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5 reasons to visit the ED&I Expo

5 reasons to visit the ED&I Expo

Hotcost are delighted to be attending the ED&I Expo at the NEC in Birmingham on 6th-7th September 2017, you can find us at Stand 128, and here are 5 reasons you should be attending too.

 

TRAINING | EDUCATION | LEARNING | KNOWLEDGE

Expand your knowledge through a variety of hourly seminars and get involved with daily panel discussions at ED&I Expo. Seminars include the 18th edition, best practice for smart homes, CDM for contractors and more. All sessions are free to attend, so book a seat today and put yourself on the front foot for improving your business.


 

 

AWARENESS | EXPERIENCE | UNDERSTANDING

With hundreds of products and show exclusives on display, ED&I Expo is a must attend trade show for any decision makers in the industry looking to add more profitability to their business. Experience hands on demonstrations and gain access to exclusive show deals from a big range of manufacturers and distributors.

 


INTERACTION | OPPORTUNITIES | CLIENT ACCESS

Interact with like-minded businesses, suppliers, industry clients, contractors and consultants to increase company awareness. If you are still looking for more, on the night of the 6th, ED&I Expo will be holding an industry networking dinner for those looking to build new business relationships and partnerships. A night full of food, drink and entertainment.


BRANDING | RELATIONSHIPS | PROGRESSION

With the right strategy, every trade show you attend is an opportunity to drastically expand your company’s customer base. Support from leading industry associations and exhibitors ensure that all the information you need is provided to move business in the right direction.

 


STAYING ONE STEP AHEAD

At ED&I Expo there are plenty of opportunities to explore new industry sectors and discover what products and services are breaking new ground and uniting the industry in moving forward. The show gives visitors a vital chance to plan and prepare for the significant changes, challenges and opportunities ahead. Make a trip to ED&I Expo part of your strategy for 2017 and beyond!

 

 

June 2017 Newsletter

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Grenfell Tower fire probe focuses on cladding

Fire investigators will focus on how the Grenfell tower blaze spread so rapidly jumping up the exterior of the building from the fourth floor to top in just 15 minutes.

A key area of investigation will be the common rainscreen system used on the Grenfell Tower, which is designed to include fire-breaks at every floor and around every window.

Experts believe this may have failed with the void between the aluminium panels and building fabric acting as a chimney to spread the fire.

The system has been used on many tower block revamps and the Government has now ordered checks on all buildings in the UK that have been revamped in recent years.

Chris Miers, a forensic architect, said: “I was surprised to see the extent of fire and its rapid spread. The risk is if the void is not adequately subdivided it would act as a chimney.”

The building was overclad with Aluminium Composite Material cassette rainscreen. This consists of two thin aluminium sheets sandwiching a core material. The panels are available with polyethylene or less flammable mineral cores.

Russ Timpson of the tall building fire safety network, said: “In the UK cladding has to be of limited combustibility. I’m sure it will be questioned what exactly this means and what these types of cladding systems are adding to the fire load of a building.”

The cladding system employs a void behind the panel to vent moisture. An intumescent strip is designed to be installed at regular intervals to expand in the event of fire to become a cavity barrier.

Cladding contractor Harley Curtain Wall fell into administration shortly after completing the £2.6m Grenfell Tower project.

Main contractor Rydon, which delivered the £8.6m upgrade to the Grenfell Tower in 2016 as part of a £57m borough-wide regeneration in Kensington & Chelsea, said it had met “all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

“We will cooperate with the relevant authorities and emergency services and fully support their enquiries into the causes of this fire at the appropriate time.

“Given the ongoing nature of the incident and the tragic events overnight, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate or comment further at this stage.”

Both firms also delivered a bigger project, the Chalcot Estate in north London, which involved using similar systems to reclad five blocks as part of an £18m revamp.

The Chalcot estate in Swiss Cottage consists of 706 homes in five tower blocks -Taplow, Bray, Burnham, Dorney, and Blashford – rising to 23 storeys.

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Contractors urged to act on upcoming energy regulations

In less than a year, the government’s new energy bill comes into effect. Ideal Commercial Boilers are urging installers to act now before upcoming changes to the energy efficiency regulations.

From 1 April 2018, landlords of non-domestic rented properties, including public sector landlords, cannot grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating below E.

A report from global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield estimates that nearly 20% of commercial property buildings in England and Wales could fall short of the government’s upcoming energy standards.

Ideal Commercial Boilers see is the change as an opportunity for installers to encourage customers to be proactive before the legislation comes into effect and recommending products and services that will be required in less than a year.

Darren Finley, Chief Commercial Officer at Ideal Commercial Boilers, said: “While replacing an inefficient boiler with an efficient one is the obvious solution, we would also urge contractors to use it as a chance to reiterate the benefits of routine inspection protecting the whole heating system, encouraging clients to consider preventative maintenance, monitoring gas bills, introducing controls and water treatment.”

There is mounting pressure to meet the new energy standards, particularly where tenancies are due for renewal in the first quarter of 2018. Commercial landlords who are still heating their buildings with older boilers and inefficient systems will end up losing out.

The regulations will change again from 1 April 2023 and landlords must not let a non-domestic property if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G.

Source: HVP Magazine

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Electricians wanted to fill assessor skills gap

A campaign to recruit more NVQ assessors has been launched by training provider JTL, following concerns of a skills shortage in this area and the negative impact it could have on apprenticeship quality.

A very welcomed rise in the number of apprenticeships has in turn led to an increased need for independent assessors – individuals who can visit an apprentice’s place of work to review their on-site work, provide guidance on their NVQ portfolio and support their development.

However, with a shortage across England and Wales of those currently carrying out this role, the quality of each apprenticeship could be at risk because apprentices are not given the amount of pastoral and technical support they need to progress.

JTL prize the quality of their assessment highly and are keen to ensure that increasing learner numbers do not have a negative impact. Because of the specialised nature of the role, electricians who have already worked ‘on the tools’ in the industry for a number of years are ideally suited to an assessment role, as they are fully versed with current working practices and the industry techniques that an apprentice needs to learn. Those who are able to spend one or two days a week visiting apprentices at work to help progress their NVQ development are being encouraged to apply.

“Becoming an assessor gives you the chance to give something back and, if you’re retired or wanting to take a back seat in your business, allows you to keep in touch with the industry,” said Julie Asher-Smith, human resources director of JTL.

“It’s your opportunity to interact with the industry’s future workforce and allows you to share the experience and skills you’ve gained over the years.

“The skills gap relating to apprentices and electricians has been well documented, but having the right people to assess their training is an important part of the jigsaw. With this campaign we’re taking vital steps to ensure there are sufficient numbers of assessors to develop the next generation of craft professionals.”

Those interested in becoming an assessor are encouraged to contact JTL to find out more. Individuals need to be technically qualified with an apprenticeship or NVQ Level 3 as a minimum, but full support and training related to the role, along with attractive day rates, are provided.

To find out more visit www.jtlassociatesjobs.com

Source: Electrical Times

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Homeowners leave themselves at risk by not checking tradesmen’s credentials

According to the latest research by home service marketplace Plentific.com, nearly four out of five homeowners admit that they would hire a trade professional without checking for public liability or professional indemnity insurance.

Hiring a trade professional who does not have the appropriate insurance cover can leave a homeowner financially vulnerable if things go wrong, or if they are dissatisfied with the work carried out.

All home improvement or renovation projects come with some risk. Without public liability insurance, any costs arising from on site injuries or damaged property will fall to the customer to pay. Similarly, if the work carried out, advice given, or specialist services offered by a pro are unsatisfactory, without professional indemnity insurance, the financial costs to amend the project will again fall to the homeowner to organise.

Shockingly, according to the research, only 54% of homeowners check the Gas Safe Register when hiring tradesmen to work on their gas utilities. This percentage drops to 48% for under 55-year-olds, but rises to 60% for homeowners aged 55 and over. Ensuring that a property’s gas utilities are safely maintained is essential to prevent serious hazards or accidents. Checking the Gas Safe Register lets homeowners know whether a trade professional is qualified to legally and safely carry out work on gas appliances.

The research shows that 57% of homeowners believe checking reviews from previous customers is a must before hiring a trade professional. Checking a trade professional’s website also ranked highly, with 43% of respondents claiming that this was a key step when hiring a professional. This trend was stronger for younger homeowners, with 63% of 18 to 34-year-olds following this rule, compared to just 39% of respondents aged 55 or over.

Knowing what to look for when hiring a professional may be daunting for some, so Plentific does all the hard work for the customer when it comes to checking credentials. The ‘Verified Pros’ available through Plentific have been thoroughly vetted to ensure that they have all the appropriate cover for their trades. With the added backing of the Plentific Guarantee, an industry first insurance policy that comes as standard with Verified Pros, homeowners can also benefit from an extra layer of protection if the job doesn’t go to plan.

Stephen Jury, of Plentific, said: “It’s shocking to think that the majority of homeowners aren’t properly checking the tradesmen they let into their homes to carry out renovation or repair work. These projects can be costly, so if something goes wrong, it’s essential to be protected.

“The fact that more homeowners check previous customer reviews over credentials such as the Gas Safe Register, could be surprising to some. However, it shows how much influence people put on real life testimonials and recent customer experiences.”

Source: Heating & Plumbing Monthly Magazine

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Turning teens to engineering

According to a survey by Jobsite, the current engineering talent shortfall is driven, not by lack of interest, but by the fact that young people simply do not know how to get started in the field. Indeed, six out of 10 (63%) 16-18 year olds don’t know what qualifications are necessary to become an engineer, while three quarters (74%) didn’t know of any engineering work experience opportunities.

So with more than 50 per cent of respondents expressing a desire to join the industry, the onus is on businesses and schools to bring engineering apprenticeships to the fore.

One company that is already working towards this goal is engineering solutions firm, adi Group, which currently has 19 employees enrolled on its post-16 apprenticeship scheme, and a dozen 14-16 year olds undertaking an adi pre-apprenticeship in partnership with a local school – the first programme of its kind in the UK.

The scheme involves 12 secondary school students – male and female – attending adi Group’s workshop for half a day each week. This occupies 10% of the students’ overall curriculum time as they continue to work on their GCSEs alongside the course. Unfortunately, despite this being the right course of action, these types of partnerships are a rarity.

According to an IAC survey of apprentices, half of all those surveyed found out about their apprenticeship through their own initiative, with a mere 15% finding out from a teacher or careers adviser. In fact, some students are being actively discouraged by their schools to take on apprenticeships, demonstrating the need for employers to work with educational providers to emphasise the value of work-based learning.

Alan Lusty, CEO of adi Group, comments: “We are now seeing a generation of young people seriously considering engineering as a career choice, however, more needs to be done to match students up with high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.

“adi Group’s long term aim is to support the engineering and manufacturing industries by providing a constant stream of young talented people who are well prepared for specialist roles. Our pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programmes are clear demonstrations of that intent.

“However, we can’t do it alone. We need more businesses to adopt similar initiatives and increase the number of work experience placements available. As rising numbers of young people are interested in a future in engineering, this is a demand we must meet. As such, the pre-apprenticeship model is completely available, free of charge, for any employer or school that wishes to replicate an existing scheme which has proven to work, and work well.”

For more information, visit www.adiltd.co.uk

Source: Electrical Times

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Heating firms called up for £600m Scottish housing deal

Specialist heating contractors from across Scotland are being invited to submit bids to take part in a new social housing framework.

The new panel of firms is being set up to help registered social landlords meet their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing.

It is being launched by PfH Scotland, the procurement specialist set up by the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

To meet the EESSH standard, all social housing in Scotland must achieve an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of Band D or better by 2020.

PfH Scotland’s newly-launched framework is expected to generate contract work worth up to £600m over four years across Scotland’s social housing sector.

Following a process of vetting, shortlisting and selecting contractors, the framework is expected to go live in September of this year.

PfH Scotland Head of Operations Stephen Herriot said: “I would encourage heating contractors of all sizes, including those who may have no previous experience of tendering for public sector contracts, to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this £600m procurement framework and to secure new work while helping drive ongoing improvements in the energy efficiency of Scottish social housing.”

The framework will be split into six defined geographic regions across Scotland.

PfH Scotland is offering a range of bid support and advice for SMEs with limited or no experience of tendering for public sector work.

To further support participation be smaller local contractors, evaluation of tenders will also be 70% weighted in favour of quality and 30% on price.

In each geographic region, the framework has been broken down into 13 individual lots covering services ranging from energy performance certification to domestic and commercial gas servicing and from the installation of renewables to architectural services.

Those tendering can submit responses for any or all of these individual lots and will then be required to identify the geographic areas within each lot that they can service.

Contractors have until the 17 July to register an interest in the framework and to submit their bid.

Further information about the PfH Scotland EESSH heating services framework is available on the Public Contracts Scotland website.

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Training will transform building controls industry

The Building Controls Association (BCIA) believes the key to a sustainable future in the building controls industry is to invest in young people and find skilled role models for the next generation.

The current skills shortage faced by the industry has been well documented. A recent survey conducted by UK Construction Week discovered that 67% of respondents identified a lack of knowledge as a serious issue in preventing buildings being run more efficiently, highlighting that more needs to be done in terms of education and training.

To tackle the building performance challenge head-on, building controls engineers must be fully trained to optimise buildings and correctly ascertain which controls will be of most benefit to deliver cost savings and enhance overall comfort.

Technical qualifications called T-levels will be introduced next year for 16-19 year olds following a sizeable investment from the government.

