BMF wins Best Practice Award…

Jon celebrates the award with other members of the BMF team

Jon celebrates the award with other members of the BMF team

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) scooped a Special Prize at the 2017 Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, winning the Skills Development Award for the second time.

The Award recognises the Federation’s promotion of a professional career path for merchants and building materials manufacturers, which is supported by academic qualifications and skills training.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “It is a remarkable achievement to win this prestigious Award. Many TAF members have far larger operations than the BMF and it is testament to the BMF team that our work to support our members delivers competitively against the best of the best.

“With the BMF also being shortlisted for the Member Engagement category (for reaching and engaging with the full range of our members at sector specific Forums) and the Commercial Initiative Award (for the ground-breaking Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), we are thrilled to have won the Skills Development Award again, and will continue to build on this success

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Worcester, Bosch Group names annual Environment 2020 Awards winners

The winners celebrate with Worcester staff

The winners celebrate with Worcester staff

Worcester, Bosch Group has revealed this year’s winners of its annual Environment 2020 Awards.

Now in its 16th year, the awards recognise industry best practice and celebrate those who have demonstrated their commitment to recommending energy efficient heating and hot water technologies over the past 12 months.

With hundreds of first-class installations from across the country having been entered, the winners of the seven categories received their prizes at a ceremony at Spring Grove House in Worcestershire.

Special guest Mike Foster, CEO, Energy and Utilities Alliance, and Martyn Bridges, director of technical communication and product management at Worcester, Bosch Group, were on hand to dish out the awards, with senior industry representatives from the CIPHE, IDHEE and OFTEC also in attendance to congratulate the recipients.

The full list of winners is as follows:

  • Greenstar gas-fired boiler installation: Kevin Roughton, KR Plumbing and Heating, Buckinghamshire
  • Greenstar oil-fired boiler installation: Vaughan Maule, Vaughan Maule Plumbing and Heating, Gloucestershire
  • Solar installation: Scott Baker, Scott Baker Plumbing &
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Ideal Bathrooms achieves millionaire status

Left to right; Danielle Lillis, Ideal Bathrooms’ commercial director, Paul Stott, Ideal Bathrooms EHS manager and Kim Kirby-Earnshaw

Left to right; Danielle Lillis, Ideal Bathrooms’ commercial director, Paul Stott, Ideal Bathrooms EHS manager and Kim Kirby-Earnshaw

A million is a big number in anyone’s language. In the world of health & safety, joining the millionaires means one million working hours (or five years) without a single lost hours accident anywhere within the workforce. And that is what Ideal Bathrooms has achieved to become a member of their parent company St. Gobain’s Millionaires Club.

“This is a very prestigious achievement” says Ideal Bathrooms operations director, Kim Kirby-Earnshaw “It’s even more impressive that this is Ideal Bathrooms’ second successive time we have achieved this and our working environment is a challenging one for H&S issues as the majority of our activity involves physical handling procedures.”

The millionaires ‘club’ is exclusively for the super-safe with only 259 businesses throughout the world who qualify and just 20 in the UK.

Ideal Bathrooms has a culture throughout the company for putting the safety of staff before anything else. There is an in-house H&S

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Lakes Bathrooms lots to celebrate during anniversary year

Bev Brown

Bev Brown

Shower enclosure specialist Lakes Bathrooms has announced its results for financial year ended May 2017 – with a turnover of approximately £16.5 million, the company is over three per cent up on the previous year and is predicting continued growth in the coming year.

Managing director, Bev Brown, said: “In a year of political turmoil we have worked hard to counter-act unfavourable economic conditions and continue the tradition of year-on-year growth at Lakes Bathrooms. Pivotal to our strategy has been the product transformation to PureVueHD, optically superior glass, which has driven conquest business and increased our market share. This, in turn, has demanded increased stock-holding and so we have expanded into an additional new 70,000 square foot warehouse, plus opened our own showroom for the trade. We have also celebrated our 30th anniversary, so it has been quite a year.”

Beyond physical expansion, Lakes Bathrooms has also made a number of new appointments and promotions throughout the year, including additions to the warehouse team, sales administration and finance

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Questions raised over heat network design practices

Heat network design practices warning

Heat network design practices warning

Consultants and contractors responsible for the design of heat networks and district heating schemes are being encouraged to adopt design best practice and avoid unnecessary oversizing.

Pete Mills, commercial technical operations manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, is calling for those responsible for the design of heat networks to pay close attention to the sizing of the main heating source and pipework in order to maximise efficiency gains.

Pete said: “Unfortunately, it has become relatively common for heat network schemes in the UK to fall short of industry expectations through oversizing of appliances and pipework. Oversizing a heat network from the outset can have huge ramifications for the long-term efficiency, overall performance, and return on investment of a system. This is before we consider the reputational damage that incorrect design is having on heat networks’ credentials as efficient and cost-effective heating and hot water solutions for multi-residential and commercial buildings.”

