consideration for getting other smart devices increases to 40%.

Smart speaker owners are much more likely to own another device. A fifth of smart speaker owners also own smart lighting, compared to 5% of the population. Similarly, 19% have a smart thermostat, against 6% of the public.

What are the barriers to further growth?

Three quarters (75%) of non-owners are aware of smart home appliances, but don’t know much about them. Only 16% of non-owners believe they are fully aware of smart home appliances and know a lot about them (this rises to 39% among owners).

Looking specifically at digital assistants, 56% of smart home device non-owners say they don’t see the need for them, as do 54% of owners.

YouGov’s data underlines how security fears are one barrier to industry growth. Of the concerns people have about smart appliances, hacking/cyber-attacks come out on top, with 39% of non-owners saying this. Over a third (36%) of this group believe the appliances are too expensive, while the same percentage have fears over data privacy.

Ownership numbers are impressive, for this point in the product cycle. The key is to get people buying their first device. Once they do so, they are much more likely to go on and add to their smart home collection. This means that the smart home industry has two areas of growth that may require different strategies – existing entrants to the market, and those from outside.

Having said that, many people are either suspicious or don’t see the need for the devices. To truly initiate a smart home revolution, prospective customers need not only to be convinced of the capabilities of the technology, but why they need it and how it can help them.

 

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Source: Electrical Times

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BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA has published its first ventilation white paper entitled Better Ventilation, Better Homes, Better Health, with a raft of measures aimed at solving the issues facing the industry and helping to deliver better indoor air quality in UK homes.

The white paper identifies two main issues facing the industry:

  • The lack of a joined-up approach towards energy efficiency and ventilation
  • Poor-quality installations which are ‘plaguing the industry’

The paper calls for compulsory assessments of ventilation provision following the installation of energy efficiency measures, a revision of Building Regulations to refocus on ensuring ‘in-use performance and end users’ needs’ and asks the government to make it compulsory that all ventilation installations are undertaken by an installer who is a member of a competent persons scheme.

BEAMA also call on the government to make indoor air quality a priority by financially incentivising the installation of ventilation improvements and undertaking public education campaigns on the health risks of indoor air pollution and the simple steps that homeowners can take to improve their own home air.

The white paper details four overarching steps that government should take, and outlines how these can be achieved, in improving ventilation and indoor air quality in UK homes:

  1. Improve the focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in the Building Regulations
  2. Improve compliance with the current Building Regulations
  3. Avoid problems of poor air quality following refurbishment
  4. Make IAQ a government priority

Keith Ritchie, Chairman of the BEAMA Ventilation Group, said: “As homes are becoming ever more airtight we need to focus on ensuring that the ventilation industry plays its part in helping to deliver good indoor air quality. Energy efficiency improvements are being made in isolation without due consideration to the unintended consequences of sealing up homes and where installations of ventilation are being made, they are often not up to scratch.

“Our white paper aims to tackle all of these issues with a few simple steps that government could take to help ensure better indoor air for all.”

To access the White Paper, please click here.

 

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

Source: HVP Magazine

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ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Over 10,000 ECS cardholders have signed up to become ECS Registered Electricians since the initiative was launched last October, says the JIB.

The JIB established ECS Registered Electrician status to recognise those who are not only working at the industry-recognised Level 3 status, but also have the current edition of the Wiring Regulations.

Following the introduction of BS7671:2018 this month, there will be a transition period until January 1 2019 where both the 17th and 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations will be accepted for a Registered Electrician application. After this point, only the 18th Edition will be accepted.

All Registered Electricians will have until July 1 2019 to update their ECS account with the BS7671:2018 qualification.

“The achievement of 10,000 is a fantastic first milestone and that number continues to grow daily,” said David Thomas. “With the introduction of the 18th Edition, we are set to see even more electricians now opting to become Registered Electrician after gaining their BS7671:2018 qualification.

“Feedback from our cardholders shows that the Registered Electrician status is a highly desired and positive move for the industry, raising not just standards but also the profile of electricians and electrical contracting.”

 

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners are being urged to check their gas and electrical appliances over the summer months after a survey revealed a basic lack of safety knowledge among property owners.

New research reveals that 66% of homes in the UK have defective gas appliances and 40% of smoke alarms do not work.

There are also over 1.1 million illegal gas installations carried out each year – putting the lives of millions of people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

Leading RegTech company Gas Tag said the summer months are the perfect time of the year to check appliances in the home.

Gas Tag says booking a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit during the summer months will help to reduce the number of gas related incidents during the winter period.

Stephen Ullathorne, co-CEO of Gas Tag, said: “We all know how busy it gets at this time of year, but taking time out from our hectic schedule to ensure our appliances are safe could be a life-saver.

“Research tells us that fewer than five per cent of households put a gas safety check on their to-do list during the summer season, but it really should be the number one priority.”

Gas Safe Register, the official gas registration organisation for the UK, says almost a fifth of households do not have their gas appliances legally checked, meaning as many as 12 million people could be living with dangerous appliances.

