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HPM April 2015

Report cold homes Installers and plumbers should help those at risk 6 Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com NEWSDESK Plumbers and heating engineers should join in the fight against fuel poverty, new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have suggested. The report has stated that non-health and social care workers, such as installers, plumbers and heating engineers should help assess the homeowners’ heating needs and advise on the effect living in a cold home can have on welfare. Recommendations to help tackle cold environments or poor ventilation could be issued, and, with the homeowners’ permission, the installer could refer those at risk for local help. Training was also recommended to help identify those at risk of developing health problems from living in a cold home, with accreditation being given for the skill. Heating and Hotwater Industry Council external affairs manager, Isaac Occhipinti, said: ‘’Installers and plumbers should become the foot soldiers in the fight against fuel poverty and we are pleased that NICE recognise the role they could play. ‘’NICE is right to want to engage with installers and plumbers and want to do so without the usual bureaucracy and red tape that other organisations require. ‘’Our eight million members see and understand the impacts of fuel poverty and as a result are well placed to help make a change.’’ Paul Hardy, managing director at Baxi, said:’’For the idea to work properly, local councils must ensure that lines of responsibility, channels of communication and the process itself are clearly defined. There are still a number of questions that need answering. ’’Contract engineers will most likely be able to accommodate the NICE guidelines with little difficulty, as they are already geared up to give advice to homeowners. However, small business owners are less likely to have the resources and would need to change their business model quite radically to ensure they can make referrals with ease. ‘’We must remember that during the winter months, plumbing and heating engineers are put under extreme pressure to respond to calls to fix and install heating and hot water systems. It must be acknowledged that gaining consent from vulnerable adults and making a referral will take time. Homeowners will want to know what being referred means for them, who will be given their details, when someone will get in touch and what the outcome will be so heating engineers must have this information readily available. ‘’Initial reports state that referrals should be made to a single point of contact, so communication and a clear process will be key to avoid a backlog and resulting enquiries that the heating engineers are left to pick up.’’ Neil Schofield, head of external and governmental affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: ‘’Given that, on average, there are around 24,000 more deaths in the UK between December and March compared with the rest of the year, the link between lack of heating and people suffering ill health is a huge issue that needs addressing. ‘’With over 100,000 heating and plumbing engineers in Britain, making an estimated eight million home visits every year, the heating industry is in the perfect position to help identify those exposed to the effects of fuel poverty. I would go as far as to say it’s a no-brainer.’’ Kevin Wellman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, said: ‘’It makes sense, our members can advise on energy efficient heating systems and check that everything is running at an optimum.’’ JTL apprentices success Just seven months into the current academic year, training provider JTL, which specialises in offering training in the building services engineering sector - electrical, HVAC and heating and plumbing in the main - has already achieved over 93% of its planned apprenticeship starts for the full year. JTL now believes that its full number of apprenticeship starts in the year should reach 2,000 for the first time since 2008. Building firm fined £4,000 A building firm has been fined £4,000 after an eight-and-half-month pregnant woman and her husband showed signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning at their home in Kirkby. The company, Topflite (North West), APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found that the flue for a gas fire had been blocked by rubble during a loft conversion in a neighbouring semidetached property on Lauder Close. UKPLG members to recruit LP Gas trade association UKLPG (UK Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association) has confirmed that more than two thirds of its members expect to recruit within the next two to three years. UKLPG is also calling on the government to back the sector’s recruitment drive by increasing the GDHIF vouchers released for third time More people will enjoy a warmer home for less thanks to the third release from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) worth up to £70 million. From March 16, the popular scheme opened to new applications for the new release of funding, with up to £5,600 available to households in England and Wales to help with the cost of installing certain energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, boilers, cavity wall and floor insulation. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: ‘’We’re helping families keep warmer for less - driving bills down by encouraging more competition between energy suppliers and making over one million homes more energy efficient.’’ More than 25,000 households have already received a voucher for the GDHIF since it launched in June 2014. funding available to new apprentices hoping to work in the LP Gas sector. Ariston invests in training Ariston has invested in a series of nationwide installer training Centres of Excellence. The free courses will provide essential knowledge for heating engineers, enabling them to develop their skillsets, as well as understanding the latest products to enter the market. Ariston now has 14 training Centres of Excellence throughout the UK, each offering courses on the company’s high efficiency gas boilers. NEWSINBRIEF WWW.HPMMAG.COM VERIFIED* HPM’s individual reader enquiries have now passed 535,000 from buyers and installers of your products and services *source: March 2013 HPM RSC analysis bureau


HPM April 2015
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