After two years at the helm of OFTEC’s board, Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester Bosch, is standing down as chair with Nick Hawkins taking up the reins.
During his time as chair, Martyn has drawn on 35 years’ experience of working in UK and European oil, renewables and gas markets to help steer OFTEC through a period of challenge and change.
Martyn has been instrumental in a number of key OFTEC achievements including helping to secure a major win for the oil heating industry regarding the lowering of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emission limits from boilers, with kerosene now excluded until 2022.
Martyn has also helped guide OFTEC’s move into the renewables sector with the launch of new registrations in solar thermal, heat pumps and biomass later this year. Solid fuel registrations were also introduced in April.
During his tenure, he played a major role in OFTEC’s lobbying work, in particular calling for changes to UK heating policies in the wake of the failing domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
Speaking at OFTEC’s 2015 AGM and annual conference at the Hilton Puckrup Hotel near Tewkesbury, Martyn said: “It has been a privilege to be at the forefront of OFTEC’s work to help secure a long-term future for oil, which I strongly believe there is. Oil appliance sales are up and the price of oil is down so the “ingredients” for a healthy oil market for the foreseeable future are in place.
“With latest figures showing RHI take up is running at just ten per cent of the level required to meet the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s ambitious carbon reduction forecasts, it’s imperative OFTEC maintains its pressure on the government to introduce alternative, more pragmatic carbon reduction and energy efficiency measures which are accessible to many more households – especially the elderly and fuel poor – who are currently excluded from the RHI due to the high upfront costs of renewables.
“There are some big changes coming through for OFTEC and I am confident the association will remain at the forefront of the industry as a quality benchmark for installers, servicing technicians and homeowners alike.”
OFTEC’s new chair, and previous vice chair, Nick is general manager at Deso, a rotational moulding company specialising in the design and production of liquid storage and dispensing containers, part of the Kingspan group since 2001.
Nick said: “OFTEC will always work hard in the best interests of the industry. Our mission is to listen to and understand the needs of our 7,500 plus technicians and one million oil using households and ensure we continue to provide the best, progressive support and services going forward.
“Over the coming months, we will ramp up further our lobbying for more realistic carbon reduction and energy efficiency to be introduced that will encourage far greater consumer take up.
“These would still include renewable technology incentives but also encompass more affordable measures such as a boiler scrappage scheme to incentivise the switch to high efficiency condensing boilers. There is still clearly a strong demand for these greener, cheaper to run boilers with sales to the end of May 2015 reaching 23,845 – up 9.2% on the same time last year.
“I look forward to building the outstanding contribution Martyn has made during his time as chair.”