As many as 50% of all appliances in the lounge were deemed either at risk or immediately dangerous when audited by the Gas Safe Register.

 

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Source: HPM Magazine

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Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

The deck of a movable bridge has been installed in Canary Wharf following a 36-hour voyage across the North Sea from its fabrication site in Belgium.

The 28-metre single-leaf bascule bridge will provide a road and pedestrian link between Montgomery Square and Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf.

Designed by engineers COWI, Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting, the bridge was manufactured by Victor Buyck Steel Construction for client Canary Wharf Contractors.

Twin hydraulic cylinders underneath the eastern end of the steel span will raise the deck to allow large vessels to pass and only in this raised position will the bridge reveal its steel structure and mechanical parts.

COWI engineer Vlad Opanasiuk said: “As intended, it looks like a simple design – but there is nothing simple about this bridge.

“Both the substructure and superstructure required bespoke structural details to achieve the understated appearance envisaged by the architects.

“The deck needs to be light enough to be raised but strong enough to support the crossing vehicles and pedestrians.

“We therefore selected an orthotropic steel deck solution, which is lighter and more flexible than a concrete one, significantly reducing the power required to raise it.

“To create an open space for pedestrians, the bridge has a relatively wide deck. To provide the necessary torsional stiffness and a visually clean soffit, the main longitudinal girders, which run along the edges of the deck, are tapering closed box sections.

“It’s been a fascinating project to work on. Solving complex engineering challenges to bring brilliant designs like this to reality is what makes being an engineer so rewarding.”

The bridge’s location also posed a challenge.

COWI engineer and project manager Musa Chunge said: “The Jubilee Line runs below the waterway and parallel to the bridge so we worked closely with Canary Wharf and TFL to develop a safe piled foundation design for the bridge abutments and the marine causeway that forms the eastern approach.”

 

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

The government has confirmed it will directly fund work to complete construction of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Work stopped in January following the collapse of original contractor Carillion.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “Under the agreement, the government will provide funding for the remainder of the building work at Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

“The new hospital will be built by 2022.”

Procurement for a new contractor will start in November with a winner chosen before next summer.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust had explored the option of a new private finance deal to complete the hospital but there was no appetite in the market.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust Chief Executive, Toby Lewis, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news.

“After a huge amount of work by teams across Whitehall and the Trust, and with the voices of local residents, clinicians, and stakeholders having been clearly heard, we are delighted that we now have a definitive, publicly financed plan.

“We will continue to engage with the construction market over coming weeks and build towards a formal procurement by November this year.

“We always said Midland Met would be delivered and the doubters were wrong”

 

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify (www.tradifyhq.com), the powerful job management app for small business owners in the construction industry, has launched into the UK. Tradify simplifies time-consuming administration activities, allowing builders, plumbers and electricians to focus on what really matters.

Already successful with over 10,000 users in Australia and New Zealand, and easy to use, Tradify is designed to simplify everyday administration tasks such as scheduling jobs, completing quotes, tracking materials and sending invoices.

“If you are a builder, plumber or electrician running single or multiple job sites, Tradify takes the hassle out of organising materials and people – and gives you clear information on the profit and loss on a job,” explains Robert Mark, Managing Director of Tradify in the UK.

“For small businesses, saying ‘yes’ to every job brings in money, but also problems, with days spent working while valuable evenings and weekends are spent catching up on paperwork. Tradify helps small business owners streamline these everyday tasks, freeing up time.”

Tradify enables tradespeople to become more professional in their job management, increasing productivity and enhancing their company reputation with customers. Job details and sub-contractors can be set up and managed, with sub-contractors updated on job status, such as task deadlines and materials needed from the merchant or wholesaler, in real time via the Tradify App.

“You can track a job from the initial quote to the final invoice and everything in between, out on site or at the office on your smartphone or tablet,” explains Rob. “Tradify gives you insights into your business which you need to help you grow and become more successful.”

From just £20 per month for one to nine users, Tradify is the business partner every successful tradesperson needs.

For more information visit www.tradifyhq.com

 

Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify launches in the UK

Source: Electrical Times

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Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

OFTEC registration figures have hit a five-year high and are continuing to rise, underlining the increasing value both technicians and consumers are placing on professional qualifications.

The continued low price of oil compared to electricity, LPG and renewable heating technologies – the other heating options available to off grid households – has seen demand for oil remain strong with many consumers choosing to stick with, or even switch to oil.

Technicians are capitalising on the popularity of oil by renewing or taking out oil registration for the first time, with OFTEC seeing an increasing number of gas technicians expand into the sector to take advantage of the new business opportunities on offer.

It is anticipated the recent announcement by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that oil boilers will be included in the next round of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3), will likely spark a further wave of technicians seeking OFTEC registration which is mandatory to work on the scheme.

OFTEC training manager, David Knipe, said: “While many sectors are facing uncertainty about the future, the heating profession is thriving. All the time households need heat and hot water, there will be demand for skilled technicians.

