Installer Registration in Ireland
Following on from a successful launch event at Oriel Flues, HETAS is pleased to announce that installer registration is now available across Ireland.
HETAS has a long standing relationship with installers of solid fuel appliances in Ireland. Over the last 10 years over 400 installers have undertaken HETAS training in Ireland recognising the requirement for safety and professional development. Training providers include Oriel Flues and North West Regional College.
The HETAS Competent Person scheme is already well established in England, Wales and Scotland and enables installers to demonstrate their competence and professionalism. The HETAS three tick logo is the industry mark of quality used by registered installers and servicing businesses who have been trained and assessed at a HETAS Training Centre and shows that the registered business holds themselves up for scrutiny by HETAS. This gives confidence to the end user that the installation has been carried out to Building Regulations by an installer appropriately qualified to carry out the work.
Following discussions with various industry stakeholders (including government officials, installers, retailers, and manufacturers of appliances and chimneys/flues) alongside interest from consumers, HETAS is pleased to launch the HETAS Registered Installer scheme across Ireland.
HETAS Training and Technical Support Manager Mike Harvey comments “One of the key areas of the scheme benefits is the highly acclaimed Technical Helpline support available to registrants; HETAS is unique in that the helpline is specific to solid fuel and biomass with dedicated staff available to answer calls from registered installers on any matter arising in relation to installation.
Installers are also able to request advice over email and access the member only Technical Area of the HETAS website which contains useful information on appropriate Regulations, national and European Standards, HETAS Technical Bulletins, HETAS Guidance and much more”
For further information on the HETAS scheme visit www.hetas.co.uk or contact HETAS on +44 1684 279170 to discuss registration with the team.
The next #HETASLive takes place at the end of the month at Specflue and includes a talk from the Stove Industry Alliance about Ecodesign and what it means to you.
#HETASLive at Specflue takes place on Wednesday 31st May between 4pm and 6pm. You can register for the event here.
Specflue is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of flue, chimney and renewable heat solutions; successfully supplying the UK market since 1992 and we are pleased to be hosting our next #HETASLive event at their Sudbury headquarters.
The event will provide installers, chimney sweeps and retailers with a chance to meet the HETAS and Specflue teams, pose your questions about the industry and have your say. You will also have a chance to look around the facilities on offer at Specflue and discuss your training requirements with the training team. Visit the Specflue training website to find out more about their range of HETAS Approved Training Courses and other courses available.
Are you Ecodesign Ready?
In addition Dennis Milligan of the Stove Industry Alliance will be talking about Ecodesign and what it means for you and your business. In advance of this session read up about the launch of the Ecodesign Ready Scheme by clicking here.
The HETAS team look forward to seeing you at Specflue.
Specflue can be found at the following address: Specflue Ltd, 8 Curzon Road, Chilton Industrial Estate, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2XW
Can’t make this event? We hav3e a number of Live events coming up this year with more dates to be added during the year. Keep checking www.hetas.co.uk/live to find an event near to you.
Building Regulations Update for Wales
Welsh Government has now published it’s re branded Approved Documents and replace those issued by HM Government. The re-designed Approved Documents for Wales took effect from 03 April 2017.
Changes to Approved Documents
The Secretary of State’s functions under the Building Act 1984 were, subject to exceptions, transferred to the Welsh Ministers on 31 December 2011. Among the functions transferred was the making Building Regulations. Since the transfer of functions, the use of the Approved Documents in Wales and England has become increasingly confusing, particularly for those working in both Wales and England.
There have been no policy or technical amendments to the Approved Documents. The re-design is to clarify their application to Wales, improve readability and provide interactive navigation. The Approved Documents also comply with the Welsh Government’s policy of providing electronic versions of publications.
The Approved Documents B (Fire Safety) Volume 1 (Dwellinghouses) and volume 2 (Buildings other than dwellinghouses); Approved Document L (Conservation of fuel and power) L1A (new dwellings), L1B (existing dwellings), L2A (new buildings other than dwellings), L2B (existing buildings other than dwellings) dwellings, Approved Document R (Physical Infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks) and Approved Document 7 (Materials and workmanship) have already been republished in the Welsh Government format therefore do not form part of these changes.
For installations in England, the existing H M Government editions of ADJ and the other Approved Documents remain valid.
Get in touch with the HETAS Technical team on 01684 278194 or email email@example.com to discuss your technical enquiries.
How will the Budget affect small businesses?
Anyone who runs their own business will be affected by changes in the Budget. Once again, the experts at Which? Trusted Traders have been hard at work and provided a handy break down of what some of the announcements mean for small businesses. Philip Hammond’s spring Budget initially included major changes to National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed, but a week later this measure has been reversed. The NICs increase appeared to break a Conservative manifesto pledge not to raise National Insurance contributions during the lifetime of the parliament, so Mr Hammond has scrapped the plans – for now.
So there will be no increase in Class 4 NICs, but there are other changes that will affect small businesses over the coming years, including changes to the level of dividend payments that are tax-free, the income threshold, and significant changes to technical training qualifications. Finance isn’t everyone’s favourite subject, but it’s worth reflecting on what they will mean to you and your business.
