Bruce Allen’s Insight | July 2023 

Welcome to my insight to the July 2023 HETAS monthly newsletter.

The summer is passing us by, and we will soon be heading towards the heating season. It was a year ago that we saw a spike in interest caused by the energy crisis and rising costs. Across the twelve months, we have seen exceptional demand, from stove purchases, installations, through to sweeping, servicing and fuel sales. Policy makers also continue to consider how best to bring about improvements in air quality for everyone and ways to achieve net zero. 

Most recently we have seen the publication of The Environment Improvement Plan, swiftly followed by the Climate Change Committee 2023 Progress Report to Parliament. The national Air Quality Objectives and Air Quality Standards Regulations limit and target values with which the UK must comply are summarised in the National air quality objectives of the Air Quality Strategy. Additionally, the UK has set legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, meaning the country will no longer contribute any additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. 

Domestic burning and the biomass sector both play an important role in both air quality and net zero targets, as identified through these key policies. The Environment Improvement Plan clearly states that the government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England, and it recognises that some households are reliant on solid fuel burning for heating, hot water and cooking. We are also expecting changes to legislation in Scotland and Wales over the coming years. If a ban is not coming into place, then the natural progression is to continually do things better. This includes better appliances, better fuels, ongoing servicing and using appliances in the right way. 

We expect to see the governments Biomass Strategy published at some point this year. 

We have seen the Cleaner Choice certification scheme for stoves, boilers and biomass appliances continue to grow. The scheme stipulates that appliances must meet both the current requirements for exemption and have attained listing on the DEFRA website, whilst also achieving at least a 50% improvement on current particulate limits for exemption, when measured using the more robust test methodology recognised within the UK. We have included an update on the Cleaner Choice certification scheme in this month’s newsletter and put the spotlight on another manufacturer in our regular newsletter feature. 

Added to this, we recently combined our chimney sweep and servicing schemes. We continue to move businesses across to the new scheme at the point of renewal, but if you did want to discuss your registration with the team ahead of your renewal, please get in touch with the registration team. Our aims for our new Sweep and Service Scheme are to improve safety and environmentally responsible burning via a standardised approach to sweeping competence and compliance; to deliver valued benefits to sweeps such as far-reaching consumer promotion and accessible training and accreditation; and to provide consumers with the assurance that HETAS vouches for the competency of their chosen chimney sweep and servicing businesses.  With a surge in consumer interest the HETAS website, last September, saw an increase of over 230% in chimney sweep searches, a trend that continued throughout the heating season, with consumers choosing to put their trust in HETAS registered businesses. We recognise that many of you are proud of your association membership too, you can continue to have this listed on your HETAS website listing too. 

We have included a summary of the Climate Change Committee 2023 Progress Report to Parliament in this month’s newsletter and you can also read our recent commentary on the Environment Improvement Plan in the news section of the website. 

In the last week we launched the all new HETAS Technical Hub. We have rolled out access to businesses who are required to notify work to HETAS, so competent person scheme and biomass maintenance. Very soon we will extend access to all businesses. The new Technical Hub provides a much-improved notification process along with improved links into our own CRM system. This new platform allows us to make development work in a far timelier way, so we can continue to improve the system for you. If you are required to notify and haven’t yet logged in, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. Please contact [email protected] if you are experiencing any issues or haven’t received your login details. 

Technical Bulletin 30 has also been completed and will be landing with you this week. Our dedicated technical team work hard to support you throughout the year and are there to help you in achieving a safe and compliant installation. Look out for the latest Bulletin landing in your inbox very soon and contact the team if you have any questions. 

Also, this month, we’ve included some guidance from our partner organisations. Our insurance partners, Rhino Trade Insurance provide an insight into the recent rise in tool theft and how to best protect your tools. We have had some positive feedback from people about Rhino since we launched this partnership earlier in the year. If your insurance is due, it’s certainly worth getting a quote from them via their website. 

Another partnership and benefit of membership with HETAS has reached 10 years. Prompt Payer offer ethical debt recovery services and a whole host of other benefits that you as a HETAS registered business get access too. Making use of these benefits can really help you to make the most of your business registration with HETAS. Prompt Payer membership alone can cost £150, you get this as part of your registration with HETAS. You can also access the HETAS Discount Marketplace and make use of a Tide bank account. To get you off to the best start, you will be given £50 credit once you’ve deposited £1 into your account and 1 year free of bank transfers. 

I hope you all have the opportunity for a summer break and a refresh ahead of the busy heating season. 

Login to the HETAS Technical Hub to notify your installations, also read the latest news on the HETAS website.


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