“However, what consumers are looking for is changing. Social media means that incidences of poor workmanship are widely shared and consumers are becoming ever more aware of the risks of employing an unqualified tradesperson. OFTEC registration demonstrates competence and provides homeowners with the peace of mind they are dealing with a professional. This puts those technicians who can legitimately display the OFTEC badge at a distinct advantage when quoting for work.

“With heating technologies evolving and sector and business legislation continually changing, even the most experienced technicians can benefit from OFTEC training and the additional benefits this brings, including free technical advice and regular sector updates. Being able to confidently advise customers on the best solution for their needs could make the difference between winning and losing a job.”

To keep pace with the rise in demand, the number of OFTEC training centres across the country has grown to 88, with the total expected to top 90 by the end of the year.

 

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Source: HPM Magazine

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ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA holds successful event series introducing changes to the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

Thousands of contractors and installers attended ECA’s #Project18 roadshow events during July, to learn about the changes introduced within the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671).

Over a three week period, around 2,000 people attended 14 events held across the country. In addition, these events had the added bonus of a CPD element delivered by one of ECA’s technical experts, supported by leading industry manufacturers.  These roadshows also provided an excellent opportunity for ECA members to network with others within the industry.

Most of the events were also supported by a small exhibition showcasing several promotions and products, including stands from roadshow partners Schneider, Eaton and Legrand.

Steve Martin, ECA Director of Technical, commented:

“The roadshows were a superb way for ECA members to easily learn about the changes contained within the latest edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. It was also great to see ECA members networking with each other to build new business relationships.”

Matt Crunden, Training and BIM Manager at Legrand, commented:

“The ECA Project18 roadshow was one of the ‘not to be missed’ events of the year. The quality of the information presented in the seminars was excellent and the event organisation was first class. Legrand Electric Ltd was proud to be part of the roadshow.”

Marc Gaunt, Segment Marketing Manager at Eaton, commented:

“Eaton was delighted to see the levels of attendance by ECA members at this year’s Project18 events. As well as providing a great platform to understand more about the 18th Edition, the events were a fantastic opportunity to discuss pragmatic, layered approaches for our industry to enhance building safety.”

ECA member representative Keith Basing, of Phoenix ME Ltd, commented:

“I have attended a few presentations on the 18th Edition, but this was the best one by far.”

The new Wiring Regulations were published on 2 July 2018, and will come into full effect on 1 January 2019. ECA is providing members with a range of online tools, resources and discounted training to help get them up-to-speed.

Full details of The ECA #Project18 campaign can be found at www.project18.co.uk.

 

ECA's #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

The Cleaner Heat Cashback announced last week by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been broadly welcomed by industry.

The scheme, which will allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Greater London to apply for a share of a £10 million pot to replace older, working boilers (ten years plus) will help to reduce overall emission rates within the capital.

Customers looking to make the changes are being urged to do so quickly as the allocation of funds will be made on a strict first come, first served basis. All applications will also need to be made online.

Eligibility for the initiative specifies that applicants must be a London-based SME and either own the building or have responsibility for it and permission from the landlord to make the appropriate changes.

Ideal Commercial Boilers believes the initiative is a great incentive for businesses to reassess their current carbon footprint.

Andy Forrest, national sales manager, said: “For those who will have to upgrade their current heating systems there are several incentives available to help with costs. For instance, the initiative offers 30 to 35% cashback on replacement boilers, an incentive that should encourage SMEs to replace older units.

“The added five per cent capital expenditure will be a bonus for those customers who are within an Air Quality Focus Area (areas with high levels of carbon emissions).

Vaillant “highly commended this positive initiative” to incentivise and support SMEs to replace old, inefficient commercial boilers with much cleaner and more efficient alternatives.

John Bailey, sales director, commercial & renewable systems, said: “We would champion a national roll out of this scheme across other cities in the UK as we believe it will help to reduce energy wastage and unnecessarily inflated heating bills, and contribute to the reduction in air pollution to provide a healthier environment for all. We look forward to supporting the installer network in London to deliver this scheme.”

The Builders Merchant Federation supports the initiative, which builds on earlier residential schemes by successive Mayors.

John Newcomb, chief executive, said: “The fact that Cleaner Heat is now aimed at commercial premises signals not only a political determination to tackle poor air quality, but seeks to change the thinking of SME owners towards their day-to-day running costs.

“Significant savings can be made in business costs by upgrading to a modern heating system that our members make and supply. The 30% rate is generous and ought to entice companies to act. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has moved to help London firms to cut bills, reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage further investment.”

The Industrial and Commercial Energy Association believes the scheme is a positive step for businesses, carbon reduction and air quality.

Ross Anderson, director, added: “There is widespread recognition that domestic heating requires decarbonisation but industrial and commercial energy efficiency also needs to be addressed. A commercial boiler scrappage scheme will not only improve London’s air quality, it will also act as a catalyst to spur businesses on to consider additional energy efficiency improvements such as controls.”