Construction and engineering are set to be two of the key areas which will benefit from this. George Belfield, is an ideal illustration of what a young person can achieve with the right training and guidance.

George recently won the coveted Young Engineer of the Year accolade at the prestigious BCIA Awards 2017 and works for InTandem Systems. Inspired by his older brother who was an electrician, George embarked on an intense training programme and has since gained valuable experience by working on various international projects.

George’s next step is to progress up the ranks and become a building controls engineer as he continues his development in his chosen field. George’s journey has been transformed thanks to obtaining the necessary skills and expertise through ongoing training.

Developing the industry’s talented engineers and retaining them is pivotal. Like George, the industry needs more role models and inspirational figures to encourage and motivate young people to opt for a career in this sector.

Malcolm Anson, president of the BCIA says:” We can all play a significant role in helping shape the future of the building controls industry. Let’s unearth the next crop of controls engineers and demonstrate our passion for the sector. Finding suitable role models will be vital in capturing the imagination of young people who wish to make a career in building controls. We must inspire and educate the next generation to ensure a sustainable future across the whole industry.”

Source: Electrical Times

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Fancy being a local hero?

Centrica has launched a new on-demand service, Local Heroes, providing a user-friendly digital platform to find trusted local tradespeople to carry out work in the home. The service currently connects people with local plumbing, heating, electrical and drainage experts.

Local Heroes links the customer-tradespeople journey seamlessly, from searching for a job and providing a price estimate, through to confirmation and online payment. All work that is undertaken via Local Heroes is backed by a 12-month British Gas guarantee.

For tradespeople who are successfully vetted and approved to become Local Heroes, the business model opens up a new revenue stream of work opportunities available within their local area.

Mark Hodges, Chief Executive at Centrica Consumer, comments: “Local Heroes is a perfect example of how we see innovation and new technologies flourishing at Centrica. Local Heroes is the first online platform that offers a complete start-to-finish experience, introducing current and next generation Centrica customers to local tradesmen – crucially, all backed by the peace of mind of a British Gas guarantee.”

There are more than 2500 Local Heroes across the UK. By 2020, the company aims to have completed several hundred thousand jobs in the home via its online platform.

To find out more, click here.

Source: PHAM News

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Electrical Trade gets its own focus group

Are you a small business working in the electrical sector who feels that your voice isn’t heard when decisions are being made in the industry that affect you?

If you are, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to get involved in a new venture by Trade Skills 4U to get the voice of the small business heard. Trade Skills 4U is keen to hear from self employed electricians (one-man bands), companies with two to five employees, five to ten employees and trainees and apprentices from these groups.

What is it?

The Small Employer Electrical Focus Group will be made up of approximately 10 people from small businesses and trainees working in the electrical industry.

The group will meet once a quarter to represent the employees and employers of small businesses and self-employed workers in the sector.

The intention is to be able to voice opinions regarding what is needed to make the industry better by training more people with the right skills to ensure they are competent.

The group will be guided by a director from Trade Skills 4U, and its intention is to listen to the opinions of the group and gather information, which can be used to influence future decision making around the electrical industry. This will ensure that future training and qualification changes represent what the industry really needs.

Why is it needed?

It’s hard to believe that even though the electrical industry consists of 90% of small businesses, it’s the 10% of larger businesses that have the most influence when decisions are being made regarding the skills needed for the industry, to ensure that the workers are competent.

This seems to be unbalanced when you consider that the majority of the larger firms don’t actually do the work themselves as they use sub-contractors to carry out an installation.

Trade Skills 4U believes that the small businesses should have a bigger voice when decisions are made, which is why they are interested in forming this Focus Group.

The aim is to be in a position to voice its opinions regarding training needs and reactions to specific industry related issues around qualification content and regulatory changes, with the intention that the views of the group will be considered to help influence the decision making and development needs of the sector.

What are the benefits?

By being part of this Focus Group Trade Skills 4U will give you the inside track regarding what’s happening in the industry and will share with you up-to-date information about forthcoming changes to regulations and qualifications.

Why Trade Skills 4U?

As the UK’s leading electrical training company, Trade Skills 4U has been representing the interests of the thousands of their customers for many years. They have been involved in the development of new qualifications, writing of course books and even provided evidence to Government on behalf of their customers. They already have close ties with accrediting bodies and industry bodies but they believe their voice will be stronger with your help.

If this is something you are interested in please register your interest via the form on this page or email elaine.hammond@tradeskills4u.co.uk.

Source: Electrical Times

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Swansea’s £500m city centre regeneration plan approved

Ambitious outline plans to redevelop the heart of Swansea have been approved by the council.

The £500m Swansea Central scheme will see over 11ha redeveloped with the partially demolished St David’s site rebuilt as a new retail destination with a cinema and library.

The council has selected developer Rivington Land and Acme to manage the regeneration of the former St David’s shopping centre and surrounding car parks.

The redevelopment site is divided by the Oystermouth Road. A new wide pedestrian footbridge will connect the triangular southern section of the site.

This is planned to be home to a 3,500-seat arena built on the existing car park next to the LC leisure centre, along with a 13-storey residential block or hotel.

The scheme will need planning permission once plans are finalised, with work hoped to start on the southern site first by summer 2018.

A later phase will involve demolishing the civic centre and creating a city beach, which would also include an aquarium and digital science centre. Trebor Developments will lead the redevelopment of this seafront area.

Source: Construction Enquirer

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January 2017 Newsletter

‘The New Year see’s some major new projects get approved, schools are invited to raise awareness and there’s praise as industry members help those in need’

 

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Funding secured for £100m London Stratford Tower

Specialist student accommodation builder Watkin Jones is set to start work on a 33-storey scheme at Stratford in East London.

Funding secured for £100m London Stratford Tower

Funding secured for £100m London Stratford Tower

The decision to go-ahead follows operator UPP and The University of London securing a £104.7m funding deal for the project.

Its Duncan House scheme on Stratford High Street will rise to over 100m and joins a cluster of tall buildings in the area.

It will provide over 190,000sq ft of new accommodation and will involve UPP operating 511 new study bedrooms and communal space for the length of the concession.

Demolition work is already underway on the site with construction due to start in March.

The scheme designed by Hodder + Partners also includes 44 flats for sale, which will be sold by Watkin Jones.

 

Funding secured for £100m London Stratford TowerFunding secured for £100m London Stratford Tower

Funding secured for £100m London Stratford Tower

Sean O’Shea, Group Chief Executive Officer of UPP said: “The University of London is a world-renowned institution and we are delighted to have reached financial close on this landmark transaction in East London.

“Located in the heart of Stratford, this exciting scheme will offer future generations of students’ competitively priced accommodation and facilities of the highest quality.”

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/01/06/funding-secured-for-100m-london-stratford-tower/

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Praise for electrician’s generous deed

They say one good deed deserves another and that was certainly the case for Wigan based electrician Karl Mather.

He was recently asked by the local branch of Age Concern to attend the property of an elderly couple who had no heating. He quickly found the fault was an old storage heater which was more than 30 years old and needed replacing.

Sadly the couple, who were in their 80s, could not afford a new heater so Karl asked Age Concern to see if the elderly pair might be eligible for a grant.

In the meantime Karl took it upon himself to buy a portable heater for the couple so they would have some heat in the short-term.

He returned a few days later to check in on them and was told a grant could take months to come through, if at all.

Feeling he could just not walk away, Karl ordered a new storage heater and went back to fit and supply it a few days later.

“It was obvious talking to them that they had no money and the husband also suffered from dementia,” commented Karl.

“So, I just decided to write it off as an early Christmas present to myself and told the couple that Age Concern had received a grant to pay for the heater and my time.

“They were a lovely couple and I was happy enough with all the tea and cake they gave me for doing the job.”

Karl, who runs his own one-man business, KDM Electrical, thought nothing more of it until a few weeks later when a mysterious letter arrived at NICEIC headquarters about his good deed.

The letter was from another client of Karl’s who had heard about his generosity.

NICEIC decided to get in touch with Karl, thank him for his good deed and cover the costs of the goods, including the portable heater.

“I don’t think anyone could have just walked away from that job,” added Karl. “I never expected anything in return so was amazed when NICEIC got in touch. It all seems a bit surreal and was a real nice thing to hear just a few days before Christmas.”

Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEC added: “This is a great example of the things our registered contractors do for their customers every day.

“It was a really heart-warming story to hear. Karl’s actions demonstrated a genuine care for his customers and I am proud to have him as a NICEIC registrant.”

Praise for electrician's generous deed

Praise for electrician’s generous deed

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/praise-for-electricians-generous-deed

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Schools invited to help raise awareness of CO

Gas network management companies across the UK have launched their annual school safety competition to raise awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The Gas Distribution Networks (GDN’s) National Grid Distribution, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities are looking for entries from students in any form of media, such as eye-catching cartoons, videos, models, short stories or poems that are informative and accurate in warning of the dangers of CO poisoning.

Phil Burrows, chair of the GDN CO Best Practice Group said: “All the GDN’s are committed to raising awareness of CO and are pleased to launch the school safety competition for 2017 – a key activity in highlighting the dangers of CO poisoning in schools, homes and workplaces across Great Britain.

“Each year the GDN’s are further impressed by the level of understanding and creativity that goes into making the competition entries and are encouraged the CO safety message reaches not only the students, but to their friends and families in the community as well.”

The competition is open to students in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (ages 5 to 11) across Great Britain. Winners from each area will be invited to a special award ceremony to be held at the Palace of Westminster in London, where the national winner will be announced. All winners will receive a prize for themselves and for their school.

All queries and entries are to be submitted to COschoolcompetition@energynetworks.org by Friday 5 May 2017.

For further information including key dates and competition Terms & Conditions visit the ENA website.

Schools invited to help raise awareness of CO

Schools invited to help raise awareness of CO

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4559/Schools_invited_to_help_raise_awareness_of_CO.html

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Assembly motion supports Electrical Safety

The London Assembly has made a unanimous motion for the government to introduce mandatory, five yearly electrical safety checks in the private rented sector (PRS).

Phil Buckle, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, comments, “Dangerous electrics in the PRS results in more deaths and injuries than those caused by gas and carbon monoxide poisoning, yet landlords have had to provide annual gas safety certificates since 1998 and the requirement for carbon monoxide alarms came into force last October. Regular electrical checks are required in Scotland and due to come into effect in Wales. Private renters in England should have the same level of protection.”

Electrical Safety First led the charge in ensuring regular electrical checks for PRS properties were included the recent Housing Acts passed by the Devolved Governments in Scotland and Wales. And the England-only Housing and Planning Act, which gained Royal Assent last May, included an amendment on electrical safety – which the charity sponsored. However, a range of secondary legislation will need to be passed before the Act comes into force (which is not expected until April 2017).

The charity has called for regular, electrical checks to be undertaken every five years – by a suitably qualified electrician, registered with one of the government’s Competent Person Schemes. To help ensure landlords understand their obligations, Electrical Safety First has produced a number of tools and guides and a visual inspection App, which can be downloaded to a mobile phone, to help provide an initial electrical safety review of any property.

Assembly motion supports Electrical Safety

Assembly motion supports Electrical Safety

Source: https://electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/2017/01/assembly-motion-supports-electrical-safety/

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UK construction manufacturing continues to grow

Sales in the UK construction products manufacturing market continued to climb for a fifteenth consecutive quarter in Q4 of 2016, according to figures published in the Construction Products Association’s (CPA) latest State of Trade Survey.

The construction products manufacturing industry has an annual turnover of £55bn, directly providing jobs for 288,000 people across 22,000 companies. Products range from heavyside materials such as steel, bricks, timber and concrete, to lightside products such as insulation, boilers, glass and lighting.

On an annual basis, 78% of heavyside firms reported that sales had increased in Q4, while on the lightside, 75% of firms reported that sales were higher than a year earlier, which was the highest balance since 2014 Q3.

However, as uncertainty intensifies and cost pressures from the fall in Sterling post-Referendum hit this year, the CPA believes the industry may struggle to experience similar growth. Among heavyside manufacturers, only six percent on balance anticipate a rise in sales over Q1 2017, with 29% on balance of lightside manufacturers anticipate a rise during the same period.

Rebecca Larkin, CPA senior economist, said: “Construction product manufacturers ended 2016 on a strong note, with half of manufacturers on both the heavyside and lightside reporting an increase in sales in Q4, marking not only a fifteenth consecutive quarter of growth, but also the highest balances for the year.

“Unsurprisingly, manufacturers’ expectations for 2017 appear to have been tempered by the uncertainty surrounding the economic and political outlook. Heavyside manufacturers appeared most exposed to the effects of Sterling’s depreciation during the second half of 2016. In Q4, two-thirds of firms reported an increase in costs, the highest in five years, and a further 89% anticipate an increase over the next year. Rising costs of imported raw materials continue to be a primary driver of cost inflation, but there is now an indication that currency weakness is filtering through to higher energy and fuel costs too.

“The impact of Brexit on the construction industry is, as yet, unclear, but it is unlikely this year will be as buoyant as last unless government is able to provide greater certainty and the industry is able to manage cost pressures.”

UK construction manufacturing continues to grow

UK construction manufacturing continues to grow

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4552/UK_construction_manufacturing_continues_to_grow.html

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BSRIA launches Blue Book 2017

BSRIA is delighted to announce the launch of The BSRIA Blue Book for 2017.