According to the Association for Decentralised Energy, there are currently more than 17,000 heat networks

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One in three consumers back the government changes to smart meter rollout plans…

A third of customers think they should be given the choice about whether to have a smart meter installed or not

A third of customers think they should be given the choice about whether to have a smart meter installed or not

New research has found that nearly a third of consumers in the UK back the changes to the government policy, which sees a commitment to install smart meters in 26 million homes by the end of the decade, scrapped.

As announced in the Queen’s speech, Theresa May’s government will continue to encourage homes to have the energy monitoring devices installed, but has now said that homeowners will be offered the choice to have a meter put in their homes, rather than being forced to do so.

The change comes as new research by Echo Managed Services found that 31% of customers think they should be given the choice about whether to have a smart meter installed or not.

The Queen’s announcement is a watering down of then Prime Minister, David Cameron’s plan to install 47 million meters into all UK households. However, it is claimed that this new plan

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OFTEC promotes Home Energy Scotland Loan scheme

David Blevings

David Blevings

OFTEC has welcomed the Scottish government’s introduction of the Home Energy Scotland Loan which is available to oil households.

The scheme is designed to help householders improve the efficiency of their home heating source, enable money-saving improvements for their properties, and also protect the environment.

It is available to oil households looking to upgrade to a modern condensing oil boiler and also requires installers to be OFTEC registered to ensure safe installation.

The trade association offers the competent person registration scheme for heating technicians to demonstrate competence to potential customers, and also provide additional membership benefits such as company listings and technical advice.

The Home Energy Scotland Loans Scheme is currently open for applicants, with a total of £34 million in funding available in interest-free loans for measures, including the installation of high efficiency boilers.

The policy also sets aside selected funds in grants, giving homeowners the opportunity to receive up to 25% of their loan in cashback for a limited time only. There is available funding for

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HPA expresses disappointment

Futher delays to RHI reform

Futher delays to RHI reform

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has expressed its disappointment and frustration following news that the delay in bringing in the vital Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) reforms will now extend beyond the summer.

The overdue reforms have suffered a number of delays and setbacks due to procedural formatting issues and the snap general election, and now subsequent changes to the government have altered the delivery timeframe once more.

Mike Nankivell, president of the HPA, said: “This prolonged process of reform could potentially damage the renewable heat industry, creating uncertainty and confusion over tariffs in both domestic and non-domestic markets.

“Although we are once again left frustrated by the delays, we recognise that when the changes are finally implemented there will likely be a silver lining in the form of significantly improved tariffs. In addition, any installations registered from December 12, 2016 up until the new regulations are introduced, will not be subject to heat demand limits, but will be eligible for any improved tariffs. This will

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Viessmann’s “Heroes of Heat” team comes to rescue…

A completely new heating system and Viessmann Vitodens boiler was installed in under seven hours by 12 volunteer installers, the #heroesofheat

A completely new heating system and Viessmann Vitodens boiler was installed in under seven hours by 12 volunteer installers, the #heroesofheat

Twelve volunteer plumbers took over the community hub on July 1 to revamp the heating system and install a free Viessmann boiler and Plumbase parts.

Thanks to Viessmann and its “Heroes of Heat” team, the Monkey Park social enterprise in Chesterfield is now able to keep its community users comfortable year-round.

On July 1 a new heating system – including a Viessmann Vitodens 100-W boiler – was installed by a team of volunteer plumbers. Pipes, sundries and radiators were donated by Plumbase, Fernox, QRL Radiators, EPH Controls and JG Speedfit.

The community hub, cycle project and workspace centre’s previous 45 year-old heating system was ‘on its knees,’ with management and café staff forced to transport hot water around the building in saucepans.

A desperate tweet from supporter, Kevin Walker of local business Bitz ‘n’ PC’z, was seen by Viessmann, who urgently assembled a “Heroes of Heat” team that would

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OFTEC and NIEA join forces…

David Blevings (left) and Kevin McGrady (right)

David Blevings (left) and Kevin McGrady (right)

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and OFTEC have joined forces to launch a campaign on oil tank awareness for businesses owners.

The campaign is reminding Northern Ireland businesses of all sizes that the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (NI) 2010 primarily required any above ground oil tank over 200 litres to be provided with 110% secondary containment by December 2015.

The organisations are concerned that many are unaware of the regulatory requirements and associated fines, up to a maximum of £20,000, for non-compliance, with the campaign striving to educate and protect business owners from the surprise of any hefty fines.

The legislation provides guidance on who has to comply, how to comply, maintenance requirements, and sets out some simple steps to ensure oil is stored safely, reducing the risk of pollution and offering better protection for the environment. The campaign also aims to help business owners avoid potentially significant clean-up costs, which can often be excluded from insurance policies.

David Blevings,

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