 

London Mayor's new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

Source: HPM Magazine

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Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.

The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.

The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:

  • 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
  • 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
  • 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.

On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:

  • 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
  • 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
  • 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.

‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.

The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.

In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.

With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.

A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.

“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.

“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”

‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’.

 

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Source: Electrical Times

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Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Birmingham’s plans to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games have stepped up with the submission of plans for the athlete’s village.

The Commonwealth Games Village, proposed to be built on the site of the former Birmingham City University campus in Perry Barr, would be large enough to accommodate the 6,500 athletes and officials coming to Birmingham in the summer of 2022.

The accommodation will also feature a running track and green spaces and is a short distance from Alexander Stadium where the track and field events will take place.

Glancy Nicholls Architects has developed the masterplan of the Commonwealth Games Village.

After the Games, the Village would provide around 1,400 new homes across a range of different tenures. The development would also include an extra care village for older people and a community centre.

John Crabtree, Chair of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, said: “In the seven months since being awarded the 2022 Games there has been a lot of work done to prepare this planning application.

“Now is the time for anyone with an interest in the regeneration of Perry Barr to look at our plans in detail and give feedback to the city council planners.

“We want the people of the West Midlands to have ownership of the Games and this is one of the first significant ways in which they can do that.”

 

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Human Rights Commission warns on flammable cladding

The use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise residential blocks constitutes a breach of the residents’ human rights, according to the Equality & Human Rights Commission, and thus exposes public authorities to prosecution under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government (DHCLG) outlining its concerns about the continued use of combustible cladding in existing buildings and advising the department of its responsibilities under human rights laws to protect lives.

The EHRC is supported by the British Safety Council in its challenge to the government over its failure to protect lives

In a briefing paper on the subject, the EHRC says: “A key issue in the Grenfell inquiry will be whether the building regulations banned the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high-rise residential blocks, due to the risk of fire associated with it. If the building regulations did ban its use, questions will be asked about the adequacy of the systems for monitoring and supervising compliance with those regulations, including in council buildings, to ensure that cladding was installed safely. Both scenarios raise questions about whether the UK has met its duty to protect life. Additional issues arise concerning fire safety regulations, including the installation of fire sprinklers in high-rise buildings.”

The EHRC has expressed its concern that the consultation on the use of external cladding omits any reference to the government’s duty to protect lives under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998.

British Safety Council chairman Lawrence Waterman said: “The British Safety Council has participated in the consultation, calling for much tighter building controls, clearer guidance and effective enforcement. The EHRC intervention takes a wider view and supports our long-held and consistent argument that health and safety is a crucial underpinning of the human right to life.”

The EHRC explains: “The right to life is one of the fundamental guarantees in international human rights law. In many respects it is a prerequisite to, and closely linked with, the enjoyment of all other rights. The right to life is protected under international and European human rights treaties, including Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The UK government has signed up to these treaties and has to abide by them at all times.

“Article 2 of the ECHR is particularly important in the UK as it has been incorporated into domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998. This means that all UK governments and public bodies – central, local and devolved – including all public officials, have to take appropriate measures to safeguard life by making laws to protect people and, in some circumstances, by taking active steps to protect people if their lives are at risk. If they don’t do this, they can be taken to court.”

Solicitor Anjon Malik, construction partner at Gordons law firm, commented: “The Human Rights Commission’s intervention that the use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise buildings is a breach of human rights is an issue that the Grenfell Inquiry will not be able to ignore. If it turns out that the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high rise cladding had actually been banned by building regulations but it’s continued use had not been properly monitored, the public will rightly expect those in authority to be held to account. And, unless and until those responsible face the severest consequences, the clamour for heads to roll will continue.”

 

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Source: The Construction Enquirer

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UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

According to the findings of a recent health and safety survey conducted for Bosch, UK tradespeople are the most safety conscious in Europe.

The poll canvased the views plumbers and other building trade professionals in the UK and eight other European countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Over 100 tradespeople from the UK were surveyed, with 824 participants across Europe in total.

The results found that 56% of the UK tradespeople said that they stopped work several times a day or even more frequently in order to meet health and safety requirements. Across the channel in France around 35% of workers were stopping a similar amount of times, while in Spain it was 37.5% and in Germany a little over 39%.

The survey also shed light on which tasks trade professionals place most importance on, in terms of using protection. In the UK grinding metal was rated highest, with 46% of respondents flagging it up. After this came drilling concrete and sawing wood.

 

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

Source: HVP Magazine

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February 2018 Newsletter

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ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

Following the collapse of Carillion last month, an action plan has been put forward to the Government by leading engineering services bodies, the BESA and ECA, to lay the issue of cash retention in construction to rest.

The BESA and ECA’s submission includes a request for the Government to put retentions in trust as a key first step, with the Peter Aldous Bill seen as a suitable legislative vehicle. This would then be a stepping stone on an industry roadmap to full abolition of retentions in the near future.

