Bruce Allen’s Insight | April 2024 

Welcome to my insight to the April 2024 HETAS monthly newsletter.

As April comes to a close, the weather has been unpredictable, to say the least. Colder, wetter spells have intermittently been hitting the UK and left many of us wondering when the sun will be giving us some much-needed warmth. During this month, many will have likely continued to heat their homes, keeping you all busier than you may have expected. I hope you have all been handling your workloads well – the last month has been busy here at HETAS, too. 

The media and industry alike have spoken a great deal about the new legislation in Scotland – the New Build Heat Standard (NBHS). This piece of legislation has come not without its confusion, with many across the industry – from registrants to consumers – voicing concerns about the ambiguity contained within. I would like to reiterate the primary point that HETAS have communicated regarding the NBHS – wood-burning stoves are not being banned. The main intention of the NBHS is to push for the installation of zero direct emission heating technology to be installed across new builds in Scotland. As you likely will have seen, there have been individuals and organisations voicing concerns as to what this means for existing installations and for those living in rural areas. Existing installations can still be repaired, serviced, and swept as normal. New stoves can continue to be installed in properties constructed before 1 April 2024 and existing installations are not affected by the legislation. The 170,000 rural off-grid properties in Scotland may be able to utilise a solid fuel room heater as ‘emergency heating’, but this is where uncertainty lies within the legislation. We have provided a short explanation article that hopefully will answer any immediate questions you have and will be working to get further answers as time passes. 

In more positive news: we are pleased to add not one, but two new training centres to our ever-growing list of HETAS Approved Training Centres. H Firkins & Sons, located in Milton Keynes, and the new Robinsons centre in Seaham are the latest additions. H Firkins & Sons are the latest provider to gain HETAS approval, with Josh Firkins looking forward to bringing his hands-on industry expertise to the table. H Firkins & Sons were chosen as, like all our other training centres, their values align with HETAS, and they have demonstrated the commitment to promoting the highest professional standards. The Robinsons Seaham centre is the provider’s fifth training centre to gain HETAS approval and it is exciting to be working with them further. Our extensive scope of training centres spans the UK, providing you with quality, HETAS approved training no matter your location. 

The Spring edition of the HETAS Technical Bulletin will be arriving on the Technical Hub shortly. This edition covers some of the pertinent issues the team on the technical helpline have encountered lately, allowing you to keep up to date on industry best practices. Staying informed on the latest issues that other installers have faced is just one side of the coin, however. It is equally important to be vigilantly following any legislation and building regulations changes. The latest bulletin contains guidance encompassing new changes across the industry, with the most recent edition highlighting our advice regarding the clearance distance of a wooden beam (and other combustibles) from an appliance vertically. We look forward to sharing this with you and hope you take the time to stay educated and informed. 

As always, we have been keeping a watchful eye on any bad players attempting to mislead or scam consumers by illegitimately using the HETAS name and brand. Just this month, an individual was made to pay a fine after they claimed to have been a HETAS Registered Installer but did not have the necessary qualifications. Just as it protects us as a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the cleanest, safest practices in the industry, it protects you and your business, too. By working with Trading Standards to stop these cases of bad behaviour, you can rest assured that consumers understand that you have the capabilities to complete your work to the highest standard possible. 

I hope you enjoy the bank holidays over the next month and take some time to relax. Our office will be closed across the two bank holidays – Monday 6 May and Monday 27 May – but the team will get back to you regarding any enquiries the following day. 

Login to the HETAS Technical Hub to access a range of resources including Technical Bulletins and to notify your installations, also read the latest news on the HETAS website.


HETAS, Severn House, Unit 5 Newtown Trading Estate, Green Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 8HD