The Blue Book contains invaluable industry information. This includes: key contacts; conversation data; key performance indicators; market statistics; and legislation and financial information. Bsria’s services, training courses and current publications are also covered.Jayne Sunley, Bsria’s information and knowledge manager, said: “The Bsria Blue Book is worth its weight in gold and vital for industry nuggets of information: we urge you to get hold of a copy.Bsria’s annual databook for 2017 is small but concise and continues to provide you with hard-to-find facts about building services.It is loaded with essential facts, figures and contacts. Bsria’s networks and events are outlined, along with the contact details of key Bsria experts. And key industry contacts and a full Bsria member list. The useful financial and VAT information and tables of technical data would certainly help every business in the industry. Annual building running costs are also covered.There is also a section on Brexit!”

BSRIA launches Blue Book 2017

BSRIA launches Blue Book 2017

Source: http://www.electricalreview.co.uk/news/11231-bsria-launches-blue-book-2017

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Underfloor heating system donated for Royal Marine’s accessible new home

A Royal Marine who contracted a chronic illness while serving in Afghanistan is benefiting from the generosity of a number of building product manufacturers contributing to a purpose-built house for him and his family.

Corporal Phil Eaglesham contracted the relatively rare Q fever while serving in Afghanistan five years ago. The condition has left him unable to walk and is unfortunately proving to be degenerative, making his existing home near Taunton increasingly unsuitable.

The Royal Marines Charity appealed for help to construct a bespoke dwelling to meet his specific needs.

Exeter based renewables and underfloor heating specialist, OMNIE, has donated one of its Staples pipework systems for the construction of a fully wheelchair accessible home.

The 600 metres of underfloor heating pipe and made-to-measure manifold will work to keep the entire ground floor of the two-storey property at a carefully controlled temperature.

Sharky Ward, deputy chief executive officer of The Royal Marines Charity, extended his thanks to Persimmon Homes, who donated the land near Taunton, Haldons Chartered Surveyors, who are project managing the build, and Grainge Architects, who developed the plans, all free of charge.

“Omnie have played key role and very kindly donated the underfloor heating system, which will help provide a consistent temperature, which is critical to Corporal Eaglesham’s needs,” he added. “We are hugely grateful to everyone who has made this dream become a reality.”

The layout of the property has created a totally wheelchair friendly environment across both floors, linked by a lift.

As well as the integral garage, the downstairs contains a master bedroom suite with shower room, while the linked kitchen, dining and living rooms feature folding doors, which open out onto the rear garden.

These areas, together with a lobby and separate cloakroom, are heated by six pipe circuits connected back to the five-port manifold and controlled by programmable room thermostats. Designed to create room temperatures of 19, 21 and 22 centigrade, the pipe layouts were securely clipped down over thermal insulation before a wet screed was laid to provide good heat transference.

Corporal Eaglesham said: “This house gives us the chance to make a life and a future again. Even as my condition deteriorates we can still get on with our lives to the best of our ability, rather than fire-fighting every issue that comes with every little change in my condition. The independence which the house layout gives me is second to none.”

Underfloor heating system dontaed for Royal Marine's accessible new home

Underfloor heating system dontaed for Royal Marine’s accessible new home

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4555/Underfloor_heating_system_donated_for_Royal_Marine_92s_accessible_new_home.html

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ECA’s pick of the bunch

In the market for new test and measurement equipment? Steve Martin, Head of Specialist Groups at the ECA, offers some top tips to aid your selection process.

Vital to any electrical installation is testing, and contractors need to know that the equipment they’re using is reliable, safe and accurate. The industry therefore depends on having the correct procedures and equipment in place to verify the integrity of any installation.

While recent figures from the JIB and ECA show that electrical safety is now at its best since records began, there can never be any complacency. With this in mind, what are the key criteria for electrical contractors and installers when selecting test equipment?

Here are five important considerations when choosing your kit:

1. Usability
The ease (and speed) of testing when on-site remains paramount, particularly with many meters now gaining extended feature sets.

2. Toughness
Contractors should look to invest in a meter that will have a longer lifespan and can stand up to the knocks of daily use.

3. Reputation
The reality is that you get what you pay for. Using a manufacturer that provides full UK support (including technical, repair and calibration) provides assurances, while a full warranty with the product
offers extra guarantees.

4. Safety
Contractors should look for equipment which conforms or exceeds health and safety requirements, particularly given that pre-qualification requirements are becoming more comprehensive over time.

5. Whole life value
The running costs of the tester needs to be considered alongside the purchase price – its physical and electrical robustness are important factors.

“It’s also worth noting that the rise in new connected technologies, such as smart meters, electric vehicles and smart homes, means that contractors need to be aware of any additional regulatory requirements which may apply.”

Taking these steps will ensure that contractors use equipment which helps meet the requirements of building managers and clients, who are themselves becoming more aware of the need to utilise appropriate test equipment.

For instance, when it came to portable appliance testing, Carillion facilities management team running HM Winchester Prison realised the advantages of identifying all individual electrical appliances and other equipment using barcodes, allowing for the correct data to be stored automatically against each item as inspections are undertaken.

The FM services manager at Winchester Prison, Jeff Foster, notes that there is a ‘considerable time saving in being able to identify items, carry out tests, record results and make any notes as part of a fully streamlined process.’

It’s also worth noting that the rise in new connected technologies, such as smart meters, electric vehicles and smart homes, means that contractors need to be aware of any additional regulatory requirements which may apply.

As a result, installers will need test tools which have greater functionality and enable different tasks to be undertaken, particularly given that these technological advances increase expectations among clients for faster testing, and enhanced record keeping, among other requirements.

Here to stay
What remains clear is that contractors will always need testers. Given that the market is highly competitive and innovative products are now widely available, this leaves contractors in a strong situation. With manufacturers competing to deliver high quality products which provide clients with the solutions they need, contractors just need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each product.

By following the five key steps outlined in this article, contractors will be in an ideal position to make such judgements on the range of test equipment available to them.

ECA's pick of the bunch

ECA’s pick of the bunch

Source: http://professional-electrician.com/products/ecas-pick-bunch/

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BESA publishes district heating standard

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has been chosen to publish the UK’s first test standard for Heat Interface Units (HIUs).

This new standard is regarded as an important step towards improving the overall performance of British district heating schemes and has been adopted from a test regime developed by energy consultancy FairHeat.

HIUs are key components of heat networks, used to extract heat from the network to feed individual buildings and dwellings. How they perform is central to occupant satisfaction levels and the overall efficiency of the schemes in terms of return temperatures and network sizing. Up until now many heat networks have failed to achieve their intended efficiency targets.

The initial test regime was developed by FairHeat, in partnership with Martin Crane of Carbon Alternatives. It was adapted from a well-established Swedish methodology to suit typical UK operating conditions as part of a research project funded by the former Department of Energy and Climate Change.

This initial test regime has now been adopted as a technical standard by BESA and it will be used to compare manufacturers’ products and equipment types to help network designers evaluate the performance of individual HIUs against their design parameters. It will also be used to create a comprehensive database and improve the industry’s knowledge of HIU performance to better inform future network designs.

“District schemes are a key part of the government’s strategy for achieving low carbon heat targets,” said BESA’s technical director Tim Rook. “HIUs are the crucial interface between a network and its consumers – and, in many cases, they have proved to be an Achilles’ heel.

“This standard is, therefore, a major step forward for UK heat networks and it is a real accolade for BESA to be asked to publish and disseminate it on behalf of the industry.”

BESA publishes district heating standard

BESA publishes district heating standard

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4554/BESA_publishes_district_heating_standard_.html

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Green light for new Chelsea stadium

Planners at Hammersmith & Fulham council have given Chelsea the go-ahead to build a new 60,000-seater stadium at Stamford Bridge.

Plans for the new £500m ground will see the current stadium demolished.

A club statement said: “We are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home.

“The committee decision does not mean that work can begin on site.

“This is just the latest step, although a significant one, that we have to take before we can commence work, including obtaining various other permissions.”

The new stadium has been designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron and construction work is expected to last three years.

Green light for new Chelsea stadium

Green light for new Chelsea stadium

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2017/01/12/green-light-for-new-500m-chelsea-stadium/

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Blog - Uploader 2

December 2016 Newsletter

‘The festive season brings some festive cheer as some exciting projects are given the go-ahead, there’s a safety warning from the Gas Safe Register and a new report assesses the future of electrical contracting’

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Winner chosen for lighting London bridges

The winning team will now develop its design concept in collaboration with stakeholders and others along the river, and in consultation with the public. This work will take place in 2017. The ultimate plan is to install lighting on the 17 bridges between Tower Bridge and Albert Bridge.

Hannah Rothschild, chair of the Illuminated River Foundation, which organised the competition, said: “Leo Villareal’s proven ability to paint with light matched with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ direct experience of building bridges over the Thames was an irresistible and inspirational combination.

“Their scheme is beautiful, ambitious and realisable but always considerate to the environment, lighting levels and energy conservation. The jury is convinced that the winning team will transform the centre of London while remaining true to the spirit and integrity of the Thames and its communities.”

 

How Westminster bridge might look at night, according to the winning entry

How Westminster bridge might look at night, according to the winning entry

 

The Illuminated River Foundation is raising funds for the cost of the project from private and philanthropic sources rather than the public purse. The Arcadia Fund (Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing) and the Rothschild Foundation have already each pledged £5m.

Seed funding of £100,000 was granted by the Greater London Authority to support the design competition, alongside funding of £250,000 from the Rothschild Foundation, and a contribution of £500,000 from the City of London Corporation (via the Bridge House Estates) towards the delivery of the first phase.

Leo Villareal designed the light installation on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. He said: “I’m delighted and humbled by the fact that the jury went with an artistically-driven vision for the Illuminated River. The whole team shares a belief in the power of large-scale public culture and art to enrich our cities. We are deeply committed to this project.

“In order to nuance the concept design and create presence and legibility, we intend to take time to study the river in all its manifestations. We want to listen to Londoners in developing the scheme to deliver at all levels of art and light, urban design and architecture, the environment and sustainability.

“Our aim is for a lighting masterplan which reduces pollution and wasted energy, is sensitive to history and ecology and subtly rebalances the ambient lighting on the river to provide a beautiful night time experience for residents and visitors.”

The winning team in full is:

  • Leo Villareal (lead artist)
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (lead consultant)
  • Future\Pace (curator)
  • Atelier Ten
  • Beckett Rankine
  • Bradley Hemmings
  • Core Five
  • Futurecity
  • Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
  • Montagu Evans
  • Pentagram
  • Price & Myers
Winner chosen for lighting London bridges

Winner chosen for lighting London bridges

 

Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/winner-chosen-for-lighting-london-bridges

 

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Report highlights role of heat pumps in future UK heat policy

Heat pumps can play a leading role in the future of UK heat among a range of other low carbon measures according to a report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – ‘Next steps for UK heat policy’.

The report, which is welcomed by the Heat Pump Association (HPA), focuses on the need to significantly strengthen policy in order to increase the implementation of low carbon measures over the coming decade.

It states that: “Deployment of low-carbon heat cannot wait until the 2030s. Low-regret opportunities exist for heat pumps to be installed in homes that are off the gas grid. New homes can and should be built to be highly energy efficient and designed for low carbon heating systems.”

The HPA believes the domestic Building Regulations do not currently make reasonable allowances for the future provision of low temperature heat emitters that would support the installation of heat pumps in the future, meaning that future replacement costs will remain higher than necessary and act as a further barrier.

The CCC report also recognises that heat pumps remain the leading low-carbon option for buildings not connected to the gas grid, asserting that: “Installation of around 200,000 heat pumps between 2015 and 2020 under our scenarios is consistent with the announced funding to 2020 available under the Renewable Heat Incentive, providing that funding is focused on heat pumps and deployed efficiently. Further funding will be needed for deployment in the 2020s.”

The HPA remains unconvinced that the target of 200,000 units will be met with the scheme in its current guise and argues that changes proposed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) scheduled for April 2017 are likely to further hinder deployment.

The report goes on to state: “Heat pumps remain a niche option in the UK as previous policies have failed to deliver a significant increase in uptake. However, they are used widely in many other countries and are the primary low carbon option for most UK buildings off the gas grid. Improved building efficiency is an essential part of effective heat pump roll-out.”

The HPA agrees that past and present policies aimed at stimulating the heat pump market have fallen well short of expectations, despite significant investment by heat pump manufacturers and installers.

The HPA also supports the report’s view that funding allocated through the Renewable Heat Incentive to 2020 needs to be properly focused and delivered effectively.

Improving the efficiency of existing heating systems (e.g. by moving to lower flow temperatures) in homes connected to the gas grid through the 2020s can cut bills and emissions, and help to prepare the stock for widespread roll-out of heat pumps after 2030. Wide-scale deployment will rely on a mix of incentive and regulation as well as attributing a direct and proportional cost to carbon dioxide emissions.

In conclusion, the HPA shares the report’s observation that achieving greater heat pump uptake is likely to require an adjustment of subsidy rates or a shift towards upfront funding, which could be accommodated within the existing funding pot.

Beyond 2020, in order to meet targets for decarbonising heat in buildings, funding will need to increase significantly in line with the higher aspirations.

 

Report highlights role of heat pumps in future UK heat policy

Report highlights role of heat pumps in future UK heat policy

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4503/Report_highlights_role_of_heat_pumps_in_future_UK_heat_policy.html

 

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World’s worst wiring: the top three most shocking electrical installations

E&T readers and IET members were asked to find the most dangerous wiring on the planet. India, Pakistan and Vietnam provided the most cases, with more than the odd dishonourable mention for France.