The submission includes results from a 2017 survey, which reveals that 92 per cent of respondents said they have faced construction retentions during the last three years, with two-thirds of current contracts involving retentions. Over half faced total retentions of over £100,000 against current contracts;

Many respondents wait an extra six months longer to get their retention monies than the typical 12 months defect liability period. The average amount of monies held over the past three years, which has not been paid back after the completion date and is thus outstanding, is £34,826.

ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve commented: “Prompt and fair payment is essential for industry collaboration, increased productivity and investment. Putting retentions in trust is vital to making early progress with protecting and supporting SMEs. Looking forward, it would help the industry not just to survive, but to modernize and deliver on the new sector deal”.

BESA Director of Legal and Commercial Rob Driscoll commented: “The Government’s Industrial Strategy relies on an engineering services sector which has both the capability and capacity to continue to deliver against UK demand. Recent events have shone a spotlight on just how critical prompt and fair payment is to ensure a financially healthy, innovative and productive sector best achieved through a move away from the use of retentions.”

ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

Source: Electrical Times

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Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

UK households have paid out more than £725 million in unexpected boiler repair bills in the past year, according to data from uSwitch.com.

Nearly a fifth of consumers (17%) – the equivalent of over four million households – have experienced at least one boiler breakdown in the last 12 months. The research found that the average cost to repair a boiler breakdown was £245, adding up to a collective cost of £725 million. However, 4% of those experiencing a breakdown faced a repair bill that exceeded £1,250.

To cover the cost of an unexpected boiler breakdown, nearly half of households (48%) say they would rely on their savings. However, 3.5 million (13%) say they would have to rely on credit cards or take out a bank loan.

Shona Eyre, Energy Expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Boiler breakdown can be a real-life nightmare for many families, and the temperamental British weather doesn’t help matters. It’s not just the financial impact of having to fix a boiler, having to go without hot water and heating for any length of time can be a huge hardship for many families.”

Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

Source: HVP Magazine

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Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Schneider Electric has launched Go Green in the City 2018, its global contest to find bold ideas and innovative solutions for smarter, more energy-efficient cities, which is now in its eighth year. 

In 2017, nearly 20,000 young innovators from 3,000 universities in 180 countries took part. The stakes for Go Green in the City competitors are high, with mentoring, networking, travel, cash prizes and business/job opportunities all on the horizon.

In 2018, the competition is also offering a wider range of topics. Students are invited to submit their bold ideas in one of five categories, including sustainability and inclusivity, the digital economy, smart supply chain, cyber security, or ‘no boundaries/bold idea for going green’ (any topic).

Olivier Blum, chief human resources officer at Schneider Electric commented, “Schneider Electric has a bold vision to solve our planet’s energy paradox. Go Green in the City was designed as a platform for young innovators to become a part of this vision. Helping students to develop their bold ideas for new sustainable solutions, and gain a foothold in our industry is a great way for us to accelerate positive change.”

Raja Jain and Nimisha Gupta from IIT Roorkee in India won first place in the 2017 Go Green in the City final for their ‘Evacool’ air-cooling system. They said, “Go Green in the City has been a dream come true. Winning the competition has given us such a great sense of achievement, as well as a rich learning experience. If you care about how technology can promote greener practices and sustainability, you will not get a better opportunity than this.” 

Teams must be composed of two students attending accredited business or engineering schools in the same country for the duration of the competition. Each team should include at least one female member, in-line with Schneider Electric’s policy of promoting Diversity and Inclusion. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2018.

All shortlisted teams will receive mentoring by Schneider Electric experts to produce viable business cases to present at one of seven regional semi-finals over the summer in Europe, North America, China, India, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South America. Each of the seven regional winners will then be invited to prepare for the competition final, along with one outstanding all-female team and two ‘wild-card’ teams (additional teams selected from the semi-finalists). 

After this second round of mentoring, ten teams will meet at the global final in the United States in the autumn. The global winning team selected by the executive jury, will be offered the chance to start a career at Schneider Electric, after an international travel to visit any two locations of their choice worldwide, where Schneider Electric offices are present.

Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

According to research conducted by Screwfix, plumbing apprentices are set to earn at least £2,500 a year more than the national average by 2022, bringing their average salary to over £27,500.

This comes from new research commissioned by Screwfix, which examined ONS salary data from 2010-17 to forecast future earnings of apprentices entering a profession. The research was commissioned as part of its Trade Apprentice initiative, which aims to celebrate and champion the best trade apprentices and future stars of the trade.

Along with plumbers, electricians are predicted to be future high earners with a forecasted wage of over £31,000 per annum. Plumbers are forecast to see a 5% increase (over £300), while electricians are to see a rise of 3% (over £150).

Graham Bell, Screwfix CEO, said: “The research supports our belief at Screwfix that a trade apprenticeship is a strong career choice for young people in this country. Apprenticeships lead to careers in highly skilled jobs, which are in high demand and therefore attract a healthy, competitive salary. For young people starting out they offer a great career choice without the burden of large debts from university fees.”

Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

Source: HVP Magazine

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Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Britain’s big four accountancy firms have been accused by MPs of  ‘feasting on the carcass’ of collapsed Carillion, collecting more than £70m in fees in over a decade.

A joint inquiry by two select committees has published a breakdown of fees collected by KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY.

This reveals the big four billed the company, pension schemes and the Government nearly £72m since 2008 relating to Carillion.

Field Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee, said: “The image of these companies feasting on what was soon to become a carcass will not be lost on decent citizens.

“We saw at the end of our evidence session that the former directors of Carillion are, unlike their pensioners, suppliers and employees, alright.

“These figures show that, as ever, the Big Four are alright too. All of them did extensive – and expensive – work for Carillion.”

PwC, now handling the liquidation process, came in for particular criticism.

He added: “PWC managed to play all three sides – the company, pension schemes and the Government – to the tune of £21m and are now being paid to preside over the carcass of the company as Special Managers.

“It was perhaps telling that, with their three fellow oligarchs conflicted, PWC were appointed to this lucrative position without any competition.”

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said watchdog MPs would question KPMG about its role in auditing Carillion’s accounts before the group’s collapse with over £1.3bn of debt.

Reeve said: “KPMG has serious questions to answer about the collapse of Carillion.

“Either KPMG failed to spot the warning signs, or its judgement was clouded by its cosy relationship with the company and the multi-million pound fees it received.

“For the sake of all those who lost their jobs at Carillion and in the interests of better corporate governance, KPMG should, as a bare minimum, review its processes and explain what went wrong.”

KPMG, who will be questioned in Parliament, have audited Carillion’s accounts every year since the company’s inception in 1999, receiving £29.4m in fees in the process.

In documents submitted to the joint committee, KPMG  does not accept any suggestion of blame but said it conducted its work “appropriately and responsibly”.

PwC said: “It’s appropriate that the Joint Committee consider all aspects of the collapse of Carillion and we will continue to cooperate fully with their enquiries.

“The Joint Committee’s request for information dates back to 2008 and the majority of the work that PwC undertook directly for Carillion was carried out prior to June 2015 rather than in the last few months before its collapse.

“Our technical skills and ability to deal with complex business problems led to our appointments to work for the Government and the Pension trustees.

“While there are only four large professional services firms, the market has been subject to extensive review by the Competition Commission (now succeeded by the Competition & Markets Authority) and European Commission. We comply with all rules that have resulted from these extensive reviews.”

Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Manchester City Council has started the hunt for a management contractor to deliver its ambitious Town Hall and Albert Square Revamp.

The client project team includes Mace appointed late last year as project manager and architect Purcell, which has worked up designs to refurbish the Grade I-listed landmark building, opened in 1877.

The project is expected to be worth up to £190m and will run for around four years.

City council procurement chiefs hope to shortlist five firms to bid with the successful contractor appointed in early December.

The winning firm will be responsible for managing the project and procuring around 80 subcontracts ranging from  £10,000 – £40m.

Works will include restoring the Great Hall and its Ford Madox Brown murals, as well as external repairs to the roof, stonework and drains. The council also says ‘significant work’ is needed to address the electrics, heating, ventilation and lifts in the building.

The Council is using the Chest procurement portal with expressions of interest required by 19 March.

Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Driving more business for LPG Installers

LPG supplier Calor is promoting its ‘Find an Installer’ tool which helps potential customers find a local LPG gas engineer for their boiler service, installation and maintenance. Installers who are LPG Qualified and Gas Safe registered are encouraged to sign up for Calor’s Installer Community in order to appear in the Finder’s search results, all free of charge. Being included on the Finder means installers can be contacted directly by homeowners currently using LPG for their heating, or those interested in switching to Calor LPG.

Matt Dunford, National Field Sales Manager at Calor, says: “If you’re a heating installer working in a rural area, LPG offers your customers all the convenience and reliability of mains gas. We’re constantly looking for new ways to work alongside rural installers and help them with any LPG support they need. Our ‘Find an Installer’ tool is another way for us to share business opportunities with our Installer Community.

“We are also offering an Installer Incentive Scheme, where we’ll reward you with up to £250 for every LPG customer you recommend who goes on to become a Calor customer.”

LPG qualified heating installers can learn about the benefits of Calor LPG and inclusion on the Finder by meeting up with a local Calor representative. To find out more, visit www.calor.co.uk/installer

Driving more business for LPG Installers

Driving more business for LPG Installers

Source: PHAM News

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Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

“Tackling gender inequality must be a trade priority,” NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy has said.

As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the female vote Emma has said that despite a certain level of progress in other industries, gender disparity still remains a prevalent issue in the electrical and wider construction sectors.

“February 6, 1918, was an important milestone in our history, but it only marked the start of a journey that we are still on today to bring about equality,” commented Emma.

“The unfortunate reality is that, despite great progress being made in breaking down gender barriers in other areas of life, there is still a huge job to do in the construction industry.

