The Sky(Line) Is The Limit For Budding Artists
3rd year art pupils at Drummond Community High School in Edinburgh were recently given the chance to sketch images of the Edinburgh skyline from the top floor of SNIPEF’s offices at Bellevue House. Since moving to Bellevue House in 2010, SNIPEF has developed a good relationship with the school, which is situated very close to the offices. Ten sketches were chosen to form the basis of prints for display in the offices and the artists of these sketches spent a day at the Printmakers’ Workshop, sponsored by SNIPEF where they learned how to etch their designs on metal and then produce coloured prints. The results of that day- 10 limited edition and signed prints- are now on display at Bellevue House.
SNIPEF President, Fraser Lawrence, welcomed Head teacher Norma Prentice, art teachers Vaila McLaren and Philippa Drummond and 9 of the 10 artists to Bellevue House on 22 May 2013 when the prints were officially handed over to SNIPEF.
SNIPEF Chief Executive, Robert Burgon, commented that “It is good to have strong links with the school and to support our local community. In addition to presenting trophies for Craft, Design and Technology and taking pupils for work experience, this is the second art project which has been done for SNIPEF. The completed artwork has attracted many positive comments and is an excellent display of the talent possessed by these young people. We look forward to supporting our near neighbours at the school in the future.”
The Drummond School Artists.
Introduction Of PBAs (Project Bank Accounts) Spells Good News For Contractors
The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group Scotland has applauded the recent announcement by the Scottish Government to trial Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) on construction projects.
SEC Group Scotland – which represents the largest element of Scottish construction (by value) – has been campaigning for the introduction of PBAs to overcome endemic payment abuse in the industry.
Eddie Myles, SEC Group’s chairman said: “This is great news for the industry. Small firms in Scotland need greater cash flow security to ensure that they can continue to benefit their local communities by employing people and training their workforces. Insolvencies in Scotland construction are running at an all time high since firms are caught between the twin evils of poor cash flow and lack of access to bank lending. PBAs will help relieve this pressure”.
SEC Group Scotland intends to work with the Scottish Government to help train public sector procurers in the use of PBAs.
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES “GREENHOMES” CASHBACK SCHEME
Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess has recently announced that households can apply for financial assistance from the Scottish Government of up to £1,200 to pay for energy improvement measures such as cavity and loft insulation, double glazing, a new boiler or draft proofing.
Taking simple steps to draught proof can cut £55 per year off the average property’s energy bill, while getting a new, energy efficient boiler could save a three bedroom home owner up to £300 annually.
£14m has been allocated to Green Homes Cashback in 2013/14 to help stimulate early uptake of the Green Deal and provide some assurance to installers and assessors that there is a market for Green Deal assessments and installations.To date, almost 5500 cashback vouchers have been issued. At least a further 11,500 are available which will all require a Green Deal assessment.
The scheme is cash / time limited so cannot be guaranteed beyond this financial year. Vouchers are being allocated on a first come, first served basis. Householders can apply for up to £1200 for a range of energy efficiency measures, recommended by a Green Deal assessment, including insulation measures and boiler replacements. This is broken down as follows: Up to £500 for insulation, up to £400 for a new boiler and up to £300 for other measures such as glazing and LED lighting.
Installers & assessors working together in partnership could make the process smoother for the customer and support each other as demand builds and the market develops.
To be eligible for a voucher then a Green Deal Assessment must be undertaken and the work must be carried out by a Green Deal certificated installer (self installs are only allowed for LED light bulbs, a hot water tank jacket or draught proofing).
These requirements are in place as the Green Homes Cashback Scheme exists to promote awareness and prompt activity under Green Deal. Householders can apply online at: www.greenhomescashback.org.uk or by calling the Home Energy Scotland hotline on 0800 512 012.
Plumbing Business For Sale
Long established family business based in the centre of Perth is available for sale. Price to be negotiated but will include all stock, tools and premises.