One of the UK’s most successful contributions to standards has been our wiring and electrical regulations with the IET’s predecessor– the Society of Telegraph Engineers – first publishing ‘Rules and Regulations for the Prevention of Fire Risks Arising from Electrical Lighting‘ way back in 1882.

But are wiring standards as strictly adhered to around the globe?

E&T magazine decided to investigate and asked its 138,000 engineer readers to find the worst and most dangerous examples of electrical wiring from around the world.

The serious message from the competition was to prove just how far installations can veer from the safe and sensible if standards are not adhered to.

More than 500 examples of truly hair-raising wiring were submitted and E&T readers were asked to use their expert opinion to vote for the worst from a shortlist of 12 particularly bad examples.

Outright winner with more than 50 per cent of the votes was from an office block in Madras (below). A metered mains supply for the building had been ‘hacked’ by multiple bare, unterminated wires – possibly from tenants attempting to bypass the meter. All were loosely hung from a wooden board already bearing the scars of a previous fire. Sometimes you really do need to heed the warnings!

Commenting on the photo’s submitted, E&T features editor Vitali Vitaliev said: “The wiring regulations have kept generations in the UK safe from fires and electrocution and hopefully no professional electrician here would work without them. Unfortunately, that message doesn’t reach all corners of the world and some of the dangerous wiring examples our readers have found are truly terrifying.”

Second place in the vote went to a hotel in the Maldives (below), where showering might literally be described as a shocking experience! Based in a hotel obviously suffering serious space constraints, the system’s installation requires three-pin plugs and the mains supply to be mounted inside the shower – with not one but two opportunities for electrocution thrown in for good measure.

Third place was awarded to a street installation from Hanoi, Vietnam (below) with a collection of telecom, lighting and possibly mains cables – exact details being impossible to tell as all of the cables are a shade of black. Fingers crossed for customers asking for support with wiring emergencies!

E&T’s readers also found that it’s not just Asia that has a blasé attitude to wiring and safety, with two of the top 12 examples located in France, including one in the normally visually perfect enclave of St Tropez. Clearly, even in ST Tropez it pays to hire a professional – or hope holidaymakers don’t look at the back of their holiday villa!

 

Source: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2016/11/worlds-worst-wiring-the-top-three-most-shocking-electrical-installations/

 

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Installers welcomed to have their say on the future of heat in domestic buildings

The consultation on the future of heat in domestic buildings was launched by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today.

The consultation follows recommendations made to BEIS in the Heating & Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) paper ‘Boiler Plus – The next step in heating regulation.’

It proposes that appropriate time, temperature and weather compensation heating controls are installed in residential properties at the time a new boiler is installed and that this is mandated in Building Regulations.

Stewart Clements, director of HHIC, said: “As an industry, we have worked collaboratively to help bring this consultation to the market place, and I am pleased that the key ideas outlined by HHIC have been adopted by BEIS.

“We know that changing Building Regulations in 2005 to mandate that all domestic gas boiler installations should use a condensing boiler remains one of the most successful government interventions into the residential energy market to date and I believe that mandating the installation of time and temperature controls with new boiler installations will prove equally successful.

“Adopting this policy will, at little additional cost to consumers and government, make a valuable contribution towards achieving the ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and reduce energy consumption which will reduce household energy bills.

“Currently, we install 1.6 million new gas boilers per year and if each of these boilers was accompanied by a full suite of heating controls the carbon and monetary savings made would be substantial. I am pleased that HHIC could be instrumental in getting BEIS to investigate this option.”

The HHIC is part of the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA). A recent survey by EUA found that nine out of 10 MPs believed that to improve energy efficiency in homes, a full set of heating controls should be fitted when a central heating boiler is replaced. Despite this backing, HHIC knows that the success of a policy like this depends on the support it receives from the heating installer and so using their unique and unparalleled position in the market place HHIC will be supporting BEIS to engage directly with installers using a quick and easy to complete survey.

To complete the survey please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/thefutureofheat

Or to read the consultation in full please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/heat-in-buildings-the-future-of-heat

 

Installers welcomed to have their say on the future of heat in domestic buildings

Installers welcomed to have their say on the future of heat in domestic buildings

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4502/Installers_welcomed_to_have_their_say_on_the_future_of_heat_in_domestic_buildings.html

 

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London Mayor targets 90,000 lower cost homes

The Mayor of London has today set out new planning rules to speed up the building of 90,000 affordable housing, alongside record-breaking investment of £3.15bn in the capital.

The 2016-21 funding programme represents the biggest housing deal ever secured by City Hall, rising from £1.1bn previously allocated over the 2015-2018 period.

His target of 90,000 low cost homes by 2020-21 represents a 48% increase from the number of affordable homes built between 2009-10 and 2014-15.

The Mayor is also today launching new planning guidance, setting out for the first time an innovative approach both to speeding up decisions in the planning system as well as supporting build to rent schemes.

It will basically heavily scrutinise projects with less than 35% affordable housing and apply a light touch approach to schemes planning more than 35%.

Following negotiations with government, new rules mean investment in London can now be spent on a mix of homes for low-cost rent and affordable homeownership.

Most homes in the Mayor’s programme will be delivered by housing associations, with the condition that their plans must include a minimum 50% affordable housing, with some partners enabled to deliver at least 60%.

The Mayor said the Supplementary Planning Guidance was the first step to raising affordable housing levels from the low level of 13% given permission.

The guidance has been developed since the Mayor took office in May through extensive discussions with councils and the housing industry.

 

London Mayor targets 90,000 lower cost homes

London Mayor targets 90,000 lower cost homes

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/11/29/london-mayor-targets-90000-lower-cost-homes/

 

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New report assesses the future of electrical contracting

A review of key issues affecting the future of electrical contracting has been published by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), NICEIC and ELECSA.

2021 Vision – the 2016-17 Review’ is the midway update to the ‘2021 Vision’ report, produced by the ECA and NICEIC back in 2011. The latest review considers 30 key issues and predictions made five years ago. The review uses a ‘red, amber, green’ system, with supporting narrative.

In addition to reflecting on the current status of the many predictions and issues, the review also highlights some major developments since 2011, notably:

  • The UK’s ‘Brexit’ decision
  • Digitisation of industry processes, including Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • The increasing role of ‘Very big data’ and the ‘Internet of Things’.

When ‘2021 Vision’ was written in 2011, the industry was still recovering from one of the worst economic recessions ever. As such, one of the key aims of the 2021 Vision was to “help the electrical contractor to see past short term survival, and prepare for the next stage of their business development”.

Since then, the ECA and Electrical Safety First have worked together to create Certsure, which owns the NICEIC and ELECSA certification brands.

The new ‘2021 Vision – The 2016-17 Review’ document is freely available on the ECA and NICEIC websites.

 

New report assesses the future of electrical contracting

New report assesses the future of electrical contracting

 

Source: https://electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/2016/12/new-report-assesses-the-future-of-electrical-contracting/

 

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Festive fire warning: More gas related fires happen on Christmas Day than any other day

Christmas is the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to gas safety in the UK, according to five years’ worth of data from the Gas Safe Register and Fire and Rescue Service.

More fires in households with gas appliances take place on Christmas day than any other day of the year and Gas Safe Register’s investigation team find a higher proportion of dangerous gas appliances in December that any other month.

A total of 17% of boilers, fires and cookers investigated in December over the last five years have been found to be unsafe.

As a fifth (19%) of households have not had their gas appliances legally checked this year, potentially 12 million people could be living with dangerous gas appliances.

While the majority of festive revellers prioritise buying (64%) and wrapping (41%) presents, only five per cent of British adults put gas appliance safety checks on their December to do list in the run up to Christmas. In fact, almost three times as many people prioritise watching their favourite Christmas film over making sure that they and their families are gas safe at Christmas.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive at Gas Safe Register, said: “Although Christmas is a very busy time of year, it is really important your gas appliances have been checked and are running safely. With our data showing that December can be dangerous for homeowners, Gas Safe Register is reminding people to get their annual gas safety checks in the diary so this Christmas is a safe and enjoyable time.”

Gas safety – fire prevention tips

To stay gas safe this festive season, follow these top five Gas Safe Register’s top tips:

  1. Only employ a legal Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. You can find a registered engineer in your area by calling Gas Safe Register on: 0800 408 5500 or by visiting: GasSafeRegister.co.uk
  2. ‘Trust the Triangle’ and always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on
  3. Sign up for a reminder service to make sure your gas appliances are checked annually: https://www.staygassafe.co.uk/
  4. Speak to your energy supplier to see if they can provide a free gas safety check
  5. If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on: 0800 111 999

To find out more about the dangers posed by unsafe gas appliances in your area, visit: www.StayGasSafe.co.uk, and to find a Gas Safe registered engineer, call: 0800 408 5500 or visit: www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

 

Festive fire warning: More gas related fires happen on Christmas Day than any other day

Festive fire warning: More gas related fires happen on Christmas Day than any other day

 

Source: http://www.hpmmag.com/news/festive-fire-warning-gas-related-fires-happen-christmas-day-day

 

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Newcastle United Football Club upgraded with Tamlite LED Lighting

The upgrading of Newcastle United Football Club’s home ground with high-efficiency Tamlite LED lighting products has yielded a remarkable two-thirds reduction in energy consumption.

Like senior personnel at many other major sports venues across the UK, the technical team at St James’ Park have become increasingly cognisant of the energy-efficient, cost-saving benefits of the latest LED lighting technology. Accordingly, the stadium is currently in the midst of a multi-phase LED upgrade project based around products from Tamlite Lighting. In time, the redevelopment will cover every area of the venue and encompass several thousand fittings in total.

In the latest phase of work, installation contractor Direct Technology UK Ltd has brought Tamlite LED products to the Bamburgh Suite – which is reportedly the largest function suite in the North West – as well as the underground car park, executive boxes and various staff areas. Once again, the installation has delivered a very immediate improvement in lighting quality, while the expected energy savings exceed 60 per cent in some areas of the site.

 

Newcastle United Football Club upgraded with Tamlite LED Lighting

Newcastle United Football Club upgraded with Tamlite LED Lighting

 

Source: https://electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/2016/12/black-and-light-army/

 

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Survey shows that home buyers are neglecting gas safety checks

New research carried out by CORGI HomePlan has highlighted that many home buyers overlook the importance of a gas safety check when purchasing a new property. The study of 1000 people reveals that only one in 10 home buyers consider it important to check a property’s safety before moving in, while one in four (28%) believe it will be covered in the mortgage lender’s survey. The most common item new homeowners overlook is the working condition of their boiler, with 39% not getting a qualified engineer to test it.

Of the one third of respondents who did carry out a gas safety check before moving in, there was a wide misconception of what is a correct and legal safety check. As a result the ‘checks’ were often inadequate. Less than half said they would find out when the gas appliances in the home were last professionally serviced and one in three said that they would check the boiler themselves, despite not having the professional qualifications to perform this procedure. 

Scottish home buyers were the least home-safe conscious with 73% of respondents having no gas safety checks carried out before deciding to purchase a home. Wales was the safest region, with nearly eight in 10 respondents having a Gas Safe registered engineer check out their property before moving in. 

The same survey also reveals that four in 10 homebuyers who experienced problems with gas appliances after moving in took more than a week to get it repaired. The main reason for this was that it wasn’t urgent (30%) or that the home buyers could not afford the repair (19%). 

Kevin Treanor, director of CORGI HomePlan, comments: “Just as you wouldn’t commit to buy a property without seeing the surveyor’s report first, it is just as important that home buyers also see the full service record of all gas appliances and have a Gas Safe registered engineer inspect the home too. Carbon monoxide still kills around 50 people a year and every one of these deaths is avoidable. People must minimise the risks by making sure all their gas appliances are in full working order.”

 

Survey shows that home buyers are neglecting gas safety checks

Survey shows that home buyers are neglecting gas safety checks

 

Source: http://www.phamnews.co.uk/survey-shows-that-home-buyers-are-neglecting-gas-safety-checks/

 

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£775m Paddington Cube gets planning green light

Westminster City Council has given the thumbs up to developer Irvine Sellar’s revised plans for his £775m Paddington Quarter scheme in West London.

The 14-storey cube-shaped office building replaces earlier plans for a landmark 72-storey residential tower, nicknamed the ‘Paddington Pole’, which was abandoned after running into fierce opposition.

Great Western Developments and development partner Sellar Paddington are aiming to build the distinctive building – likened to an ice cube – at the former Royal Mail sorting and post office site adjacent to Paddington Station.

Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the 360,000 sq ft Paddington Cube would sit on a three storey podium 12m above 1.35 acres of newly created public realm.

The Paddington Quarter development will accommodate more than 4,000 new jobs for Paddington and include 80,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space over five levels, including a rooftop restaurant.

£65m is being invested in public realm and major transport infrastructure improvements.

 

£775m Paddington Cube gets planning green light

£775m Paddington Cube gets planning green light

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/12/07/775m-paddington-cube-gets-planning-green-light/

 

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November 2016 Newsletter

‘As Winter approaches there’s positive news following Brexit vote, some big projects are given the go-ahead and a campaign to protect elderly people in their homes’

 

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Go-ahead to turn iconic Waterloo terminal into shopping mall

 

Plans to revitalise the iconic Eurostar terminal at Waterloo in London with a three level shopping complex have got the green light.