Changes for the self-employed
National Insurance contributions
There will be no increase in Class 4 National Insurance Contributions, but Class 2 NICs are still to go. This means from April 2018, all self-employed workers will have to pay Class 4 NICs on their profits, provided the profits are over the minimum threshold.
Class 4 NICs are currently:
- paid at 9% on your profits between £8,060 and £43,000
- at 2% above £43,000
From April 2017, they will be:
- paid at 9% on profits between £8,164 and £45,000
- at 2% above £45,000.
The levels of profit on which you pay different rates of National Insurance tend to increase annually and haven’t been confirmed yet for 2018 and 2019.
Low earners may see a reduction in their NICs charges, as class 4 contributions are charged on profits. But there’s no escape for company directors, who might pay themselves a lower salary and take the rest in dividends.
Reduction in the tax-free dividend allowance
In a further measure that affects business owners, investors and company directors, the chancellor announced a reduction in tax-free dividend allowance, which is:
- currently £5,000
- being reduced to £2,000 from April 2018.
The reasoning behind the reduction is to make it harder to avoid taxes by supplementing your salary with dividends from a company.
The tax rate on dividends will be the same, but higher-rate tax payers will pay an extra £975 a year as a result.
Quarterly reporting delay for smallest businesses
The government had already announced the a move to quarterly digital reporting for the self-employed – requiring self-employed businesses to send in tax returns online four times a year. Mr Hammond threw a lifeline to businesses trading below the VAT threshold – these businesses will get an extra year to put processes in place to prepare.
Changes for employees
So much for the self-employed and those who own their own VAT registered businesses, but what about if you have employees? How will the changes affect them – and your business?
Income tax rates
Personal taxes are largely unchanged. Income tax rates remain the same, but the personal tax rate threshold will rise:
- to £11,500 in April 2017 – so everyone can earn an extra £500 before starting to be taxed at the basic rate (20%)
- to £12,500 during the parliament, although we do not yet know when that will happen.
The higher-rate tax threshold will also rise:
- to £45,000 in April 2017 – so you will pay tax at 40% on earnings above that figure.
For people paying tax in Scotland, the higher-rate threshold will remain at £43,000.
The additional-rate threshold (above which point you are taxed on your income at 45%) remains at £150,000.
There were no major changes in pensions during this budget – you can read more analysis of pensions in the budget here, or read on for more about changes to business taxes.
If you have retail premises, then you are likely facing a change in your business rates. In some areas of the country you will see a reduction, but other areas – particularly in the south east of England – businesses are facing sharp increases.
The chancellor said the government will be looking at ways of reforming the revaluation process, to avoid dramatic increases in the future. But for now, any re-evaluations will stand. However, there are a couple of measures that could help businesses struggling with large increases.
A £300m fund for local authorities to help businesses facing particularly large increases, on a discretionary basis.
Support for businesses that were benefiting from small business-rate relief. These businesses will have their bill capped, so it can’t be more than £50 a month higher than it is now. Any subsequent increases will also be capped at a further £50 a month, or a transitional rate – whichever is lower.
Corporation Tax to fall to 17% by 2020
If you trade as a limited company, then you are liable for corporation tax – this does not apply to sole traders or partnerships. In a business-friendly measure, the chancellor chose to cut the rate of corporation tax, which will drop 3% over the next couple of years.
Currently, limited companies have to pay corporation tax on their profits at 20%, but this is set to fall to 19% in April, then reduce further to 17% by 2020.
For more guidance about business taxes, read tax made simple for small businesses. Read on for more budget announcements about changes to technical training.
Investment in skills training
The government announced a series of measures designed to raise the status and standards of technical skills training. These include a commitment to raising the status of skills-based training by funding further apprenticeships and new qualifications, and to make it simpler for employers and consumers to see to what level someone is qualified.
The main changes are:
- the continuation of an apprenticeship levy on large businesses to fund a further 3m apprenticeships by 2020
- the introduction of T-levels
- an increase in the number of training hours for technical students, including work placements
- £500m a year to support technical education for 16 to 19-year-olds
- Extending the offer of maintenance loans to students studying at technical colleges
T-levels will probably make the biggest change to Which? Trusted traders, as you’ll start to see future employees coming out of college with these new qualifications some time after 2019. Students who decide to study a T-level will spend 50% longer learning than they currently do – around 900 extra teaching hours a year. The idea is that they will be better qualified and ‘work fit’ when they enter the jobs market.
As T-levels will replace thousands of existing qualifications, it should make them easier for future employers and consumers to understand.
Increased powers to consumer bodies
In other news, the government also announced the prospect of increased powers to consumer bodies and moves to simplify terms and conditions. Something Which? Trusted Traders thoroughly approves of. There was no timeline given for this, so we’ll have to see what it means when it’s introduced – but we will be sure to keep you informed if there are any changes needed to your business’ terms and conditions.
Hearth and Home 2017
The Hearth and Home 2017 Exhibition takes place from the 11th to the 13th June at the Harrogate International Centre.
The exhibition launched its new website back in December and the site includes details of all exhibitors and the latest floor plan to navigate your way around the many exhibitors. Click here to visit the new look website.