“In the electrical industry alone, women only make up around 1% of the total workforce. As an industry we need to broaden our approach to recruitment and the image we portray.”

NICEIC continues to promote opportunities for women in the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls campaign.

The campaign has helped bring greater focus to the issue and while perceptions of the construction industry are changing, Emma believes there are still more steps that can be taken to create a more inclusive environment.

“There are some great success stories out there of women who have made a great career in the electrical industry,” added Emma.

“They are real trailblazers and evidence that the industry is changing. However, the numbers are still painfully low and many young women are still pushed into careers such as hairdressing or childcare as it is the perceived norm.

“We need to change the perception of the industry as one traditionally for boys and make it more inclusive and appealing to women. Young females need see it as a viable, exciting career option from the very beginning.

“What we have found in particular is that women who do become electricians often do so later on in life – when in fact they could have started out much sooner if they had the appropriate information or encouragement.”

For more information, visit the NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign.

Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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World Plumbing Day is coming up

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is reminding the industry that 11 March 2018 is World Plumbing Day.

Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC), World Plumbing Day highlights the global water and sanitation crisis, while also promoting the important role that plumbing plays in the health and safety of modern society.

While here in the UK, we feel a million miles away from dangers of severe water shortages and the sanitation crisis seen in the developing world; that is not to say that all UK water systems are safe. With longstanding issues such as hot water scalding, Legionnaires Disease, lead in pipework and pollution caused by plumbing misconnections, we are still very much living in a time where even first world plumbing problems can be deadly.

Kevin Wellman, CEO of the CIPHE, said: “Days such as World Plumbing Day highlight both the good and the bad in our vital and vibrant industry. We know the health of the nation sits on having safe, clean drinking water and effective sanitation. While the majority of tradespeople are out there working to an exceptional standard, each year people are still being severely injured and killed by poorly designed, installed and maintained plumbing systems.

“Plumbers are also on the frontline in the fight to conserve water, while safekeeping our families and the environment we live in. At the CIPHE, we believe that education and knowledge is the key to fighting a variety of problems in the industry. We wholeheartedly celebrate the role that plumbers make to our everyday lives, but still recognise more needs to be done to make all plumbing systems safe and sustainable.”

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news and events online by logging onto www.worldplumbingday.org or following @WPlumbingDay on Twitter.

World Plumbing Day is coming up

World Plumbing Day is coming up

Source: HVP Magazine

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Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Italian cable company, La Triveneta Cavi (LTC), has confirmed it experienced a production fault last year that resulted in flexible cord cable with exposed copper conductors, on sale in the UK, reports the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI).

The cables, which failed the British and European Standards flex test, were found on sale following random market place sampling by the ACI. The Initiative has recently stepped up this programme of surveillance following an increase in reporting of substandard cable.

In a written notification, LTC outlined that the incident, which the ACI originally reported in November last year, may be attributed to the `running-in’ phase of a new production plant in Moldova at the end of 2016 and into early 2017.

Since the ACI’s original announcement, certification body IMQ has indicated that it has been addressing issues identified during routine surveillance work with the Triveneta factory in question. These issues were being dealt with in accordance with the HAR scheme rules and IMQ requirements.

The company has also confirmed it is working with IMQ and that during the latest inspections at its production site by IMQ, no problems or anomalies were detected. BASEC also reported that testing of a further batch of cable passed relevant tests.

In September last year, tests of cable samples were commissioned by the ACI and carried out by three independent sources. All showed similar results. Other non-conforming results were also noted but the exposed copper conductors were deemed to be the most dangerous failing of the tested cable.

All cable samples failed flex tests under BS EN 50525-2-11 2014.

The affected three core 1.5sq.mm cords could potentially be fitted to vacuum cleaners, electric drills and extension leads, all of which are exposed to constant flexing during their everyday use. The ACI believes the copper conductor strands which penetrated the PVC insulation and sheathing during the test could cause serious electric shock or even death if they come into contact with a user.

The samples of Triveneta flexible cords which were tested were marked with the manufacturer’s identification ‘La Triveneta Cavi’ and carried a 2016 manufacturing date. They were also marked with the IEMMEQU <HAR> approval mark. The failed flexible cords were orange and white in colour – however the ACI advises that all colours should be treated with great caution.

For further advice on this issue and other substandard cable can be found at www.aci.org.uk.

Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Financial concerns hit construction’s largest sectors

The Construction Products Association’s Construction Trade Survey 2017 has revealed that the proportion of companies in the construction supply chain struggled with rising costs for raw materials, labour and energy has remained elevated in each quarter, last year.

The survey found that although activity continued to increase for main contractors, SME builders, product manufacturers and specialist contractors during the quarter, civil engineering firms reported the first fall in workloads in four years. Net balances for orders, enquiries and expected product sales for the year ahead weakened, and contractors reported lower orders in the commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing sectors. Combined, these sectors account for over 40 per cent of total construction output.

Rises in fuel and energy costs were prevalent among heavy side product manufacturers, reflecting the lagged impact of Sterling’s deprecation during 2016 on hedged commodity prices.