London & Continental Railways and Network Rail are planning to build over 130,000 sq ft of retail space in levels below the former Waterloo international terminal station platforms.

The scheme is aimed to bring the station’s shopping offer up to the standard set by Birmingham New Street and St Pancras International.

Plans also include dramatically improving the public realm fronting Cab Road and improved linkages to Leake Street and Lower Marsh, acting as a retail draw for the redevelopment of the nearby Shell Centre.

The two-year reconstruction plan is expected to cost around £60m, excluding shop fit-out.

The major retail plan forms part of the £800m remodelling of Waterloo, which includes bringing five former Eurostar platforms into use for regular commuter services by Network Rail.

Skanska is carrying out the major infrastructure works including lengthening existing local service platforms and reopening the former Eurostar platforms.

 

Go-ahead to turn iconic Waterloo terminal into shopping mall

Go-ahead to turn iconic Waterloo terminal into shopping mall

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/11/03/go-ahead-to-turn-iconic-waterloo-terminal-into-shopping-mall/

 

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ECA poll finds increasing number of businesses see turnover rise following Brexit vote

 

Over eight in 10 (80.1 per cent) electrical and building services engineering firms say turnover increased or stayed the same during the third quarter of 2016, according to new survey findings from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).

The findings cover the three months from July – September, the period almost immediately following the landmark vote this summer for the UK to leave the European Union. The responses indicate that, overall, there was only a modest pre-and post referendum impact on the sector.

Businesses of almost all sizes had a favourable third quarter, with small contracting firms, medium-sized enterprises and large organisations all reporting an improvement on the previous three month period. However, micro businesses with turnover below £200,000 had a slight downturn in Q3.

Looking ahead to the final quarter of 2016, the outlook is also positive overall, although business expectations are down, with 31 per cent of firms expecting a rise in turnover in Q4 (a fall of 11 per cent from expectations in our previous survey for Q3 this year).

ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented: “This ECA survey shows that electrical and building services firms remain broadly confident about their economic prospects, but we should remember that our sector feels any positive or negative effects later than many others in the supply chain.

“In addition, the survey shows that the expectation for business is down for the final quarter of the year, and members are already reporting increasing prices of key materials and equipment.  This means that 2017 may present even more challenges to profit margins.”

The Building Engineering Business Survey, which is held in association with Scolmore, was sent out to ECA members in early October this year. The response rate was the highest in five years.

 

ECA poll finds increasing number of businesses see turnover rise following Brexit vote

ECA poll finds increasing number of businesses see turnover rise following Brexit vote

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/eca-poll-finds-increasing-numbers-of-businesses-see-turnover-rise-following-brexit-vote

 

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Plumbers’ merchants market forecast to increase by 4% in 2016

 

The plumbers’ merchant market was worth an estimated £4 billion in 2015, having recovered strongly in recent years. Demand has increased since 2013, leading to greater demand for plumbing materials, bathroom and shower products, and the plumbers’ merchants market is forecast to grow by around 4% in 2016, according to a report by AMA Research.

Increasing demand has been attributed to the improving economic climate in general since 2013, with demand increasing for both new work and RMI activity.

Price competition remains fierce and AMA Research believes this may influence margins going forward. In order to differentiate themselves, some plumbers’ merchants have invested in improving the overall customer experience through enhanced service, such as extended opening times, greater availability of stock and heightened promotional activity. Many have also expanded their online presence, to ensure that they compete with rising internet sales.

Consolidation has been a feature of the marketplace in recent years, as nationals have acquired smaller regional operations in order to extend their reach and range of services. However, many regional and independent merchants have performed well, with some expanding their number of branches to improve their product offering and stock levels to meet local needs.

It is extremely difficult to forecast the impact of the outcome of the EU Referendum on the economy going forward. Several economic forecasts suggest that the UK economy will start to slow, with business and consumer confidence affected, potentially with lower GDP growth in 2017 and 2018. The situation may improve after this, depending on the outcome of trade negotiations, both within and outside the EU, which have yet to take place.

Both Travis Perkins and Wolseley, two of the leading merchant groups in the country, have streamlined the plumbers’ merchant sides of the respective businesses as a result of uncertainty in the market.

“While there are indications of a slowdown in growth in the housing and commercial sectors from mid to late-2016, the plumbers’ merchants market is still forecast to increase by around 4% compared with 2015, with a further 2 to 3% per annum expected from 2017 onwards” said Keith Taylor, director of AMA Research.

 

Plumbers' merchants market forecast to increase by 4% in 2016

Plumbers’ merchants market forecast to increase by 4% in 2016

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4442/Plumbers_92_merchants_market_forecast_to_increase_by_4_25_in_2016_.html

 

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NICEIC and ELECSA launch campaign to protect elderly people from faulty electrical equipment

 

A new, consumer-facing, campaign from NICEIC and ELECSA is urging householders to think electrics when they carry out their checks on the elderly this winter.

Proportionately, older people suffer more fatal and non-fatal injuries from electrically-related house fires than the rest of the population.

People over 65 are particularly at risk because they often live in old or poor-quality housing that contains faulty electrics or old appliances.

Yet research by NICEIC and ELECSA has revealed that although many people will be looking in on an elderly relative or neighbour this winter, the one thing that could be getting overlooked is a quick check on the state of the electrics.

“Some of the results we found were quite startling,” commented NICEIC and ELECSA’s Technical Development Manager Darren Staniforth.

“While up to 50% of people will be making regular calls on a relative or neighbour this winter, less than 20% of those would think to take a quick check of the electrics to make sure everything is ok.

“With people over 65 statistically more likely to be involved in a fire caused by faulty electrics, this is obviously concerning.

“During the colder months, the elderly are more likely to be plugging in electrical appliances such as heaters or electric blankets, many of which could be old and potentially dangerous.

“They could also be plugging these appliances into an electric supply around the home that might not have been checked in decades or perhaps never at all.

“We want to encourage those looking out for an older relative or neighbour to have a quick check of the home and make sure there is nothing there that could potentially lead to something awful occurring.”

Research carried out by NICEIC and ELECSA revealed that:

  • 50% of us hold the opinion that the elderly are more at risk from the electrical dangers in our homes.
  • 75% have never helped their relative to have their home safety checked by an electrician.
  • 80% have never been concerned by the safety of the electrical appliances in their elderly family member’s home.

As Darren added: “Our research shows that the Great British public does a great deal of work looking out for the elderly in the winter time.

“The lack of concern over electrical safety is not one about not caring, but generally a lack of knowledge about what to look out for.”

NICEIC and ELECSA have produced a checklist, of what to look out for to reduce the risk of an electrical fault. This quick visual check includes:

  • Ensuring that plug sockets are not damaged or scorched. Any scorch marks around a socket are an indication that something is not right and that you should call a registered electrician to investigate further.
  • Checking that any leads or cables are not damaged or frayed
  • Checking that lights are working correctly and there is no signs of visible damage
  • Checking that sockets are not overloaded or that too many extension leads are in use.
  • Check that the main fusebox (consumer unit) has RCD protection fitted. An RCD (Residual Current Device) will trip should it detect an overload in the circuit.

“By carrying out these simple checks people will be able to reduce the risk of fire or spot something that could potentially lead to a problem in the future,” added Darren.

“If they see something that doesn’t seem to be working properly or may need further investigation we always suggest they call their local registered electrician.

“A registered electrician will be able to rectify any faults or carry out an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) which will identify any potential issues that could lead to further problems.”

Faulty electrics in the home account for 20,000 house fires each year, causing upwards of 70 fatalities.

Most electrical issues in the home are easily preventable by ensuring a home is regularly checked by a suitable, registered electrician.

 

NICEIC and ELECSA launch campaign to protect elderly people from faulty electrical equipment

NICEIC and ELECSA launch campaign to protect elderly people from faulty electrical equipment

 

Source: http://professional-electrician.com/news/niceic-elecsa-launch-campaign-protect-elderly-faulty-electrical-equipment/

 

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Free boiler guide for your customers

 

The AA has produced a straightforward boiler guide to help householders better understand their boiler, hot water and central heating system. Covering everything from boiler types and controls to how to effectively use the system, the guide is designed to help householders save energy by using their system properly and encourage them to get it regularly checked and serviced.

The guide explains how combi, sealed systems and open vent systems work using simple diagrams. Other advice addresses boiler controls, temperature timings, room thermostats and the pilot light. There is also a section on how to achieve cost-effective heating.

To access the Big Boiler Handbook, click here.

 

Free boiler guide for your customers

Free boiler guide for your customers

 

Source: http://www.phamnews.co.uk/boiler-guide-for-your-customers/

 

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2.7 million renters at risk from dangerous gas appliances, says Gas Safe Register

 

Unsafe gas appliances have been found in a fifth of privately rented accommodation, leading Gas Safe Register to believe that more than 2.7 million people could be living in dangerous housing.

Investigation data by Gas Safe Register spanning five years revealed that gas heaters are the most dangerous appliances in rented accommodation, accounting for 59% of all unsafe appliances.

According to the data, a fifth of renters are unaware their boiler should be safety checked annually, and 11% don’t think their boiler has been inspected this year.

Despite landlords being responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances provided by them are safety checked every year by a qualified Gas Safe-registered engineer, more than a third are unaware of their duty of care. In fact, one in seven landlords reportedly think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council.

Jonathan Samuel, managing director at Gas Safe Register, said: “Gas safety can be a matter of life or death. The findings from the 122,000 inspections carried out by our team over the last five years show us that more unsafe appliances have been found in rented accommodation than in privately owned homes.

“However, any unsafe appliance can have devastating consequences, regardless of the type of property. We are urging renters, homeowners and landlords alike to make sure they know to get gas appliances checked on an annual basis and, as a legal requirement, to ‘trust the triangle’ by using a Gas Safe registered engineer.”

 

2.7 million renters at risk from dangerous gas appliances, says Gas Safe Register

2.7 million renters at risk from dangerous gas appliances, says Gas Safe Register

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4433/2.7_million_renters_at_risk_from_dangerous_gas_appliances,_says_Gas_Safe_Register.html

 

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Workers call for site shutdowns in freezing weather

 

Union leaders are calling for housing sites to be closed down when temperatures plummet below freezing.

Chiefs at UCATT have written to the major house builders demanding the introduction of extreme weather health and safety guidelines for construction workers.

The National House Building Council publishes minimum temperature guidance to protesct materials on site.

Now UCATT wants to see similar recommendations to protect workers.

It said: ” The NHBC makes it clear mortar should not be used below 2 degrees C, whilst construction workers should put their gloves on, get out there and suffer.”

The union also hit out at an “institutionalised” macho culture which prevents workers from complaining about the cold.

UCATT Acting General Secretary, Brian Rye, said: “It’s a complete indictment of an industry that has temperature guidelines to safeguard materials but none whatsoever for the workers. This must now change.

“We have written to the NHBC to ask them to inject some humanity into the industry and provide clear temperature and extreme weather guidelines for constructors to apply to workers.

“In an age when we no longer send young children up chimneys to clean them, we should equally not be forcing construction workers to work in inhuman conditions.

“If it’s too cold for mortar – it’s too cold for mortals!”

There is no current legal minimum or maximum temperature for working outside.

Unions are currently negotiating to have rules or guidance on working in extreme weather included in the Construction Industry Joint Council agreement.

 

Workers call for site shutdowns in freezing weather

Workers call for site shutdowns in freezing weather

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/11/14/workers-call-for-site-shutdowns-in-freezing-weather/

 

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Schneider Electric expands and enhances Partner Programme

 

Schneider Electric is to continue its commitment to electricians with the expansion of its enhanced and newly titled Electrician Partner Programme.

Formerly known as Ultimate Installer, the scheme is dedicated to supporting electricians and is free for professionals working in the residential and light commercial sectors and who can demonstrate one of the entry criteria.

Partners is designed to solve challenges such as striking a balance between time on the tools versus administration in the office, to maintaining skills and knowledge for emerging technology trends as well as the evolving marketing needs of starting a new business through to maintaining an established one.

Benefits

Benefits for Partners include: a welcome pack with complimentary branded work wear; a business listing on Schneider Electric’s Partner locator for end-users; training opportunities; special promotions; and events.

In addition, Partners will receive exclusive access to the My Rewards Loyalty Scheme where they can make their spend on thousands of everyday materials go that bit further and reap a reward for choosing Schneider Electric.

Underpinning the Programme and helping electricians save time online is the launch of the new mySchneider Electrician portal.

The free portal provides a one-stop shop for product information, pricing, stockist locator, online training and quick links to customer and technical support. Partners also get further access to the loyalty scheme facilities and client support tools at Partner rates.

To support the launch of the portal, Partners have the chance to enter the Business Booster prize draw and win up to £5,000 to spend on their business simply by registering and activating their mySchneider Electrician portal.

One lucky winner will have the chance to spend the prize money on anything from a new website, to branded workwear, company video, van wrap or van insurance and trade membership fees paid for one year.

“I’ve been really happy with the quality of Schneider Electric products and the Partner scheme benefits are useful extras that set it apart from other manufacturers.

Schneider Electric understands the challenges that many electricians face as small or growing business owners in an increasingly demanding and competitive climate. I have no hesitation in recommending the scheme – there’s no risk and plenty of reward!” said Jon Darby at Oldland Electrical.

May Lee, electrician programme manager at Schneider Electric adds, “We believe it’s the cornerstone of our Partner Programme to identify and support the needs of electricians and to truly understand the challenges they face day-to-day.

