008 HPM 0517

HPM May 2017

Chemical water treatment and filter manufacturer, Fernox, has partnered with the online trade platform, Expert Trades, to develop and foster further close relationships with heating installers. By partnering with Expert Trades, Fernox will be able to connect and engage with a large community of heating professionals throughout the UK. Providing a resource to communicate the latest company and product news, as well as receive feedback through its increasingly popular, peer-reviewed product page, Tool Talk, teaming up with Expert Tools will allow Fernox to conduct open dialogue with heating installers. The partnership will also enable Fernox to engage actively with its community of heating installers through the Expert Trades dashboard and app, along with providing opportunities to conduct focus groups with installers to gauge opinion on key industry issues. Expert Trades helps trades professionals manage and cultivate their business by offering an extensive suite of tools and services including automated invoices, a CRM facility, website development, social media training and more. “At Fernox, we pride ourselves on listening to the needs of installers and this runs through every aspect of our approach from customer service to product development” said Calvin Pope, sales director at Fernox. “Expert Trades is an innovative and valuable resource for both installers and householders, and we are excited to partner with the online platform to reach and engage the community in open conversations on issues that matter to them.” 08 NEWS DESK New dates for free training on the latest piping systems and sanitary systems have been announced by Geberit. With a wide range of washroom and bathroom products to help create modern bathroom installations, plus piping systems providing a means to supply water, heat and energy to buildings, the free-to-attend training modules teach installers and retailers about Geberit’s latest innovations. Installers can choose from a selection of training modules, tailored for their specific needs and level of experience. To book, call Geberit on: 0800 077 8365 or visit: www.geberit.co.uk Solar panel installs fall 80% Solar panel installations have fallen by 80%, following the massive cut in government subsidies at the beginning of 2016. Homeowners have turned their back on solar energy, following the controversial decision to slash payments to households for their solar energy under the Feed-in Tariff from 12 pence per kWh last January to just 4.39 pence. As a result, the number of people putting solar panels on their homes is now at a six-year low. Between January and March, there were about 650 rooftop deployments a week – a fall of more than 75% on the long-term average of 2,700 a week since 2010. Paul Barwell, chief executive of The Solar Trade Association, which produced the figures from government statistics, told the Independent: “At a time when we need more generation, the government is hindering market competition against the best interests of consumers by suppressing the tremendous potential of solar power in the UK. “Solar is being needlessly impeded in the UK by shock taxes, red tape and by a serious failure in the only remaining supportive policy. “We urge the government to act now to stabilise the industry.” Of particular concern is a 65% drop in the number of large-scale solar schemes on hospitals, factories and other large buildings, which backers of solar power say may well have been caused by the business rate increase. The figures equate to just one large factory roof having solar panels fitted every month in the whole of the country. Paul admitted he did not want new rooftop subsidies, but added: ‘What we are asking for, and urgently, is fair tax treatment, fixes to a failing policy, less red tape and just a level playing field. “It makes no sense to shut the most popular and cheapest clean power out of the energy market.” The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has defended the fall in solar panel installations among homes and businesses. A spokesman said: “This government wants Britain to be one of the best places in the world to invest in clean, flexible energy. Solar power is a great success, with over 11 GW of capacity installed in the last five years – that’s enough to power more than 2.6 million homes with clean electricity.” In brief • Valor is on the hunt for ‘zombie’ gas fires – appliances using outdated technology that refuse to die. It’s all part of a campaign to highlight the missed opportunities when homeowners and private landlords stick with outdated gas fires. To enter a related competition, email your name and phone number with a photograph and details of the Valor or Robinson Willey gas fire you have worked on (including model number and date of installation). Put “I found a zombie!” in your email’s subject line and send the details to: zombies@valor.co.uk. Entries close on June 16. • Boiler manufacturer, Baxi, has joined Carbon Connect, an independent, cross-party forum that aims to inform and guide the transition to a low carbon future underpinned by sustainable energy. Together with its members and a variety of sector experts, Carbon Connect analyses the opportunities and challenges presented by moves to a low carbon future, and provides a platform for discussion between industry, academia and policymakers. As a member, Baxi will be taking part in a programme of events and meetings in Parliament and supporting and contributing to policy research. • Activity in the construction industry is rising at a faster pace following the EU referendum than initially expected, according to the latest forecasts by the Construction Products Association. Construction output is expected to rise each year between 2017-2019, by 1.3% in 2017, 1.2% in 2018 and 2.3% in 2019. • In line with rapid company growth, GRAF UK has upsized its UK headquarters in Oxfordshire. The company’s relocation to new 10,000 square foot premises in Banbury reflects a need to accommodate its ever-expanding team. Fernox to connect with installer community The partnership with Expert Trades will enable Fernox to engage actively with its community of heating installers www.hpmmag.com May 2017


HPM May 2017
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