This, in combination with existing price pressures for raw materials and labour, has intensified the cost inflation passing through the supply chain.

Overall, costs were reported higher for 82 per cent of civil engineering contractors, whilst raw materials increased for 82 per cent of main contractors and 91 per cent of light side product manufacturers.

Commenting on the survey, Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, said: The Q4 survey marked the fourth consecutive quarter of falling profit margins among building contractors. This combined with Carillion’s liquidation at the start of this year only emphasizes the financial strains exerted by a protracted period of rising costs passing through the supply chain. Falls in new orders reported in the four sizeable sectors of commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing add another downside to the outlook for 2018 given the early signs of slowing activity at the end of last year.

Financial concerns hit construction's largest sectors

Financial concerns hit construction’s largest sectors

Source: Electrical Times

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North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) will be holding an industry open day, in London, for the construction sector on 6 March 2018. This is for the companies who want to be part of a project that offers a range of construction activities over approximately the next ten years. By building the facilities, it will enable the sustainable management of waste in North London in the long term.

The construction work will deliver the North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) at Edmonton EcoPark – a 16 hectare site in the Upper Lee Valley.

Providing a vital asset for NLWA, the project will ensure the ability to dispose of waste responsibly and cost effectively for many years to come.

NLWA have said they will work to the highest standards of health and safety, work as a “good neighbour”, be committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and play a positive role in skills development of their workplace.

The components of the NLHPP are an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), located in the north of the site, which will treat up to 700,000 tonnes of residual waste a year and provide electricity that can power over 127,000 homes, with energy diverted to supply heat to local homes and businesses via a heat network.

Located in the south of the site will be the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF), where bulky waste will be separated for recycling, and will also be the location of a recycling centre for the public and businesses from 2021.

Eco Park House, located near the River Lee Navigation, will contain office accommodation and a visitors’ centre where people can find out about recycling, waste, heat etc.

The estimated capital cost of the project is around 650 million pounds. In advance of main construction activities, a series of preparatory works will be required to prepare the site, provide new utilities and create new site access points.

NLWA’s industry open day is to explain their proposals for the preparatory works so that interested companies can soon engage as soon as practicable in the plans.

To register for the event, please do so through the website: northlondonheatandpower.london

North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

Source: Electrical Times

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Hotcost at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event

Hotcost at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event

Hotcost would like to thank each and every one of you that came to visit us at our stand at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin last week. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future.

If you missed us at the show don’t worry you can still get in touch with us to discuss all your electrical and mechanical needs.

Also keep an eye on our website and social media channels for news regarding upcoming shows.

 


 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited would like to thank each and every one of you that came to visit us at our stand at the ED&I Expo at the NEC in Birmingham last week. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future…

 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

 

If you missed us at the show don’t worry you can still get in touch with us to discuss all your electrical and mechanical needs.

Also keep an eye on our website and social media channels for news regarding upcoming shows.

Major Brands to showcase new products and innovations at ED&I Expo

Major Brands to showcase new products and innovations at ED&I Expo

The ED&I Expo takes place at the NEC Birmingham on the 6th & 7th of September 2017 and major electrical brands have been announced to showcase their latest products and innovations at the show.

Just some of the major brands on display will be:

  • CP Electronics – Showcasing a range of new lighting control products by CP Electronics – a brand of Legrand – will be on display at this year’s ED&I. The company will be launching its mid-range presence detector, EBDMR, and its RAPID scene control solutions.
  • Legrand – From eye-catching and innovative wiring devices through to state-of-the-art power distribution and cable management, Legrand, global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures, says it will be showcasing its expansive product portfolio for electrical professionals at the show.
  • Scolmore – Electrical wiring and lighting specialist Scolmore will be showcasing a diverse range of new products at ED&I Expo.
  • Epson – Epson will be demonstrating its complete LabelWorks range of printers, Epson says its LabelWorks handheld label printers are ideal for electrical and IT engineers, maintenance contractors, builders and plumbers.
  • Goodlight – Goodlight, the award-winning brand by LED Eco Lights, is launching a brand new architectural range of LED ceiling panels alongside the new Chroma, an all-in-one multi-purpose integrated LED downlighter.
  • PremSpec – Manufacturer of high quality electrical products, PremSpec will launch key new lines for the company including a new range of single phase PremShield consumer units with the company’s new three-phase, British-built switch gear.
  • Flex Connectors – Just one of the many top names gracing the show floor of the UK’s new national electrical trade show, Flex Connectors will be exhibiting its expansive range of flex7 lighting connection and control products.
  • Aico – Aico, one of the market leaders in domestic Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detection products.

This is just a fraction of the fantastic brands and suppliers that will be on display over the two days at the exhibition and you can see a full list of exhibitors by clicking here.

Don’t forget Hotcost will be attending the expo and you can find us at Stand 128 for all your electrical and mechanical estimating needs and if you haven’t already, click here to signup for this fantastic event.