For more information call Alan Wilson at the SNIPEF offices [0131 556 0600 or email email@example.com]
SNIPEF presents prizes for World Plumbing Day posters
As part of SNIPEF’s support for World Plumbing Day, CEO Robert Burgon recently visited two primary schools to talk to the children about the links between water, plumbing and health. As part of the presentation, pupils were invited to design posters marking World Plumbing Day which is being marked for the fourth time on 11 March 2013.
Prizewinning pupils at the two schools (Abbeyhill Primary School in Edinburgh and Law Primary School in North Berwick) have now received book token prizes and a certificate and have also seen their posters being shared with a much larger audience through the SNIPEF website.
The posters attached illustrate the understanding which these children clearly have about the importance of plumbing in their everyday lives.
Click here to view the winning posters.
Good Plumbing is the KEY to Good Health
World Plumbing Day is celebrated on 11 March each year as a means of promoting the important role played by the plumbing industry throughout the world.
Although we tend to take access to good quality water supply and sanitation systems for granted in the United Kingdom, many parts of the world still face the tragedy of death and disease as a direct consequence of the lack of access to basic plumbing systems. The World Health Organisation has estimated that around 1 billion people worldwide still do not have access to safe water supplies and 2.6 billion (about one third of the world’s total population) do not have access to basic sanitation systems. It is believed that over 3 million children die every year as a result of preventable water-borne diseases.
In the United Kingdom, it is legally possible for anyone to practise as a plumber whether or not they have been trained or hold the qualifications which have been recognised by the industry. Television programmes regularly publicise the activities of so called “rogue traders”, many of which are in the plumbing business. Although the numbers may not be on the scale of those in developing world, people have died and others have become seriously ill as a consequence of plumbing work which has not been undertaken competently and professionally.
Organisations like SNIPEF are proud to promote World Plumbing Day. Over many years, SNIPEF has been campaigning to promote the importance of professional plumbing in initiatives such as:
- The management of virtually all plumbing apprenticeship training in Scotland helping apprentices to reach the SVQ Level 3 qualification required to operate as a plumber;
- The creation of the Plumbing Industry Licensing Scheme which gives customers and clients assurances that work will be carried out in accordance with regulatory requirements, by qualified operatives employed by businesses which have met the strict licensing criteria. This scheme is backed by a unique independent complaints mechanism backed by a no-cost warranty arrangement;
- Involvement in the overarching Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) which approves licensing schemes throughout the construction industry;
- Creation of an Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme which enables firms to self-certify that their work meets the requirements of the Building Regulations; and
- Membership of and involvement in the World Plumbing Council.
On World Plumbing Day, 11 March 2013, please take a moment to think about the critical role played by SNIPEF, its members and others aiming to promote excellence in the plumbing industry and consider what life might be like if we did not enjoy access to the professional plumbing facilities which are widely available to us.
Scottish Water Support World Plumbing Day
Monday March 11 is recognised around the world as World Plumbing Day. To support the day, Scottish Water has placed a message of support on their website.
Good News Reported By Plumbing Pension Scheme
The Plumbing Industry Pension Scheme, like all defined benefit pension schemes, must carry out an actuarial valuation at least every three years. At this valuation an Actuary calculates whether or not the Scheme’s assets will meet its liabilities over the projected years in which these liabilities are payable.
The last valuation of the Plumbing Pensions scheme was carried out in 2009 and at that time the Scheme met its technical provisions and also had a very small surplus. The Directors of the Trustee company met recently to receive the preliminary results of the April 2012 valuation and were delighted to report that not only did the Scheme continue to meet its technical provisions as fully funded, but the position had strengthened since 2009- largely as a result of better than expected investment performance.
While there are still many challenges facing every defined benefit pension scheme, the Plumbing Industry Pension is proud to be able to report such a positive actuarial valuation result.
SNIPEF Past President, Duncan Anderson
SNIPEF is sad to report the recent death of one of its Past Presidents, Duncan Anderson from Edinburgh. Duncan served as SNIPEF President in 1973/74 and also served as Local Association President of the SNIPEF Edinburgh & District Branch. He was also the principal architect of the plumbing industry pension scheme, along with former SNIPEF Director, Todd Soutar.
