Bruce Allen’s Insight | June 2023 

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

As we head towards the end of the warmest June on record, our thoughts are already turning towards the heating season ahead. Earlier this month was the annual Clean Air Day which had a focus on cleaning up our air to clean up our minds, encouraging everyone to Learn, Act, Ask. Recent statistics identified that 82% of people think that air pollution should be a priority for the UK and for that very reason HETAS continues to work closely with government, industry, and consumers to find ways to make sure domestic burning is done responsibly. We continue to see growth in the HETAS Cleaner Choice scheme for stoves, cookers and boilers and have recently combined our approved sweep and servicing schemes. The HETAS sweep search on the website has seen considerable growth in the last twelve months as we continue our multiple routes to promoting HETAS registered businesses and their services.  

Government engagement is also a vital part of the drive to improving not only air quality but in moving towards achieving net zero. Our teams regularly meet with Defra as part of our contractual obligations relating to our smoke control contract and Ready to Burn certification (HETAS for MSF and Woodsure for wood fuels). DECC Ireland also paid a visit to HETAS HQ this month to learn more about regulation in the UK and the work of both HETAS and Woodsure. Extending on from this, myself and Calvin May (Head of Technical at HETAS) and Alan Young (HETAS Compliance Manager) attended a very engaging carbon monoxide research conference this month. The event was organised by the CO Research Trust (CORT) and brought together a range of people and organisations with an interest in CO safety. There were some very interesting discussions on the solid fuel side of things. With the focus of the conference being indoor air quality, HETAS were invited along to provide expert insight into indoor air and solid fuel. My thanks go out to Adrian and the team at CORT for an engaging and insightful conference. 

Our next Technical Bulletin, edition 30 will be published in the coming weeks. A major part of our role as a certification body is to provide ongoing technical help and advice to registrants as required. To do this we provide regular newsletters, bulletins and have our dedicated helpline with the technical team on hand to support you in achieving compliance with Building Regulations and associated Standards. You can reach the team during normal working hours, and you’ll find their contact details in the Technical Hub. In addition to this, a range of benefits are provided by HETAS, from ethical debt recovery to a discount marketplace and more. We’d be interested to learn more about what you think about the benefits we offer and what more we could provide. 

Some of the team has just returned from a busy and productive three days at the InstallerSHOW 2023, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham. Events like this are a fantastic opportunity to meet many of you face to face and have some great conversations. Thank you to so many of you who came along to chat to the team. Hopefully we will see many more of you next year at the 2024 show. 

Coming up in early September is the annual Chimney Fire Safety Week campaign. The team is working hard on a revamp of the campaign website and producing some marketing materials that we will share with you all over the coming months. Statistics on reported chimney fires in England will be published in August, the data provides a useful insight into trends and although we have seen a big reduction over the past decade, we must all continue to raise awareness and enable actions such as regular chimney sweeping, stove maintenance along with choosing the right fuels and appropriate use of stoves. The Advice Hub of the HETAS website is regularly updated with useful content for stove users, we encourage you to make use of the content too. 

I hope you have been enjoying the good weather, make the most of it before the heating season arrives and please do get in touch with myself or the team if you would like to discuss anything industry related or the topics raised in this month’s newsletter.  

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