“Our vision is to be the electrician’s business partner of choice by making their life and the running of their business easier; ensuring we continuously invest, innovate and provide the value and support they really need in the field and online.”

For more information about the Electrician Partner Programme, customers can contact their local Schneider Electric representative or visit: http://www.schneider-electric.co.uk/en/partners/electricians/

 

 Schneider Electric expands and enhances Partner Programme

Schneider Electric expands and enhances Partner Programme

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/schneider-electric-expands-and-enhances-partner-programme1

 

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More funding available to boost apprenticeships

 

A number of new measures have been announced by the Government designed to help employers take on more apprentices, including  a budget of £60m to be spent on helping to get young people from deprived backgrounds into work. It is hoped that the reforms will result in the creation of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees will be entitled to receive 100% of the cost of training apprentices between 16 and 18. This will also apply if they take on 19 to 24 year olds who were in care.

The apprenticeship levy will be set at 0.5% of the pay bill, but will only be payable by those employers with a payroll above £3m. It is estimated that this will apply to just 2% of employers.

The Government has also simplified the funding model and built in greater flexibility so employers will now have longer to access the funds. The new scheme also provides greater flexibility to train those with prior qualifications in a bid to help existing workers develop new skills.

The announcement has received the support of industry bodies such as the Building Services  Engineering Association (BESA) and the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC).

“This is the news we have been waiting for,” says BESA’s Director of Training, Tony Howard. “Employers need certainty about future funding provision so they can plan their recruitment strategies, and this provides welcome reassurance.”

Graeme Dryden, Technical Services Manager at APHC, adds: “It’s encouraging to see further evidence of the Government’s commitment to creating apprenticeships. These latest policies certainly appear new and fresh, with good opportunities for smaller employers to engage with apprenticeship training.”

 

More funding available to boost apprenticeships

More funding available to boost apprenticeships

 

Source: http://www.phamnews.co.uk/more-funding-available-to-boost-apprenticeships/

 

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SELECT wants to make “Electrician” a registered profession

 

SELECT signals to Scottish Parliament that it intends to push for legislative change to make “Electrician” a regulated profession.

SELECT, the campaigning trade body for the electro-technical industry in Scotland, has signalled to the Scottish Parliament that it intends to press hard to make the occupation of electrician a regulated profession in the same way that anyone working with gas is currently required by statute to be regulated.

Presenting the Scottish Committee MSP of the Year Award at The Herald newspaper’s Scottish Politician of the Year event in Edinburgh last night (Thursday 27th October 2016), SELECT’s Head of External Affairs, David Wright, said that the risk posed to Scotland’s householders increases with every passing year as the number of untrained individuals portraying themselves as ‘electricians’ gets bigger and bigger.

“ I’m an economist by training but if I wished, I could start up in business as an electrician tomorrow,” said David, “but it would not be a good idea.”

“Incredibly, it is not illegal to do that – but we believe that it most certainly should be.  So that, when we are in our homes of an evening, we can enjoy the same protection from electrical risks as we currently do from gas faults”.

Mr. Wright said that before Christmas the Minister and the Scottish Government’s ‘Better Regulation’ team will receive a report from SELECT which puts the case for statutory “Regulation of Electrician as a Profession” to bring Scotland into line with other civilised European countries”.

Newell McGuiness, SELECT’s Managing Director, said: “It has been a long-standing goal of ours to achieve Regulation for our industry because the population of Scotland is being exposed to unreasonable risks associated with electrocution and fire without even being aware of this.

“Last night we announced our intention to secure the support of Scotland’s politicians – and of the general public to deliver statutory regulation for our industry.  Many occupations from lawyer and doctor to bodyguard and night club bouncer are regulated in the UK but Electrician is not one of them.

“Electrical installation is a safety critical occupation and it’s time for Scotland’s politicians to acknowledge that where there is electricity, there is danger – and to do the right thing”.

SELECT’s 1200 members account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland and have a collective turnover of around £1 billion, providing employment for some 15,000 electricians.

 

SELECT wants to make "Electrician" a registered profession

SELECT wants to make “Electrician” a registered profession

 

Source: http://professional-electrician.com/news/7846/

 

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October 2016 Newsletter

‘Autumn continues with positive news regarding completed projects, plans for a huge project unveiled and announcements for funding and schemes throughout the industry’

 

Quick Links

 


Record two thirds of projects completed on budget

 

A record number of construction projects were completed on time last year, according to the latest construction report using KPI measures.

Levels of client satisfaction with contractors on their finished projects was also up halting a three-year decline according to the 2016 UK Performance Report.

Research group Glenigan surveyed over a 1,000 key people on projects completed in 2015 and revealed a broadly positive picture for construction with most key indicators on the rise.

During a period of slowing but steady growth predictability of projects improved overall, but costing forecasts fared better than build time predictions.

Sixty four per cent of projects came in on budget, beating 2014’s 56% figure and  topping the previous survey high of 59% in 2011. But only four in 10 projects came in on time.

Client satisfaction rose by 4 percentage points to 85% of clients now rating their overall satisfaction with the finished product as 8 out of 10 or higher.

Contractor satisfaction with the performance of their client and consultancy teams also improved rising from 69% previously to 74% last year.

But increasing labour and material costs last year took their toll on industry profitability which dropped from 2.8% to 2.5%.

The KPI report for the CITB showed that training levels increased from 1.2 to 1.5 training days. The take up of skills CSCS cards rocketed to around three quarters of the workforce nows holding a card, up from just over half in 2014.

Staff turnover slowed to 2.7% but more firms are reducing the size of their workforce. The average firm lost 7% of their direct employees – up from 6.3% in last year’s report.

Steven Radley, Director of Policy & Partnerships, CITB said: “There are some really encouraging findings in this latest industry performance report. Improvements in client satisfaction, predictability and training levels are excellent news – especially where trends have been reversed.

“However, the findings hold stark warnings too. Increasing pressure on margins driven by tough market conditions has begun to impact the bottom line and employers are reducing their workforce to minimise risk.”

Allan Wilén, Economics Director, Glenigan said: “The latest survey results reveal a construction industry working hard to meet clients’ expectations and progressively improving its performance across a wide range of economic, social and environmental measures.

“The construction industry is potentially facing a period of volatile workloads and structural change as the UK economy adapts to life outside of the EU. This will require the industry to redouble its efforts to upskill the workforce, enhance productivity and contain costs.”

 

Record two thirds of projects completed on budget

Record two thirds of projects completed on budget

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/10/11/record-two-thirds-of-projects-completed-on-budget/

 

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 ECA joins with Considerate Constructors Scheme

The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) is now partnering with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, in a joint effort to promote best practice across the industry.

The ECA’s link up with the social responsibility construction body represents the next step in its efforts to maintain a positive image for building activity and improve working practices right across the building services supply chain.

The ECA also has a preferential arrangement with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which allows member firms to receive a discount on registration with the scheme.

ECA director of business Paul Reeve commented, ‘The ECA is delighted to link up with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, and we look forward to promoting its “Code of Considerate Practice” across the building services engineering sector.’

Edward Hardy, chief executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme said, ‘M&E contractors comprise a significant part of the construction industry and have a very important role to play in contributing to an improved image of the industry. We are therefore delighted that the ECA is a Scheme Supporter, to help champion the principles of the Considerate Constructors Scheme to its members.’

The Considerate Constructors Scheme promotes a ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ which aims to ensure construction firms engage with local communities, control environmental impacts, ensure safety in and around building sites, and value their workforce.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme was founded in 1997 and is supported by a range of industry bodies, clients and major building companies.

 

ECA joins with Considerate Constructors Scheme

ECA joins with Considerate Constructors Scheme

 

Source: http://www.electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/index.php/home-3/3155-eca-joins-with-considerate-constructors-scheme

 

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Calor launches ‘Find an LPG Installer’ Tool

 

Calor has launched a ‘Find an Installer’ tool on its website, a new function that allows homeowners to search for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) qualified heating installer.

The ‘Find An Installer’ tool has been created to make it easier for customers to connect with local LPG installers. 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.

Calor is also actively seeking qualified LPG installers to partner with and to pass LPG boiler installation and servicing leads to. As part of Calor’s Installer Scheme, installers can be included on the Finder.

LPG qualified heating installers can find out more about working with Calor and inclusion on the Finder by meeting up with their local Calor representative.

Gregor Dalgleish, sales manager of Calor, said: “We’re constantly looking for new ways to connect and work with rural installers, and help them with any LPG support they need. Our Installer Incentive Scheme rewards up to £250 when a new LPG customer is recommended to us and the ‘Find An Installer’ tool is another way for us to share business opportunities.”

To check out the ‘Find An Installer’ tool, visit: www.calor.co.uk/findaninstaller

 

Calor launches 'Find an LPG Installer' Tool

Calor launches ‘Find an LPG Installer’ Tool

 

Source: http://www.hpmmag.com/news/calor-launches-find-lpg-installer-tool

 

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ECA announces extensive conference season

 

Plans include presence at industry-leading ‘UK Construction Week’ and ‘LuxLive’

Launching this year’s industry conference season, the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) will be having a major presence at the industry-leading UK Construction Week, being held at the NEC in Birmingham from this week.

The ECA will be exhibiting at the ‘Energy 2016’ arena of UK Construction Week, alongside the Fire and Security Association (FSA).  On the opening day of Construction Week, ECA’s Steve Martin will be presenting on new business opportunities for contractors, within the ‘Smart Buildings Hub’.

In addition, the ECA is providing speakers at other major conferences this autumn, including Europe’s biggest lighting event LuxLive, and the CIBSE Building Performance Conference.

ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented:

“The ECA is delighted to have an extensive presence during this year’s conference season, particularly at UK Construction Week and LuxLive, two of the biggest trade events on the calendar.

“With the ECA providing speakers at an array of major industry events, including the CIBSE conference, the Association is providing a leading voice in the building services industry.”

The ECA’s conference season plans include:

–          CIBSE Building Performance Conference – 17 – 18 November, QEII Centre, London

–          Building Services Summit – 23 November, British Library, London

–          LuxLive – 23 – 24 November, ExCel, London

–          NICEIC – ELECSA Live! North – 24 November, Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside

The ECA has also been actively involved in regional conferences in Wales and Northern Ireland, such as October’s ‘Skills Cymru’ in Cardiff and September’s ‘Plumb Power Heat Light’ in Belfast.

 

ECA announces extensive conference season

ECA announces extensive conference season

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/eca-announces-an-extensive-conference-season1

 

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The search is on for the best UK installers

 

Installers of bathroom, plumbing and heating equipment could be £1000 richer thanks to the latest awards competition by Geberit. Now in its third year, the 2016 awards will crown a winner in four different categories:

  • Best Installer Team
  • Best Supply Systems Installer
  • Best Domestic Bathroom Installer
  • Best Apprentice

As well as the prestige of being a trophy winner, those taking the top spots will also have their hard work and dedication recognised with some generous prizes, including £1000 for the overall winner of each category, plus Makita Drill Sets and Radios for the runners up. There will be two runners up in each category.

To make their nominations count, entrants need to demonstrate how their Geberit product installations stand out from the crowd, perhaps by overcoming tricky challenges, or by going that extra mile to ensure a quality end result.

The Geberit Awards 2016 also set out to recognise fledgling installer talent with the Best Apprentice award, with judges keen to hear from apprentices themselves, or their colleagues. In this category, the judging panel will be looking for nominees who are quick learners, are team players and work on their own initiative to master the latest technology.

Entrants need to provide just 150 words for each nomination, which can be supported by photography. So entering the Geberit Awards 2016 takes minimal time and effort for a potentially great reward.

The deadline for entries is 30 November. For more details and to enter, please visit www.geberit.co.uk/awards

 

The search is on for the best UK installers

The search is on for the best UK installers

 

Source: http://www.phamnews.co.uk/the-search-is-on-for-the-best-uk-installers/

 

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Latest plans unveiled for £1bn Liverpool site

 

Liverpool International College has unveiled proposals for a new ‘live-learn’ facility at the city’s £1bn Knowledge Quarter.

The plans include 45,000 sq ft of modern teaching and learning space and 260 student beds.

Knowledge Quarter Liverpool is a 450-acre urban innovation district and is home to influential players in science, health, technology, education, music and the creative and performing arts.

The latest building for the college will be 12-storeys and act as a gateway to the University of Liverpool campus.

Leelee Yates, director of LIC, said: “With the College growing and requiring more space and the University needing to increase its use of the building, this was the right time for us to develop our own purpose-built facility.

“Students are increasingly demanding when it comes to student experience, and this new facility will allow us to continue to attract the very best students from around the world to the city.

A planning application will be submitted for the proposed new facility next month.

 

Latest plans unveiled for £1bn Liverpool site

Latest plans unveiled for £1bn Liverpool site

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/10/18/latest-plans-unveiled-for-liverpools-1bn-knowledge-quarter/

 

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NAPIT Local Authority Trainiing boosts awareness

 

NAPIT is set to continue to run professional development training courses for local authority teams to raise awareness of basic electrical safety principles following the overwhelmingly positive feedback received.

The courses include presentations on issues surrounding electrical safety, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) awareness session and showcasing some useful Visual Electrical Guidance documents. Since local authorities are representatives of their communities and are responsible for enforcing Part P of the Building Regulations and assessing housing conditions via the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, the training courses are designed to raise awareness of electrical safety hazards and of the action required to resolve any issues.