Project Bank Accounts Introduced In Northern Ireland Government Construction Contracts
The Northern Ireland Finance Minister - Sammy Wilson - has announced that from January 2013 Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) will be introduced in government construction contracts awarded by Central Procurement directorate on behalf of government departments.
PBAs will form part of the conditions for contracts with an estimated value of £1million and over and where there is a significant subcontracting element.
Major first tier subcontractors working on a project will no longer have to wait for main contractors to process their payment; instead they will receive it directly through a bank account specific to the project they are working on. This will see subcontractors working on Government projects receiving payment in five days or less from the date the client deposits funds in the PBA. It will also help to protect their money in the event of the contractor entering administration or receivership as the money is held in an account in trust for the supply chain.
Click here to read more.
SNIPEF Launches QR Code
SNIPEF has just launched a new QR (Quick Response Code) which will be used on our future marketing material. The QR code directs vistors to the need a plumber website.
Plumbing Advice From WRAS
The water industry has investigated a number of incidents where water from toilet cisterns has been siphoned back into customers’ plumbing systems. The likely cause of this problem is the way in which the two components found in toilet cisterns (water inlet valve and flushing valve) are installed.
To help consumers and installers we have created a video which illustrates how this can happen and it shows how you can check your own toilet cistern to see if you might have the same problem. Click here to see the video.
Winter Offers For SNIPEF Workwear Scheme
We are delighted to announce that from February SNIPEF Workwear will be adding a dedicated OFFERS section to it’s website which will be updated monthly.
The idea is simple, if you require larger quantities of a specific item we will pass on the savings to you, ensuring you pay a reduced unit price for your work garments.
On top of that we will be keeping you warm and visible this winter by giving away a cosy beanie hat embroidered with the SNIPEF logo or a hi viz vest with your company name on the reverse – with every order - helping you to stand out from the competition and to be seen on cold, dark mornings.
To see what's on offer from SNIPEF Workwear click here.
Branch Donate To Guide Dogs For The Blind Charity
The Edinburgh Branch of SNIPEF recently presented a cheque to the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity following a fundraising drive at their recent Christmas Party. A cheque for £500 was presented to Sandy Miller who represented the charity, with his guide dog, Otis. The cheque was presented by Branch President Robin Hall and Vice-President, Ralph Shaw.
Robin Hall said "We have made a number of donations to local and national charities over the years and Guide Dogs for the Blind do great work all over the country. The wife of one of our colleagues from Northern Ireland, Lesley Newberry acts as a puppy walker for the charity so we already had a little idea about the work which the charity does".
Sandy Miller, centre (with Otis) receives a cheque from SNIPEF Edinburgh
President, Robin Hall (right) and Vice-President Ralph Shaw.
Grants Available To Save On Transport Costs
The Energy Saving Trust in Scotland is encouraging organisations to purchase measures that would help them save money on transport fuel. The campaign is being run on behalf of Transport Scotland an agency of the Scottish Government.
Organisations can access an interest free loan of up to 50K and a payback period of up to 6 years. Interested parties should call 0800 512 012 before 22nd February in order to submit an application early March. Alternatively, more information can be accessed through the EST website.
Since the scheme launched in 2011/12, organisations have been using the loan to purchase a range of items, such as:
- Video and teleconference facilities – to help cut down on travel between offices as well as maximising employees working hours.
- Cycle facilities, including bicycles, storage racks and lockers - encouraging employees to lead a more active lifestyle will create a healthier workforce and less employee absence due to ill health which in turn means savings for your business.
- Electric and Plugged in Hybrid vehicles - by replacing some of your company cars or vans with electric or plugged-in hybrid alternatives you could save your organisation money on fuel costs.
- Vehicle efficiency devices which do not void the manufacturer's warranty - using devices such as top speed limiters can save you fuel. Results can vary depending on the vehicle but a common theme is that reduced speed means less fuel used.
- Fleet management software - software systems can cover a wide range of fleet management tasks such as fuel monitoring and can be useful for both large and small fleets. They can also feedback to the fleet manager on incidents of speeding, idling or harsh driving styles – all which can help you reduce your fuel costs.
