Bruce Allen’s Insight | November 2020

The rollercoaster of the year that is 2020 continues and as we head towards Christmas, there does appear to be glimmers of positive news with vaccines and the opportunity to spend some time with loved ones over the festive period.

Again, we had our busiest month ever on the website during October and there does seem an appetite for home improvements and the installation of wood burning & multifuel appliances along with biomass heating. 
The changes to stamp duty in England have definitely boosted some areas of the market. HETAS gets huge numbers of contacts from consumers and we are pleased to point them to registered installers, chimney sweeps and retailers to get advice and to get stoves installed, maintained and their chimneys swept. At the same time we are giving out advice about responsible burning to reduce environmental impact. We are pleased to be able to continue our services to our registered businesses in respect of providing technical helpline support and email support. From the number of enquiries we can see that there is a significant amount of installation work being done.

Welsh and Scottish Governments are busy consulting on proposed changes to fuel and appliance legislation. It seems likely that the general aims around improving air quality are common to the devolved administrations and it seems likely they will choose to follow similar routes and consult on banning smoky, high sulphur fuels and wet wood. At the same time there will be encouragement to install only the cleanest stoves and heating appliances. With England set to have new rules from May 2021, we hope that all UK Governments will adopt regulations that align with an outcome of easy to understand rules and requirements that work well. Its very clear that installation, servicing and sweeping by qualified and experienced professionals is a critical part of the future approach, alongside high quality information and advice from highly competent retailers.

One of the main challenges is keeping yourselves safe and at the same time protecting your customers. We wish you every success in coping with such challenging times.