These courses include a free half-day Basic Electrical Safety Course, which is designed to provide a general overview of electrical safety issues encountered by members of the public. The course allows participants to find out about many aspects of electrical work, including earthing and bonding, consumer units, socket and radials, visual electrical checks, and much more. All the while, NAPIT presenters are on hand to provide answers to any questions asked by attendees. Other courses include an EICR awareness course which outlines the many factors that make an installation safe for continued use. Attendees on this course are also given an opportunity to enhance their ability to judge compliance, how to review a completed EICR and a practical exercise on visual coding faults.

Feedback from attendees on the training courses has been overwhelmingly positive. 100 per cent of attendees agreed that they had a better understanding about electrical installations after attending one of the courses, while 93 per cent said that they understood the requirements of legislation related to electrical installations and inspections in far greater detail. Attendees were also prepared to give vocal feedback on the courses with one saying ‘even the very complicated topics were explained fully. I learnt a lot from attending the course’.

Mike Andrews, the NAPIT Group Chief Executive, commented: “The local authority training we’ve been offering has proven to be a very successful way of raising awareness on the issues surrounding electrical safety. Local authorities ultimately have the power in their communities to tackle unsafe work and play a large role in raising awareness of the dangers of poor electrical installations. We hope that more progress can be made to embolden local authorities and provide them with the knowledge required to protect homeowners and their families.”

Moving forward, NAPIT is dedicated to building its relationship with local authorities further and providing even more opportunities to raise awareness of electrical safety in the future. For this reason, NAPIT has expanded its course offering and has begun to provide bespoke training, giving local authorities even more opportunities to learn about areas of their choice. By encouraging and supporting awareness amongst local authorities, there are real opportunities to improve electrical safety across the country and protect the livelihood of homeowners, and also emphasise the good work of registered competent electrical installers.

If you represent or work for a local authority and would be interested in learning more about the training NAPIT offers, please click here.

 

NAPIT Local Authority Trainiing boosts awareness

NAPIT Local Authority Trainiing boosts awareness

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/napit-local-authority-training-boosts-awareness

 

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Funding announced for district heating schemes

 

Households across the UK could have their heating bills reduced, thanks to a new funding scheme announced by the government on 17 October.

The first part of a £320m fund will upgrade heating in towns and cities to supply low carbon and recycled heat.

Dubbed ‘central heating for cities’, heat networks also have the potential to reduce heating costs, in some cases by more than 30%. The networks will mean cities can recycle the wasted heat they produce from places like factories, power stations and even the London Underground and pump it into homes and businesses to keep them warm.

Minister of State for Energy, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: Heat networks can significantly improve the efficiency with which heat is provided to our towns and cities, as well as helping to develop local infrastructure and reduce carbon.

“The new scheme will help us to develop viable reforms to make the most of the heat we produce and use it effectively to bring bills down for people across the country.”

Heat networks have already been used successfully in the UK, and are popular across Scandinavian cities for keeping homes warm in winter. The money will be invested over the next five years to build low carbon heating systems across England and Wales.

Heat networks can also draw their energy from sources such as combined heat and power plants, biomass boilers, or from heat from deep below the earth’s crust.

The £320m scheme will run over five years and further instalments of funding will be released in due course.

 

Funding announced for district heating schemes

Funding announced for district heating schemes

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4401/Funding_announced_for_district_heating_schemes.html

 

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Electrician in UK Worker of the Year 2016 final

 

Christine Vaghela, an electrician from Elstree, Hertfordshire, has been selected as one of the six finalists for this year’s UK Worker of the Year competition.

Co-founder of Elecchicks, Christine retrained as an electrician in order to provide a reliable service for the domestic market in north London and environs.

In addition to the day to day running of a company, she is also ambassadors for the NICEIC’s “Jobs for the girls” campaign.

The competition is the concept of Dickies, the world renowned workwear brand and with fellow sponsors Honda UK and ASDA, aims to recognise hard work and commitment across all industry sectors.

Judging day is on 14th October at the Mercure Dartford Brands Hatch Hotel, when the panel of judges will quiz Christine on a variety of topics, as she bids to become the seventh UK Worker of the Year.

A delighted Christine commented: “I am so excited to have made the final six and feel honoured to be a finalist. I am looking forward to the time at Brands Hatch, and meeting and supporting the other finalists.”

Competition organiser, Gary Barak said: “Year on year the standard of entries has improved and this year has been no exception. Christine and the other finalists have been selected on merit from amongst the thousands of entries received, a selection process that in itself was no mean feat, and we look forward to the judging stage and Awards evening.”

Should Christine be the winner of UK Worker of the Year 2016, she will have the opportunity to choose a luxury holiday, or from a choice of several Honda vehicles, including a Jazz car, motorbike, rib boat, as well as a years shopping from ASDA.

She will also have the chance to win a potentially life changing £250,000 should she correctly predict the outcome of the top six rider positions in the weekend MCE British Superbike race.

The finalists represent a wide range of professions, from across the country:

  • Paul Harris, an electronics engineer from County Durham.
  • Guy Hodgson, a builder from the West Midlands.
  • Samantha Lea, a firefighter from Nottingham.
  • Charlotte Morton, a beef farmer from South Yorkshire.
  • and Kevin Skeith, a floorer from Sleaford.

 

Electrician in UK Worker of the Year 2016 final

Electrician in UK Worker of the Year 2016 final

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/electrician-in-uk-worker-of-the-year-2016-final

 

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Gas Review asks for installer input

 

Gas Safe Register is to launch an in-depth report into the past, present and future for gas safety. The ‘Decade Review’ report will consider the opportunities and challenges faced across the industry since the Frontline Review, which led to the creation of the Gas Safe Register, was published in 2006. It will also look ahead to some of the issues that will need to be addressed over the next decade.

Engineers are invited to voice their thoughts as part of the pan-industry review which aims to be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind. There are many ways for engineers to contribute to the review, including through focus groups and online surveys.

Scott Darroch, Project Director for the review, says: “As part of the Decade Review report, we are looking to speak with a wide range of stakeholders from sole trader registered businesses  training and assessment companies, charities and national energy companies.

“This consultation will help the team at Gas Safe Register shape and continue to improve the service we offer by giving us an in-depth insight into what the industry needs. In such a fast-changing industry that has seen many developments over the last decade, including new legislation and technology, the intent is for the Decade Review to be a useful report that the whole industry can turn to.”

The process of gathering information for the Decade Review is now underway, with all results to be captured by independent research agency Accent. Details on the different routes any interested parties can use to contribute will be announced shortly. Gas Safe Register aims to publish the results next summer.

Gas Review asks for installer input

Gas Review asks for installer input

 

Source: http://www.phamnews.co.uk/gas-review-asks-for-installer-input/

 

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The new Hotcost Limited website has launched

We are delighted to introduce our brand new Hotcost Limited website.

We’ve added some great new features including our new blog, our Youtube channel, the new and improved project uploader & our new RSS feed.

We are ecstatic with the results and we think you will be too.

September 2016 Newsletter

“September sees a new season and new regulations, a boost for business and a lot of big projects moving forward”

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Take care of your WEEE or face hefty fines

As National Recycling Week (12th – 18th September) takes place in the UK, CEF in partnership with Electrical Waste, is urging installers to be clear on their obligations regarding electrical waste or risk a hefty fine or even imprisonment.

Although the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was re-cast in 2014, awareness of the regulations and how to comply is still very patchy. This means installers who are not compliant put themselves and their customers at risk.

The Government has set aside an additional £4.2m to tackle waste crime, so enforcement is becoming a reality for installers up and down the country.

Shaun Donaghey, group operations director for Electrical Waste says: “Every year an estimated two million tonnes of WEEE is discarded in the UK – the majority of which is toxic and can have a long term impact on the environment and health. In addition, prosecutions are on the increase for companies who incorrectly dispose of their WEEE. Our message is therefore clear – regardless of whether your company is large or small, you need to act now to ensure you are WEEE compliant; doing nothing is no longer an option.”

CEF  says it is the only electrical wholesale organisation in the UK to have its own electrical waste management business offering installers a one-stop recycling service and full compliance with all current legislation.

Shaun continues: “Our service is unique and covers everything covered in the WEEE Directive in a single solution – which is basically everything with a plug or battery and includes fluorescent lamps and tubes; high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps and compact fluorescent lamps. We are also the only recycler in the UK able to process LED lamps.”

Every CEF branch offers a handy local drop-off point for waste, or for larger jobs CEF can provide compliant containers on-site with a nationwide collection service which covers every postcode in the UK. All of the necessary paperwork is also covered to ensure that the audit trail is complete and more importantly to ensure that installers are 100% compliant with the law.

Shaun concludes: “In 2015 alone there were over 200 prosecutions issued by the Environment Agency against businesses and individuals for illegal waste activities with fines totalling in excess of £3 million. Installers need to be aware that if they don’t dispose of their WEEE correctly they could become part of this statistic. Finding a solution is therefore critical, but compliance doesn’t need to be difficult – in fact it is something that can be taken care of next time you are down at your local CEF branch.”

For further details, visit: cef.co.uk/electricalwaste

Take care of your WEEE or face hefty fines

Take care of your WEEE or face hefty fines

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/take-care-of-your-weee-or-face-hefty-fines

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LIA statement on directional halogen lamp ban

September 1st 2016, saw Stage 3 of the Energy Related Products Regulation 1194/2012 take effect.

This means that directional (reflector) mains voltage halogen lamps such as GU10, R63, R50 etc. are no longer allowed to be placed on the market.

Products captured by this regulation that are already placed on the market according to the definition of the term may continue to be sold. This means that existing stocks may be sold through and it is incorrect to state that retailers will not be able to sell them as of today.

There has been other misinformation in the press which suggests that UK householders will be faced with bills of £275 to replace the 11 spot lights in the average home.

Significant price falls in recent years has meant that replacement LED lamps can be obtained at prices compatible with other technologies whilst saving around £3.64 each lamp per year (Which) and lasting considerably longer.

Whilst the Regulation does not ban 12 volt MR16 reflector lamps it does require them to last longer and have fewer failures which means that some of the poorer quality versions will be removed from the market.

Tougher requirements for conventional shaped halogen lamps such as GLS, candle and globe types will not take effect until September 2018 which means they will effectively be banned from then on while R7s and G9 halogen lamps and most 12v G4 capsule lamps will not be banned for the foreseeable future however a new Regulation currently being drafted is due to apply from September 2018 which may change this position.

The Lighting Industry Association welcomes the shift to a more energy efficient technology and 2016 has seen a major increase in the uptake of LED lamps by consumers as prices fall and the light output and quality improves.

LIA statement on directional halogen lamp ban

LIA statement on directional halogen lamp ban

Source: http://www.electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/index.php/home-3/3117-lia-statement-on-directional-halogen-lamp-ban

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Second year of success for SELECT

A programme set up by SELECT (the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland), the Prince’s Trust Scotland, and the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT), has doubled in size in its second successful year.

The programme, Get Into Electrical Installation, is a six week mix of residential and work placement available to young people selected by the Prince’s Trust Scotland. Many of those taking part in last month’s graduation ceremony have already secured further employment in the electrical installation industry.

The programme has come to the attention of the Scottish Parliament with MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, Gil Paterson, attending the graduation at West College Scotland and MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie attending the ceremony at Edinburgh College.

After the success of last year, the course was doubled in size. The course run by Edinburgh College was completed by seven students while a further 13 were successful at West College Scotland.

Those applicants chosen for a place all passed tests in maths, manual dexterity, colour blindness and, most importantly, teamwork skills. The course consisted of one week of health and safety training, three weeks of electrical techniques, one week of work placement at partner companies, and finally one week of ‘soft skills’ including job searching, and applications.

Elaine Ellis, Qualifications and Skills Development Manager for SELECT, said: “It’s opened up the profession of electrician to individuals who might not otherwise have had access to it. Given the current shortage of skilled workers in the industry, we are very interested to find young people who are eager to learn. “We are grateful to the colleges for giving so generously of their time and to SECTT for their organisational skills.

This has offered young people who have faced significant challenges the chance to find a place in a rewarding industry. “A number of the young people I spoke to at the graduation have already found employment or apprenticeships with our members, and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Lee Johnstone, Head of Corporate Partnerships for the Prince’s Trust Scotland, said: “The funding and connections provided by SELECT and the quality of instruction from the colleges, have made this year a real success.” Anne Galbraith of SECTT, who was instrumental in setting up of this programme, said: “We have 2,500 electrical apprenticeships in Scotland, but it’s not enough, given the demand for skilled workers.

This programme provides a new route into employment for people who were perhaps looking for a second chance, or maybe had barriers to overcome. I’m delighted at the success so far.” SELECT is the trade body for Scotland’s electro-technical sector whose member companies account for over 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland.

Second year of success for SELECT

Second year of success for SELECT

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/second-year-of-success-for-select

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C.K Tools announces the launch of a competition to find the best cable cutter in the land

Have you got a grip of steel? Can you cut through a length of cable in lightening speed? C.K tools has announced the launch of a competition to find the country’s C.K Cutter King or Queen. Do you have what it takes to win?

The competition comes following the launch of its new and improved range of Redline VDE side cutters, designed specifically with electrical work in mind. C.K tools redefined the cutting geometry of its side cutters to define the optimum blade angles for the effortless cutting of copper and aluminium cables.

Charles Whitfield, New Product Development Manager for C.K tools, commented: “Electricians needs have been overlooked for so long when it comes to cutters that C.K tools’ new Redline VDE side cutters have transformed the way that tradesmen complete a job in terms of efficiency and time saved.