SNIPEF Glasgow & West Of Scotland Branch Donates To CHAS
The Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch of SNIPEF has made a recent donation of over £4000 following a fundrasing drive at their annual Dinner which was held on 11 January. The sum was donated to CHAS (Children's Hospice Association Scotland). Since the Branch started supporting CHAS in 2006, it has donated over £30,000.
Grace Wilson, the CHAS Fundraiser for the West of Scotland said " £30,000 is an outstanding amount and your support is gratefully appreciated".
For more information on the work of CHAS click here.
New Chair for CLE
Archie Ferguson, the new
The Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) is delighted to announce the appointment of Archie Ferguson as its new chair. Archie has recently completed four and a half years as chair of Construction Scotland, the Industry Leadership Group. He brings with him a wealth of experience having held non executive and chair positions within various organisations and been a member of several Scottish Government groups.
Archie has stated his objectives for the CLE; “The public need to be confident in engaging contractors, trades and professionals knowing that quality work will be guaranteed at a fair price. By making CLE better known, extending its membership, building on Scottish government support and engaging with key agencies it will be in a strong position to support and inform those involved and represent quality within the construction industry.”
Sprue Safety Products Supports SNIPEF Call For A Tougher Approach To Protect More People Against ‘The Silent Killer’
The Scottish Government’s proposals to follow Northern Ireland’s lead in making it mandatory to fit carbon monoxide (CO) alarms where a new or replacement combustion appliance is installed - such as a boiler or solid fuel stove, is another major step forward in the battle to eliminate the potentially devastating consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Welcoming this progress, Nick Rutter, managing director of SNIPEF Associate members Sprue Safety Products, said: “Alongside the new regulations in Northern Ireland, the decision by the Scottish Government to investigate and propose measures to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning indicates there is at last a growing recognition of the importance of CO safety.
Statistics from the Department of Health show that 50 people die each year from CO poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital for cases of low level poisoning. Many assume they’re not at risk because they don’t have a boiler, but a range of combustable fossil fuels – including wood – can all produce CO.
“A tougher, unified approach would certainly protect many more against this deadly but avoidable threat,” added Nick. “We support SNIPEF’s call for the Scottish Government to go further in making the installation of CO alarms mandatory for both heating and cooking appliances. Introducing tougher legislation will save more lives, reduce hospital admissions, ease pressure on already stretched A&E departments and avoid additional healthcare costs.”
Scottish Government Announce New Policy on Construction Sites
The Scottish Government is introducing a new policy whereby all companies engaged in new public sector construction contracts must ensure that on-site staff are registered with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) or equivalent.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s public sector spends over £2 billion per annum on construction related contracts. Adopting schemes like CSCS can make a significant difference to efficient working and health and safety on construction sites and this is particularly important given the significant challenges the construction industry faces in the current economic climate”. “I would urge other parts of the public sector to adopt the same policy”.
SNIPEF CEO Robert Burgon said: “We welcome this announcement by the Scottish Government. For over 40 years we have operated a skills data base and registration card scheme for operatives who work in the plumbing and heating industry. Our scheme, which is run by the Plumbing Joint Industry Board, already incorporates the CSCS health and safety qualification”.
Robert added: “We hope that this announcement by the Deputy First Minister will help in ensuring that only competent and safe workers are used on site”.
Entries open for the 2013 BPEC Charity Life Awards
Training and certification organisation BPEC has launched its search for next year’s winners of the BPEC Charity Life Awards.
The awards are open to individuals or groups who work in the UK plumbing industry and are aimed at rewarding projects, inventions or charity work that use plumbing skills to enhance life. They could also be awarded for raising the profile and image of plumbing or helping to change perspective.
The inaugural BPEC Charity Life Awards were presented in 2012. Almost £30,000 was given out to four deserving projects. Now BPEC is looking for entries to next year’s awards, which are made in memory of BPEC’s founding chairman Raymond J Brooks.
“There are so many ways in which plumbing skills can enhance life.” said BPEC chairman Frank Glover.
