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HPM-08-AUG-2016

London Boiler Cashback Scheme success News that vouchers are available to meet demand under the London Boiler Cashback Scheme has been welcomed by the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF). Figures obtained by the BMF show that enquiries remain steady, with new applications coming in every day. In the first four months, over 6,000 householders have applied or are in the process of applying for £400 vouchers under the Mayor of London’s scheme. Of these, over 1,200 applicants have submitted claims following the installation of a new, energy-efficient boiler in their home. The BMF says it is encouraged there is a continued level of interest and sufficient vouchers are available to meet demand. Nearly 40% of applicants heard of the offer via their installer, which continues to be the most effective communication route. Commenting on the figures, Brett Amphlett, BMF policy & public affairs’ manager, said: “In an ideal world, it would be better to have a coherent, fabric-first approach to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes. But in the absence of a proper, long-term national policy, it is not surprising that London residents are responding to the former Mayor’s offer. We shall continue to track London Boiler Cashback over coming months to monitor uptake and invite the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to find the money for another offer next winter.” More information is available at: www.boilercashback.london. gov.uk 10 NEWS DESK One third of solar jobs axed A third of solar jobs have been lost in the past year and a further 30% of solar businesses expect to cut staff in the next 12 month, according to a new analysis published by the Solar Trade Association and PwC. The 238 solar industry firms surveyed said they employed a total of 3,665 people now compared to 5,362 a year ago, a fall of 32%. Four in ten firms are being forced to either exit the solar market entirely or diversify into other markets to keep their heads above water. Extrapolating the survey findings across the UK solar industry, the figure for job losses over the past year could exceed 12,500, around one third of previous total employment in the solar industry, The Solar Trade Association (STA) has long been concerned by the lack of an industrial strategy for the UK solar industry despite solar increasingly dominating global energy investments. The government has allocated only one per cent of new renewable energy project expenditure to solar power under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Leonie Greene, head of external affairs, said: “The survey shows very regrettable damage to the fabric of the British solar industry and the need for prompt government action. Shockingly, since we undertook the survey, business investors in solar are set to be hit with a six to eight fold rise in business rates. “We urge new Ministers, rather than increase the tax burden of going solar, reward investment with sensible solar tax breaks consistent with action on climate change. International experience of tax breaks is solid, and the industry is clearly behind this. “There are many good economic reasons to back British solar, including minimising the cost of decarbonising our power supply to retain competitiveness, while creating exceptionally large numbers of jobs. “Our economy faces a major challenge post Brexit; if we want to prosper in future we must strengthen the UK stake in booming global markets – they don’t come bigger than solar,” she said. John Dashwood, PwC head of renewables, assurance said: “The results show there will be a structural shift in the market and solar players need to consider alternative products, services and markets. “Our report highlights the kind of innovation that can secure a positive future for solar energy in the UK. The solar industry undoubtedly faces some serious challenges, but it has already proved resilient and adaptable.” The solar industry has had a tumultuous year. Deployment in domestic solar has dropped 80% for domestic solar under the FIT compared to a year ago. Commercial solar roofs deployment under FITs is now capped at just 15MW per quarter, while the Renewables Obligation was in effect closed to solar in July 2015. JTL partners with electrical firm JTL has announced further growth in its apprenticeship business, which already has more than 6,000 apprentices and works with more than 3,250 employers. In addition to new dedicated training centres in Orpington, Kent and at Culham Science Centre near Oxford, adding to the existing centres in Norwich and Birmingham, JTL has now partnered with rapidly growing electrical training business, P&R Hurt. Paul and Rita Hurt, the founders of P&R Hurt, and their team will continue to deliver the Technical Certificate element of the Apprenticeship, for example, electrical theory, science, principles, and technology, plus practical skills, where local employers most value their trusted expertise. JTL will concentrate on delivering the other elements of the NVQ, for example monitoring and assessment, site visits and appraisals. To this end, all apprentices and their employers are now transferring to JTL as the managing agent, a role that enables the apprentice to complete the NVQ. Chief executive, Jon Graham, said: www.hpmmag.com August 2016 “This is the latest move by JTL to grow our dedicated training centre locations across England to ensure great training for apprentices who are aiming for a rewarding career in the building services engineering sector.”


HPM-08-AUG-2016
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