“We felt that was something to celebrate, which is why we’ve launched #CKCutterKing to encourage electricians to think about how easily and quickly they can get the job done, as well as to find the fastest cable cutter in the UK.”

To celebrate the cutters’ launch, C.K tools is on the hunt to find the best cable cutter in the land and crown them #CKCutterKing. The winner will take home the prize of a C.K Magma 3 in 1 Tote filled with C.K tools and a specially designed #CKCutterKing t-shirt.

If you think you have what it takes to take the crown, all you have to do is the following:

  • Ask a friend or colleague to film your challenge so that your cutting can be seen and counted
  • Take a length of 10mm earth cable
  • Using 160mm side cutters, make as many clean cuts as possible in 20 seconds
  • Upload the video to the C.K tools’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cktoolsuk, using the hashtag #CKCutterKing
  • Once uploaded, why not nominate a colleague to see whether they’ve got what it takes to better your efforts.

To see an example video of what the judges are looking for visit the C.K tools Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/cktoolsuk

Deadline for entries is Friday 30th September 2016. For full terms and conditions, visit the website at: www.ck-tools.com

C.K tools announces the launch of a competition to find the best cable cutter in the land

C.K tools announces the launch of a competition to find the best cable cutter in the land

Source: http://www.ewnews.co.uk/index.php/c-k-tools-announces-the-launch-of-a-competition-to-find-the-best-cable-cutter-in-the-land/

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UK tradespeople are quoting for more work than 12 months ago

Nearly half (44%) of the UK’s plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other trades say they are quoting for more work than they were 12 months ago, according to Plumbfix’s latest survey.

Of the 95% of tradespeople currently working, the majority (67%) said they have enough work to keep them busy and 16% claim to have more work than they can handle, with nearly half (48%) believing business will improve for them over the next year.

However, the latest Trade Pulse report also revealed this optimism is tempered with a degree of concern around the general UK economy. Nearly one in three (32%) think it will worsen in the next 12 months, increasing from 20% who felt the same way one year ago.

Trade Pulse is a monthly index from Plumbfix’s umbrella organisation, Screwfix, which surveys more than 500 UK tradespeople including plumbers and heating engineers to track work levels and optimism among the trade. The retailer undertakes the research to gain greater insight into the needs of its customers to ensure it provides the services and products required.

Andrew Livingston, chief executive officer of Plumbfix, said: “The optimism seen among the UK’s tradespeople at the start of 2016 is continuing, however, there also seems to be more uncertainty on the nation’s economic outlook from the trade. Despite this, it is very encouraging to see that many continue to be in work, with more jobs to come, which is something we see reflected by our busy trade customers across our network of Plumbfix trade counters.”

UK tradespeople are quoting for more work than 12 months ago

UK tradespeople are quoting for more work than 12 months ago

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4326/UK_tradespeople_are_quoting_for_more_work_than_12_months_ago.html

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Building services specialists see Brexit as boost for business

The building services engineering sector is confident it will successfully weather the outcome of Brexit over the next few years.

Major new survey findings from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and SELECT show almost half of survey respondents (46%) believe Brexit will have a positive impact on their company in just five years’ time.

Less than one in five (19%) believe it will have a negative impact.

The largest contractors in the survey (with over £20 million turnover) are slightly less optimistic about the short term business prospects than smaller contractors.

The sector puts maintaining access to the EU ‘Single Market’ at the top of its list of Brexit aspirations, closely followed by more control of employment law and the need to negotiate non-EU trade deals.

Despite the general positivity about Brexit, 47% of respondents fear the cost of materials will rise as a result.

Reflecting a general tendency to use skilled UK rather than EU workers, the vast majority (92%) of respondents said they ‘do not rely on EU migrant workers’, and only 25% agree that Brexit would ‘worsen the shortage of qualified workers’.

ECA CEO Steve Bratt said: “No matter how our relationship with Europe develops, our sector has a huge role to play in achieving UK business growth. This includes providing skilled jobs, fully functional buildings and infrastructure, and UK energy security.

“To help us achieve these aims, it’s vital that we know the initial views of our sector as we head towards Brexit.  Significantly, contractors are telling us that they want the UK to maintain access to the Single Market, while they are less concerned about ensuring freedom of movement.”

BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin added: “Our survey clearly shows that many contractors are conditionally optimistic in the wake of the Brexit vote.

“In fact, putting these findings alongside the brighter than expected data for the UK economy as a whole gives us a much more upbeat feel than could reasonably have been predicted back in June.

“The survey provides extremely valuable feedback about what matters most to contractors as the UK sets about negotiating a new relationship with Europe. As a result, we will draw up an action plan for the building engineering services sector to focus our lobbying efforts in the coming months.”

SELECT Managing Director Newell McGuiness stated: “The results of the UK wide survey provide a valuable insight into the hopes and needs of contractors and will be very useful as we seek to influence government policy going forward.”

Building services specialists see Brexit as boost for business

Building services specialists see Brexit as boost for business

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/09/06/building-services-specialists-see-brexit-as-a-boost-for-business/

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1 in 4 customer’s boiler is unsafe

Nearly one in four homes checked by Swale Heating has an unsafe gas boiler, according to figures it has released in time for Gas Safety Week this month.

The statistics were collated for the quarter May to July 2016 amid concerns that householders do not understand enough about gas safety to keep themselves and their families safe.

Sales director, Matthew Edwards, said: “During the survey period, our engineers made 29,024 service calls and had to issue 6,714 notices of unsafe boilers. That’s boilers only; in some cases where the boiler was working satisfactorily there were other appliances that were unsafe.

“It’s frightening to know that so many people are living in potential danger without even realising.”

About three quarters of the boilers were identified ‘At Risk’ (AR) where the appliance had one or more faults which could pose a risk to lives or property.

However, in a quarter of cases, the engineers had to issue an ‘Immediately Dangerous’ (ID) notice where the installation is considered to pose an immediate danger to life and property if it is left on.

Engineers cannot disconnect the appliance without the householder’s permission; if permission is not given, the engineer must report to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has the legal right of entry to make the appliance safe and this includes disconnecting the gas supply to the property entirely.

Swale Heating is working with Gas Safe Register to make sure Gas Safety Week makes people more aware of gas safety in their homes. The heating firm has already announced it will give away a free carbon monoxide (CO) monitor with every private order of a new boiler from September 19-25 in an effort to reduce the number of people who are poisoned or even killed by CO fumes.

Matthew continued: “Make sure all gas work in your home is carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register and get your gas appliances regularly serviced.

“Then perhaps we’ll see a fall in the number of AR and ID notices issued and we’ll know the gas safety message is really getting through.”

1 in 4 customer's boiler is unsafe

1 in 4 customer’s boiler is unsafe

Source: http://www.hpmmag.com/news/one-four-chance-customers-boiler-unsafe

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APHC supports Gas Safety Week

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has pledged its support for Gas Safety Week 2016 – the sixth annual campaign coordinated by the Gas Safe Register. Running from 19th to 25th September, Gas Safety Week aims to bring the whole plumbing industry together to remind people of the importance of gas safety and will be providing tips for improving safety and reducing cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.

As part of the campaign, the Gas Safe Register is providing consumers with the following six safety tips for staying safe and warm in their homes:

  • Only use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to fix, fit and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check both sides of an engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card and make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. This information can be found on the back of the card.
  • Have all gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent a home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety record.
  • Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
  • Check gas appliances for warnings that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks/stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
  • Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm, which will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.

John Thompson, Chief Executive at APHC, commented: “We are proud once again to be supporting Gas Safety Week, with its important aim of protecting members of the public from the silent killer, carbon monoxide. In relation to this important area, we also welcome recent MP campaigning for carbon monoxide alarms in all rented UK properties, with recent research indicating that around 50 people each year still die of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

APHC supports Gas Safety Week

APHC supports Gas Safety Week

Source: http://phpionline.co.uk/news/aphc-supports-gas-safety-week/

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 PM to back move from Parliament for £4 billion upgrade
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to back plans for MPs to move out of the Houses of Parliament for at least six years as part of a £4bn restoration project.

Major work to save the crumbling grade I listed Palace of Westminster is scheduled to start in 2022. It will be the first time MPs have moved out since the Blitz.

Vacating the building for the refit is the cheapest solution of three considered by a special Parliamentary Committee of MPs and peers. This is expected to be recommend by the committee today as its favoured option.

The other choices are a partial move-out, which would take 11 years and cost £4.4bn. The third option would allow the MPs to stay put – which would cost £5.7bn and the work would last 32 years.

A study by Deloitte last year highlighted the appalling condition of the Palace of Westminster, with potentially deadly fire risks, collapsing roofs, crumbling walls, leaking pipes and large quantities of asbestos.

According to The Times today, the Prime Minister will  back the call, increasing the chances that it will happen, but the final decision still rests on a parliamentary vote.

MPs would relocate to the Department of Health while the House of Lords would decamp to the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster.

PM to back move from Parliament for £4 billion upgrade

PM to back move from Parliament for £4 billion upgrade

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/09/08/pm-backs-move-from-parliament-for-4bn-upgrade/

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Birmingham signs £2 billion agreement with Chinese house builder

As part of the agreement, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company Country Garden will explore large-scale investment opportunities in Birmingham, with particular focus around HS2.

It also agreed to work with the council to deliver large numbers of new homes.

Council leader John Clancy signed the joint statement of investment commitment with Country Garden on a week-long trade mission to China.

Cllr Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That’s why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.

“This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham.

“Country Garden has a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.”

Founded in 1992, Country Garden has developed 300 high-end township developments, 54 five-star hotels and more than 2.5 million properties.

Country Garden founder and chairman Yang Guoqiang added: “I have been impressed with Birmingham’s ambition and huge potential.

“We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham’s ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham.”

Birmingham signs £2 billion agreement with Chinese house builder

Birmingham signs £2 billion agreement with Chinese house builder

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/09/07/birmingham-signs-2bn-agreement-with-chinese-house-builder/

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Barking Riverside masterplan approved

The mayor of London has approved plans for up to 10,000 new homes to be built in Barking.

Sadiq Khan gave his consent to a revised masterplan for Barking Riverside – a 180-hectare brownfield site on the northern banks of the River Thames in Eats London that is the single largest regeneration site in the capital.

London & Quadrant (L&Q) is developing the site with the Greater London Authority.

Previous plans for 28% of the housing to be classed as affordable have been tweaked. There is now to be at least 35% affordable housing, with provisions to raise this to 50% over time through additional investment and viability reviews.

L&Q chief executive David Montague said: “As Barking Riverside is one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration schemes in Europe, L&Q is committed to delivering homes, across a range of incomes, that are genuinely affordable for everyone. The revised masterplan approval helps us achieve this goal.

“The potential of Barking Riverside is enormous and for L&Q it is a significant step forward in delivering on its promise to build 100,000 homes over the next decade.  We are delighted to be at the forefront of making this exciting vision a reality.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Barking Riverside has enormous potential to deliver thousands of the much-needed homes Londoners so urgently need.

“I’ve made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number-one priority. Fixing this problem will be a marathon, not a sprint, but developments like this one will play a huge part in our efforts to provide genuinely affordable homes to buy and rent.

“Our next task is to ensure this development includes the facilities and infrastructure which will make this a fantastic place to live and to visit, rather than simply a housing development.”

The site is owned by Barking Riverside Ltd, a joint venture between the Greater London Authority (49%) and the housing association L&Q (51%), which took over Bellway’s stake in the development earlier this year . Until the 1990s it was home to three power stations and a large amount of landfill.

Barking Riverside masterplan approved

Barking Riverside masterplan approved

Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/barking-riverside-masterplan-approved

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Network Rail identifies nearly 200 sites to release for house-building

Network Rail is finalising plans to release land for the development of around 12,000 new homes as part of its contribution towards the government’s target to release land with the potential for 160,000 homes.

There is land for around 5,000 of these homes in London, 3,600 in the north of England, 1,700 in the Midlands, and around 1,400 homes in the south of England.

The sale programme is now under way with the largest 20 sites offering potential for more than 5,000 new homes. Earmarked projects include the former Exchange Station site in Manchester, which will deliver land for 700 homes, and a major scheme at Chesterton near Cambridge which will release land for over 800 homes.

Network Rail will partner with developers to release land on a site-by-site basis over the next three to four years. The company is also considering an accelerated approach by grouping sites for sale as multi-site developments. These sites could go to market as early as spring 2017.

Releasing land for homes is not new for Network Rail; it released land for more than 1,700 new homes during its last investment period (2009-14), and land for 1,200 new homes has already been delivered in the current investment period (2015-20).

The land release programme is part of a wider government drive to build homes on surplus public sector land.

David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “Network Rail has been unlocking land for development for over a decade, providing space for thousands of homes, while generating income to reinvest back into the railway.

“The railway stands as a backbone of the UK economy. Unlocking railway land for redevelopment investing in stations and infrastructure, can and does transform large swathes of our towns and cities and boost local and regional economies.

“As we now ramp up our land release programme to deliver thousands more homes, we will be working closely with the Homes & Communities Agency, London Land Commission, local authorities and developers to bring identified sites forward to help meet the country’s housing needs.”

Network Rail identifies nearly 200 sites to release for house-building

Network Rail identifies nearly 200 sites to release for house-building

Source: http://www.build-news.com/2016-network-rail-identifies-nearly-200-sites-to-release-for-house-building

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