“We are searching for deserving causes that are making a real difference, whether that’s in the UK or anywhere else in the world. We want to hear from plumbers who are involved with charity work, plumbers who have developed a new system or service, and plumbers who are raising the image of plumbing as an industry and career.”
The closing date for the 2013 BPEC Charity awards is 30 June 2013. Submission forms can be downloaded by clicking here.
New Holiday And Sick Pay Scheme Launched
SNIPEF has just launched a new Holiday with Sick pay scheme for plumbing and heating businesses. The new scheme has been streamlined to take into account the specific holiday pay needs for individual members. A new stand alone sick pay scheme is also available.
For more information contact the SNIPEF Finance department on 0131 556 0600.
SNIPEF Support Compulsory Fitting Of Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Scotland
In their response to the Scottish Government's consultation on proposed changes to the Building Regulations, SNIPEF has supported the introduction of Carbon Monoxide detectors both in cases of heating and cooking appliance installations.
SNIPEF CEO, Robert Burgon said: "Following the introduction, via changes in Building Regulations, of carbon monoxide detectors into Northern Ireland, we welcome the opportunity of making similar changes in Scotland. We would however like the Scottish Government to go further and make the installation of such detectors mandatory for both heating and cooking appliances".
The result of the consultation is expected in early 2013.
Edinburgh Plumbers Sponsor Ice Hockey Match So Fans-Don’t Freeze Up This Winter!
The Edinburgh Branch of SNIPEF has come up with a novel way of getting the message out to householders about the steps they should take to avoid the misery of frozen pipes or burst pipes this winter. They are sponsoring the Edinburgh Capitals – v- Belfast Giants ice hockey match which is being held at Murrayfield ice rink on Sunday 9 December.
SNIPEF Edinburgh Branch President, Robin Hall said “Our national organisation, has launched a website “Don’t Freeze Up. Com” which gives customers some common-sense tips to help avoid frozen or burst pipes this winter. We felt that by sponsoring our local ice hockey team we can reinforce the “Don’t Freeze Up” message.
Robin Hall presents the MVP award
Green Homes Cashback
The Scottish Government is offering owner occupiers, private and social tenants and private sector landlords up to £500 towards energy efficiency measures that are recommended in either an existing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Green Deal assessment.
In addition to this £500, the customer will also be entitled to claim up to £100 towards the cost of an EPC or Green Deal assessment being completed before and/or after installation. Only one voucher can be applied for per property. You should note that it doesn’t cover a boiler replacement. This work is supported via the Boiler Scrappage Scheme. Please note however that if you are replacing an electric heating system with a Band A condensing gas boiler then you can apply to this cash back scheme. In addition, the work does not cover the installation of renewable technologies.
Full details of the scheme including the qualifying criteria which is being managed by Energy Saving Trust can be found on the website and all potential applicants will need to contact the advice centre on 0800 512 012 to be issued a voucher.
BPEC Launch Free Asbestos Video & APP
Over the last year BPEC has been working very closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to develop an asbestos awareness video and app. This is one of a series which BPEC will bring out over the next year, including Electrical Safety Awareness.
Mally Butters of BPEC said “BPEC wanted to introduce something different which captured the important information regarding working with asbestos and which could save your life while not distracting from the need for full asbestos training. We felt the use of animation would significantly help understanding.”
The information contained within the video and on the app is linked to the particular QCF units that contain asbestos, so this can also be used for classroom delivery when delivering the Health and Safety unit of the new plumbing qualification.
For further details please visit www.bpec.org.uk/asbestos/
Don't Freeze Up This Winter.Com
SNIPEF commenced an advertising campaign in Northern Ireland for a 4 week period (Commenced on Monday 12 November) which compliments a similar campaign which Northern Ireland Water are undertaking to encourage customers to “Winter Proof Your Home”. (see http://www.niwater.com/winterfreeze.asp).
The SNIPEF campaign, entitled “Don’t Freeze Up This Winter” is being promoted on the Belfast Telegraph website and a series of radio adverts will appear on the U105 and Q network.
