Bruce Allen’s Insight | October 2020

Welcome to the October HETAS Newsletter. I hope you are all safe and well and dealing with the challenges that 2020 has presented. The HETAS office remains open and we have a combination of staff either in the office or working from home. We remain committed to providing an ongoing service for you whilst keeping our staff safe at the same time. Please continue to keep yourselves and your customers safe and ensure you follow the guidance for safe working for the region in which you are working. The helpline team is available for all your technical enquiries, please do continue to make use of the support they offer to help achieve compliance on your work first time, every time.

HETAS CEO Bruce Allen

We have made every effort to maintain and where possible improve services, through upgrading our phone system to a fully digital solution, and improvements to the online notifications, allowing faster completion of notifications. If you haven’t given online notifications a try recently please do get in touch with the team as the process continues to improve enabling you to effectively manage your notifications. Keep your feedback coming on ways we can improve our services to support you. 

The headline for industry this month is the signing off of new legislation to assist with environmentally responsible use of solid fuels and appliances. The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 will come into force in May 2021. This brings into Regulation ‘Ready to Burn’ and its logo as a way of recognising which fuels are suitable for future use, both for wood and solid mineral fuels. There is further information in this newsletter and we will expand on how this will affect us all and the customers as things unfold over the coming months. It is incredibly important that Installers, Retailers, Chimney Sweeps and other industry professionals understand how to explain to customers that there are great ways to continue to use wood, biomass & solid fuels in environmentally responsible ways; it’s about using the right fuels and the right appliances, properly installed, maintained and swept and using them correctly. There are many fantastic appliances that meet the various legal requirements like CE marking and can be installed in accordance with UK Building Regulations and many that are already fully compliant with Ecodesign Legislation. The HETAS Appliance Approval Scheme is unique in that we provide a third party independent review of compliance in the relevant areas across the range of appliances from stoves to biomass boilers. 

Through our newsletters, Technical Bulletins & Notes, along with our Registrant only Technical Area on our website we continue to support and update you on all relevant areas during these difficult times. Only HETAS works across the whole supply chain from fuels, through appliances (fuels and ancillary equipment), installation, maintenance, sweeping and industry training – promoting industry professionals to customers through the searches like find an installer, appliance searches,  and find a sweep. The number of consumers contacting HETAS for advice on installers, retailers, appliances, fuels, maintenance and sweeps has more than doubled this year and continues to grow. Despite restrictions during the year, our website has also seen an increase in sessions and users in comparison to last year and we’ve seen record sessions from July through to September. This is great news for retailers, installers, sweeps and manufacturers as it promotes you to your future customers.

Beyond the fuels legislation, we are also seeing further developments as we transition out of Europe and the associated regulations. There are new rules for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021 that you will need to be aware of, from the new UKCA mark, to importing and employment of EU citizens. Make sure you keep up to speed with changes that impact on your business and stay updated on the HETAS website for industry specific guidance.

We appreciate it continues to be a challenging year for us all and we thank you for your continued support. Please do keep safe and continue to follow the guidance on safe working in your region and doing the great job you all do.