If you haven’t already done so it is quick and easy to register to visit the exhibition. Click here to register now.
The team look forward to seeing everyone at Hearth and Home 2017 in Harrogate this June.
Easter 2017 Office Closure
With Easter fast approaching we wanted to let everyone know that the HETAS office will be closing at 5pm on Thursday 13th April 2017 and opening again on Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 8:30am.
The HETAS website has a wide range of information for you while we are closed over Easter.
- HETAS Search – find the service you are looking for using our search options
- Advice Leaflets – a range of advice leaflets including tips and guidance
- Carbon Monoxide – protecting yourself and measures to take
- Frequently Asked Questions – some of the frequent questions we get asked
Can’t wait until Tuesday? Get in touch using the Contact form below.
Heat Hero Gets HETAS Listing
Heat Hero is the latest product to be listed in the HETAS Guide under Link-Up Systems for Heating & Hot Water.
The product is a unique system based on manifold injectors in two installed units that enable circulation around a solid fuel fired heating system to be maximised as well as gravity circulation around the hot water storage cylinder when the heating/radiator system is not energised. It contains no moving parts or any electrical components. Where required, it enables a secondary heat source, such as a gas or oil fired boiler, to be linked into the system with the solid fuel boiler.
Heat Hero on Vimeo
There are no specific technical standards for assessing the design, production or performance of this type of equipment although there do exist standards for the individual components from which the devices are built up. For example, plate heat exchangers, pipes and fittings and electrical components. It is therefore not a requirement that the equipment is CE Marked.
The listings given in the HETAS Guide are based on the manufacturer demonstrating satisfactorily that their product is safe and fit for the purpose of serving a boiler red by biomass or solid mineral fuel. This will normally be an assessment by an independent authorised competent organisation such as a Notified Body. In the absence of any regulatory standards for the design, production or performance of the equipment listed it is not possible for HETAS to approve it. The listing is therefore simply a recognition that the manufacturer has taken all necessary steps to ensure their product is safe and fit for its purpose when installed in accordance with their instructions.
Find out more about the Heat Hero listing and other ancillary products such as Zonealone’s Heat Genie, Advanced Appliances thermal storage cylinder and AMAC chimney inspection cameras in the HETAS Guide by visiting www.hetas.co.uk/find-appliance and clicking on Ancillary Products.
Interested in getting a product approved or listed with HETAS? Get in touch with the Product Approval team on 01684 278170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out and About – Event Update
It’s just one week until The National Association of Chimney Sweeps exhibition which takes place next Friday. We also have a number of HETAS Live events coming up across the country, a great opportunity to meet the team and have your say.
The NACS Exhibition 2017 is just five weeks away and is taking place at The Crowne Plaza in Stratford-upon-Avon. The HETAS team will be there throughout the event and look forward to seeing you there.
The NACS Exhibition is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (previously Holiday Inn), Bridgefoot, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6YR. The exhibition will take place over two days, Friday 7th & Saturday 8th April. Opening times will be 9.30am – 4.30pm on both days.
The event includes a range of exhibitors from across the industry, including chimneys, sweeping equipment, cowls, appliances, cameras and more. Exhibitors for 2017 include:
- Surefire Training Services
- Landy Vent
- Colt Cowls
- CPL Distribution
- Logs Direct
- Percy Doughty
- Plus many more….
Come and meet the HETAS team during the exhibition. Our technical team will be on hand for all your technical questions. The team will also be available to discuss the new HETAS H009 training course and the all new Approved Servicing Scheme. Come and meet the team on stand C10.
For hotel reservations, please ring the hotel directly on 01789 279923 and quote “The National Association of Chimney Sweeps” for the preferential rates. Click here for details on the hotel.
Visit http://nacs.org.uk/event to find out more about the exhibition.
We have a number of HETAS Live events confirmed, with our next one coming up at Waxman Training on the 5th April, starting from 4pm. Find out where we are hosting HETAS Live events over the coming months on our HETAS Live page.
Are you ready for Energy Labelling?
The Energy Labelling Directive was introduced to make consumer choice on appliance selection easier, and to allow for more informed choices on solid fuel equipment purchases to be made in relation to the efficiency level of solid fuel systems and system packages on the market today.
All newly manufactured solid fuel appliances sold in retailer outlets and from suppliers after the implementation dates (detailed in the guidance) will have affixed to the front of them a legible copy of the energy label, giving further technical details and information on the appliance performance capabilities and energy rating.
The dates of implementation for when the Energy Labelling Directive becomes mandatory are as follows:
- Independent Boiler Appliances (providing heat solely for central heating and hot water) – 1st April 2017
- Roomheater Stoves (providing heat into the room in which they are installed) – 1st January 2018
HETAS has developed specific guidance for manufacturers, installers and retailers. Follow the links below for the specific guidance which is available in the HETAS Technical Area (registration with HETAS required for access):
The HETAS Technical Helpline is available to discuss the requirements should you have any questions relating to the guidance provided by HETAS. Call 01684 278194. Manufacturers of appliances can contact the Product Approval team on 01684 278183.