The dontfreezeupthiswinter.com website is now available and in addition our facebook and twitter accounts will be promoting our campaign. The website is also being promoted by Scottish Water, BusinessStream, Northern Ireland Water and William Wilson.
Renewables Loan Scheme
Save up to £610* a
year with green heating systems
With winter just around the corner
many homeowners may be considering switching to a more affordable source of
heating, such as a heat pump or wood-fuelled boiler. Not only is it kinder to
the environment it can also make a difference to their energy costs potentially saving them up to £610* each year, depending on the type of
Green heating needn’t break the bank
With a range of financial support
available, now is a great time for homeowners to consider a new heating system.
We know that upfront finance can sometimes be a barrier, but through the Energy
Saving Trust there’s various support to help homeowners make the move…
This could mean that upfront costs are either mostly or totally
covered, for example, if someone buys an air source heat pump for £9,000 they
could claim an £850 grant towards the cost of the system plus an £8,150 interest
free loan. In addition to this, homeowners may be able to earn cash from their
heating system through the UK Government’s domestic Renewable
Heat Incentive scheme, even if they install
now, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. This scheme should be
available from summer 2013.
replacing electric heating with a ground source heat pump in a 3 bed
SNIPEF Merit Award Presented
The latest recipient of the SNIPEF Merit Award was John B Park from Glasgow. John was presented with his award by President, Fraser Lawrence at a recent meeting of the SNIPEF Council.
In presenting the award, Fraser said “John first joined the SNIPEF Council in 1974 becoming President in 1987/88. He represented SNIPEF as the principal wage negotiator with the trade union over many years and continues to serve as a Director of Plumbing Pensions having first become a Director in 1983. John also represented SNIPEF on CASEC, SCIG and on many local and national government forums”
Fraser added “He has undertaken all of these duties with considerable dedication, passion and a great deal of common sense”.
The Merit Award was introduced to recognize individuals or organizations who had given exceptional service to SNIPEF and the wider plumbing industry in Scotland and Northern Ireland
Pictured, Left to Right, John Park, Fraser Lawrence and Evi Park.
Plumbing Business For Sale
A long established (second generation) family business based in central Aberdeen is available for sale. The business carries out a range of plumbing and heating works for domestic and small commercial customers. The owners are open to negotiation on Property, vehicles, stock and equipment, depending on conditions.
To register interest, please email here.
Perth Plumbers Visit Perth UHI
Perth Plumbers’ and guests visited Perth College UHI on Thursday 25 October and were shown round the plumbing, heating and gas fitting workshops and the Gas Assessment Centre. An impressive display of apprentice’s lead work for chimneys, boundary wall gutters and flat roofs was exhibited by lecturers Gordon Nisbet and George Brown.
Fraser Lawrence, President of SNIPEF and a member of Perth & District Master Plumbers’ Association explained: “Perth College UHI trains apprentices in plumbing, heating and gas work and the excellent facilities and the lecturers’ enthusiasm ensures a high standard of apprenticeship training is achieved. The Perth & District Master Plumbers’ Association works closely with the college to meet the needs of the industry in the area.”
Perth plumbers visit Perth UHI.
Northern Ireland Takes The Lead In Eliminating ‘The Silent Killer’
Northern Ireland is the first country in the UK to take an important step forward in protecting its residents and tenants against the potentially fatal dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).
Changes to Northern Ireland’s Building Regulations which came into force from October 31st, make it a legal requirement to fit carbon monoxide alarms in all dwellings where a new or replacement combustion appliance – such as a boiler or solid fuel stove - is to be installed.
The Department of Finance and Personnel has issued new documents for the purpose of providing practical guidance with respect to the technical requirements of the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (the Building Regulations).
Click here to view the new regulations.
For Plumbline In Scotland Now Read Plumbase
Plumbase is rebranding its Plumbline stores across Scotland to ‘Plumbase’ during a national rollout of its new brand identity. A total of 19 Plumbline stores will be rebranded as part of the business initiative.
The rebrand began at Plumbline East Kilbride and will finish upon completion of Plumbline Perth, in November. Each store will be remerchandised and will receive new exterior and interior signage. Each store offers same and next day delivery services, along with in-store collection.
