A letter from one of our readers, M D Tyas Heating & Gas Services

Dear Editor,

I would like to share my thoughts with you regarding our current industry in general. I had a telephone conversation last month with a company who was trying to sign me up to its membership. It’s not uncommon to get calls several times a week from some organisation or another, trying to sell you something.

Anyway, as the conversation went on and on and on, it came to light that the main stream services offered by the company would involve all of our proposed installations to undergo an “HIVS”. After being within the industry for 35 years, both man and boy it’s hard to know everything…and I’m probably still considered a little wet behind the ears. So, for those of us who are not familiar with the term, HIVS stands for ‘home, installation, validation, scheme. How this would work is: Let’s just say as a qualified, experienced heating engineer you managed to get a heat pump project design to actually work, and be favourable for a proposed property heating project and the customer is considering it. This in itself would be a fantastic achievement. You then will need to send over to the scheme provider the job information; customer information and contact details; pipe sizing and heat-loss calculations; plant layout schematics; estimates and contracts; along with any performance estimates and running cost estimates you may have produced for the customer over the long period of time from when first contact with the customer occurred.

It then has its professionals look over the entire document pack to see if you actually got it right. Like I said, I may still be a little wet behind the ears, but what are all the CPS, MCS, Benchmark, TrustMark, trade organisations and governing industry bodies doing? Surely when all these organisations – who come calling as they do to conduct their annual assessment – should look at all these areas within our business and make sure we are qualified to operate and that we are conducting ourselves in a professional and honest manner? Our industry is the most bureaucracy-driven industry of all times and it’s getting worse year on year.

If we had proper, qualified and experienced assessors who knew their Part P from their G3 and come from the industry in which there are assessing in, then we wouldn’t have the complaints and performance shortfalls that so many customers experience because of poor workmanship and shoddy inflated sales pitches from shoddy fly by night companies that exist especially within the renewable sector – this being the underlining reason for the proposed HIVS.

And don’t get me started on the number of heat pump, hybrid systems we encounter on a monthly basis, installed by what only can be described as untrained, inexperienced, uneducated buffoons, who have never seen a proper plant room or a straight, clipped pipe in their lives – how they ever passed an apprenticeship, I’ll never know. But to be fair if the annual assessor sees a missing phrase within your QMS or a page out of order you can bet you’re in for a non-conformance.

Michael Tyas
Managing Director
M D Tyas Heating & Gas Services