Bruce Allen’s Insight | May 2024 

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

May has provided us with some respite as we have been lucky enough to enjoy some warmer weather as summer approaches. HETAS and industry have continued looking ahead, aiming to further sustainability and safety. We have recently continued our dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding wood burning and biomass in relation to the recent legislation, as well as discussing ongoing issues surrounding air quality and net zero. Following widespread concerns across industry, communities, and households reliant on their wood-burning stoves, the Scottish Government has announced that it will be reviewing the legislation. Our input to this process was vital as we are the organisation working closest with installers, retailers etc and we were able to add unique comment and perspective to the debate. To find out more about this announcement, view our article on Scotland’s New Build Heat Standard 2024. 

HETAS engages closely with all UK governments and devolved administrations. Our role as a provider of registration and certification schemes, along with Woodsure and its schemes and government contracts, gives us a position of ‘trusted advisors’ to government departments such as DLUHC (through Building Regulations and installer schemes) and Defra (through clean air, particulate matter emissions, and cleaner solid mineral fuels). We are providers of factual information and data vital to government departments when making policy decisions. Our organisation and its registrants plus certificated scheme members are viewed as providing excellent services and a strong influence on a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future for domestic and non-domestic burning.  

It is positive to see the published results from the Welsh government’s consultation on carbon monoxide guidance and we await further publications indicating any changes the Welsh government intends to make. Carbon monoxide safety is vitally important, and we support initiatives seeking to raise awareness and increase safety across all industries. We have a trove of consumer-focused carbon monoxide safety resources that can be shared to help keep everyone aware and safe. To add to this, the CO Research Conference 2024 is taking place on 18-19 June, where the primary themes are: the impact of carbon monoxide on pregnancy, current and future innovations, and data surrounding carbon monoxide and its cases. Visit the CO Research Trust’s website to find out more and register.  

The spring edition of the HETAS Technical Bulletin was released earlier this month and is available to view now on the HETAS Technical Hub – we hope you have had a moment to read through. This bulletin explores direct and indirect ventilation to an appliance and the correct way to calculate the cross-sectional area of square, circular, and rectangular flue systems, providing clarification on these topics as the team on the technical helpline have reported these issues as being particularly relevant in recent months. Further, this edition reiterates the importance of staying updated on events and legislation concerning industry as we provide explanations behind Scotland’s NBHS and our advice on vertical clearance distance from a fireplace recess. It has been especially pertinent during recent years to stay informed and educated on industry best practices as well as regulatory or legislative changes to ensure you can continue providing the safest, highest quality service.  

In event news, we are excited to be exhibiting at InstallerSHOW 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham – you will be able to find us on 25-27 June at Stand 5I26. This year’s exhibition is 50% larger than last year’s and will have over 600 exhibitors, allowing you to learn and network with over 20,000 expected attendees. The team look forward to meeting you at our stand to connect and answer any queries you may have.  

Our Registration Team is asking for your support this month. They want to remind you that if you are a Registered Installer with HETAS and you are installing solid fuel appliances, you must hold public liability insurance with a minimum cover of £2 million, and your insurance policy must specifically state that you are covered for solid fuel installations. When changing or updating your insurance policy, please ensure you provide us with confirmation of the insurance provider, policy number, and expiry date, making certain that your new or updated policy is still in line with your conditions of registration.   

A questionnaire was sent out to support the HETAS Approved Biomass Maintenance Scheme (HABMS) Advisory Group last month and it is great to see the range of responses we received. The team are currently analysing the responses and will share their analysis with the Group in due course. The responses received will shape the future of the scheme and help us understand the progress the scheme has made since the legislation came into force over two years ago.  

Keep an eye on your inbox in the upcoming weeks to be the first to hear about further benefits for HETAS registrants and our web development progress as we streamline our processes. We will continue to represent industry and coordinate with government, working for a cleaner, safer environment. 

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.


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