“The rebranding of Plumbline is a vital step in the move to create a cohesive new look and feel across the entire Plumbase business,” added Andy Gribble, Plumbase Managing Director. “In a difficult economic climate we believe that this investment is vital to providing an excellent offering and service to our customers throughout the UK.”
As part of Plumbase’s new identity it has developed four specialist brands within the Plumbase Group to improve its customer offering: Plumbase supports across plumbing and heating equipment and solutions; Bathbase provides bathrooms, showers and accessories; Ecobase specialises in energy saving and renewable solutions, and Sparesbase supplies heating and boiler spares, solar spares and controls.
For more information click here.
Edinburgh Branch Reward Plumbing Apprentices
The Branch held its 11th annual Apprentice Prizegiving at Edinburgh College on Thursday 25 October 2012. Branch Vice-President, Ralph Shaw welcomed the winning apprentices, their parents and employers to the event.
The prizewinning apprentices were recognised at the event with each receiving a certificate and tool voucher courtesy of Plumb Center, whose Regional Manager, Allan Hogg said “We were delighted to be involved in this event and the winning apprentices, who will make up the workforce of tomorrow, are a great credit to their employers, colleges and trade”.
The highlight of the evening was the award of the David A More Trophy which is presented to the apprentice who is judged to be the best from the three Colleges which operate in the Branch area (Borders, Edinburgh and Forth Valley).
The event was sponsored by BPEC and George Thomson, one of the Branch Past Presidents and BPEC Director was present. George said "The apprentice prizegiving is an important date in the Branch calendar and the fact that over 50 apprentices, family, employers and college staff were present shows how much it is valued. I was pleased to see BPEC involved in this very worthwhile event".
The winner of the David A More Trophy for 2012 was Mitchell Simpson from Borders College. The runners-up were Lewis Knight from Edinburgh College and Jordan Traynor from Forth Valley College.
Tom Ramage, a Lecturer from Borders College, receives the David A More Trophy on behalf of
Mitchell Simpson, from L to R, Ralph Shaw, Branch Vice-President, David More and Allan Hogg from Plumb Center
Energy Saving Trust - Scheme to provide funding for Gas Infill Projects and Gas Grid Extension Projects
The Scottish Government has set up a scheme, which is being administered by the Energy Saving trust in Scotland, to provide loan funding for gas infill projects and gas grid extension projects.
In areas on, or very close to, the existing gas grid, connection to the gas grid is in most cases is a cost-effective way of reducing energy bills and tackling fuel poverty.
Loan funding is available to support:
- Gas infill projects – this means projects to connect groups of owner-occupied houses within the existing gas grid but not currently connected to it; and
- Gas grid extension projects – this means projects to connect groups of houses located sufficiently close to the existing grid to be connected at a reasonable cost, taking account of the various sources of funding support available.
Additionally, loan funding can be used to fund district heating connection charges where a new gas-fired district heating system has been installed within the last year.
The Scottish Government is making available £1 million for Financial Year 2012/13 and a further £4 million for Financial Year 2013/14. As well as householders applying for the loan, gas installers can also act as a project manager (“aggregator”) for one or more projects which aim to connect groups of properties to the gas grid and/or to extend the gas grid. Projects must connect a minimum of 10 properties and “aggregators” can apply for funding between £25,000 and £1m.
For more information visit http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/Take-action/Grants-and-Discounts-Database/Gas-Infill-Loans-Scheme
PHCA calls for HSE to move on Gas Enforcement Review Fundings
PHCA, the overarching body for plumbing and heating businesses throughout the United Kingdom, (an alliance between the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) and the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers´ Federation (SNIPEF) has written an open letter to the HSE calling for it to take action on the findings outlined in its 2010 Enforcement Review document.
The initial review was carried out in 2010 and many in the industry took part believing that they were helping to instigate some long needed changes to the area of enforcement and illegal gas work. Many of these changes have yet to be implemented.
