08 HPM 0413

HPM April 2013

The Gas Safety Trust has published its latest report into incidents of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the home which has revealed the fewest number of incidents in five years. The figures, which include just one fatality, are the lowest since the report was first commissioned in 1996. The news coincides with the launch by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) of its own CO safety project, which centres on changes to the commissioning of gas boilers from April 2013. These are mainly safety concerns as well as the introduction of new competency requirements. They stipulate that a heating engineer must be proficient in the use of flue gas analysers. The HHIC has worked in partnership with other bodies, including the Gas Safe Register, Energy and Utility Skills, UKULELE and COGDEM, who have agreed on new requirements to measure and record CO levels, along with combustion ratios, when gas engineers commission a new boiler installation. From April, boiler manufacturers are recommending that engineers should measure the level of CO in the chimney/flue gases and the combustion ratio using an electronic combustion gas analyser (ECGA). The measured CO level and the combustion ratio should then be recorded on the appropriate commissioning documentation. The HHIC and other industry bodies wanted a very strong process for the measurement of CO, using an ECGA when commissioning a condensing boiler and urged that all boilers go through rigorous testing and adhere to standards. However, these further checks on the boiler and chimney/flue will help to identify any problem that may have arisen during installation and will give the householder reassurance that the heating system has been left in a safe condition. The proposal to implement these new CO safety measures follows logically from the recent Accredited Certification Scheme requirement for all gas engineers to be competent in using ECGAs. HHIC director, Roger Webb, said: “It is great news that the number of CO incidents over the past five years has declined. “This is surely indication how safety measures are constantly improving. The HHIC technical team’s new CO project will ensure consumers are reassured that when an installer finishes an installation, he or she will be leaving the boiler in a safe condition. “By recording CO levels at the point of installation, this guarantees the boiler is CO safe in the future.” Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com FROM THE EDITOR In the February issue of HPM, I wrote that the year had not started well for the government after it was revealed that 17 solar companies were planning to sue for £140 million in damages over its handling of the solar photovoltaic Feed-in Tariff cuts. In the same issue, we highlighted how the insulation industry was accusing the government of costing the industry 4,000 jobs as a result of delays in the introduction of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation. Fast forward two months and things have not improved. The Coalition’s decision to delay the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive until April 2014 has filled the industry with disappointment and frustration. The Micropower Council, I would presume, sums up the mood perfectly. It said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to give positive messages about whether the Coalition as a whole remains committed to domestic renewable heat, despite the seemingly good intentions of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.” Hasn’t the Coalition learnt the lessons of how delaying a scheme can damage an industry, as highlighted above with the Green Deal? Businesses within the industry need rapid action to stimulate growth within the renewable heating sector. Many will now not be able to sustain the cost base of skills necessary for the industry over a further period of delay. But what can the industry do? It must remain positive. It must continue to work closely with the government to ensure that the scheme, whenever it is implemented, offers simple and measurable benefits for all consumers. The support industry offers is vital if the take-up of renewables is to increase, to reduce carbon emissions and ensure the consumer remains interested in energy efficient technology. Tim Wood, Editor HPM twood@unity-media.com Report shows carbon monoxide cases down NEWSDESK “is the Coalition committed to domestic renewable heat?” WWW.HPMMAG.COM Follow us on: @HPMMAG Xtraordinary prices! InTec 24X £499 plus VAT InTec 28X £529 plus VAT Visit your local merchant today! Prices valid until 30th June 2013 SPECIAL OFFER Prices include InTec X combi boiler plus 500mm EasyFlue enquiry number 302


HPM April 2013
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