PHCA has had growing concerns for a number of months about the contents of the review document particularly given that there appears to have been a reluctance to release it to industry stakeholders. The HSE comment in a recent issue of Registered Gas Engineer magazine: ‘that there was no evidence that respondents wanted fundamental change’ did not fit with views received from registered gas engineers who have expressed a strong desire for change. After several failed attempts to gain access to the report, it was finally released by HSE under a Freedom of Information Act request.
John Thompson, Chief Executive, APHC commented: “It is clear that many stakeholders want activity on enforcement and illegal gas work to be increased. We suspected that the review document would highlight the changes needed but we cannot understand why the HSE are reluctant to act on some of the more important findings detailed. We feel that we had no other option than to write to the HSE and make this debate public to ensure that the industry gets the outcomes that many have worked towards for some time. We have requested a meeting at which our concerns can be addressed. ”
A full copy of the Gas Enforcement Review document can be downloaded from the Gas Safe Register Website:
Plumb Center Boosts Boiler Scrappage Scheme
Plumb Center has pledged a further £50 towards the replacement of a Worcester Bosch boiler under the Scottish Government’s boiler scrappage scheme.
As winter approaches the Scottish Government has pumped a further £7.5 million into the £65 million budget to help tackle fuel poverty in Scotland. The latest boiler scrappage scheme could see over 18,000 householders get more efficient central heating boilers installed under the scheme, eligible householders will receive £400 cash back after the purchase of a new boiler.
As a further incentive, Plumb Center is offering an additional £50 discount on any Worcester Bosch boiler purchased under the scheme provided that a SNIPEF registered business, who is also Gas Safe registered, is used for the installation of the boiler.
Robert Beagley, Plumb Center’s Regional Trading Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland said, “This is a good, forward thinking initiative. As a trade we need to support this by alerting householders to the fact that that if their boiler is more than 15 years old, not only is it almost certainly a ‘standard boiler’, which by modern standards is inefficient, but that installing a new condensing boiler could cut up to £300 a year off their gas bill. “We believe that although money is tight for many householders, any initiative that might make lower fuel bills a possibility should be encouraged. All of our boilers will give much more heating for your money and with an extra £50 off the Worcester Bosch range, the time is right for making that investment.’
For more details installers should call 0870 1622557 and quote the voucher number which will be on the issued boiler scrappage scheme voucher.
Increased Funding For Boiler Scrappage Scheme - New Boilers For 18,000 homes
A further £7.5 million is to be invested in a scheme to help households across Scotland switch from poorly-performing boilers to a more energy efficient model. The Scottish Government’s Boiler Scrappage Scheme could see 18,000 Scottish households benefit from a new boiler this winter.
Households could benefit from a £400 grant towards the cost of their new boiler by applying here or by calling the Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0800 512012.
Households who have a central heating boiler which has an efficiency of less than 70 per cent (according to the SEDBUK database (www.sedbuk.com), can qualify for cash back as long as they install an Energy Saving Trust Recommended boiler (see scheme eligibility criteria and terms and conditions on the Energy Saving trust website).
Installers must be registered with Gas Safe (for gas installations) and should be a member of a recognised industry body such as SNIPEF.
Homeowners Across Northern Ireland Can Now Register For
A New Boiler Replacement Scheme
The scheme, which will go live
in September 2012, offers a grant of up to £1,000 to replace inefficient
boilers, with energy efficient condensing oil or gas boilers; switching from oil
to gas; or switching to a wood pellet boiler.
The scheme is open to owner occupiers who earn less than £40,000
and with an inefficient boiler of at least 15 years old. The grant is dependent
on total gross income.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland is asking homeowners
to register now: He said: “I would encourage homeowners who meet the criteria to
register now so their information can be logged ahead of the scheme opening.
They can also begin to make enquiries about the type of new boiler they would
like to have installed and book ahead with a local installer, so they can get
the work done as quickly as possible.”
All those who register will be contacted again by Housing
Executive Grants staff when the scheme opens in September and in the meantime,
can make enquiries with heating installers on their preferred new system.
The scheme, administered by the Northern Ireland Housing
Executive, could see more than 16,000 homes across Northern Ireland become more
To register call 0300 200 7874 or for more information click here.