Let Prompt Payer support you

Let Prompt Payer support you

For over five years HETAS installers have been benefiting from Prompt Payer membership as part of their registration. There are so many reasons to use this free benefit, along with some new benefits being added this year.

Prompt Payer exists to help our members generate more business and get paid on time. Late payment is one of the biggest threats today and we do our best to make sure your business is protected. Prompt Payer has been working in partnership with HETAS for over five years and installers have been making the most of the benefits available. Every year Prompt Payer has assisted our installers in recovering unpaid invoices and ensuring processes are properly in place to secure payment.

So how does it work?

  • They follow a debt collection procedure, as set out by the Financial Services Authority
  • Where applicable, calculate and add interest and charges as permitted by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1998
  • Provide you with a paper trail in case of court action
  • They are on your side and have heard EVERY excuse
  • Prompt Payer will help you through the court process if required
  • Take the stress away
  • Membership is already paid for by HETAS, they take NO collection fee

Nearly 50% of all invoice are paid late, yet 79% of business don’t charge interest that they are allowed under Law. Get in touch with Prompt Payer if you have unpaid invoices and see how they can support you.

Additional Benefits

There are additional benefits to membership with Prompt Payer, including access to a legal helpline and GDPR support packages. This month Prompt Payer is launching its Discount Marketplace, where you can enjoy discounts, rewards and perks on thousands of the brands you love in a variety of categories. Click here to find out more and access the Benefit Hub.

More Information

For more information visit www.promptpayer.co.uk or email info@promptpayer.com.

 

Mediation Services

ProMediate Mediation ServicesMediation Services

HETAS is pleased to be announcing the launch of ADR services to our registrants in partnership with ProMediate. ProMediate has a nationwide reputation for it’s mediation services and is registered with the Civil Mediation Council.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Since 1st October 2015 all UK businesses have to be able to provide details of a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Provider when a complaint has been made which cannot be resolved by their own internal complaints process.

ProMediate can offer a time and cost efficient approach to this issue, and is also registered with the EU platform for online consumer complaints.

The business does not just deal with disputes when they arise but also provides information and resources to members through its Members’ Area, and a newsletter to help members to deal with disputes before they get to a contentious stage. It guides its members through the choices they have to make about ADR versus litigation and the Court process.

ProMediate has a nationwide reputation for mediation and is registered with the Civil Mediation Council as well as its consumer ADR scheme being certified by Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).  The business has over 20 independent ADR Officials experienced in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, including Accredited International Online Mediators.

It is already chosen ADR supplier to major retailers. Many of its ADR Officials have a wealth of experience of dealing with disputes of all kinds including builders and tradespeople, proving an ideal match to work with HETAS.

Find out more

For more information on this new service visit the HETAS Technical Area to find out more about this new ADR service or click here to visit the ProMediate website.

You can also contact ProMediate by phone on 0203 621 3908, mobile on 07827 961764 or email them directly on enquiries@promediate.co.uk.

 

Continued Trading Standards success

Trading Standards SuccessContinued Trading Standards success

HETAS continues to work with Trading Standards across the country to bring about enforcement action against installers who do not meet the required standards or mislead consumers into believing they are registered.

In a recent case against a rogue installer HETAS supported Trading Standards against an installer who was falsely claiming to be using HETAS registered installers for installation work when in fact they were not. The trader pleaded guilty to two offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was handed the following:

  • Fine of £1,000
  • Victim surcharge of £100
  • Investigative costs of £1,126.10
  • Legal costs of £250
  • A total of £2,476.10.

It was identified that without a witness Statement for HETAS Trading Standards would most likely have not got the result they did. At any one time we are involved in a number of cases similar to this and work hard to protect the HETAS brand and consumers from being misled. If you are aware of a case then please do let us know so we can investigate and work with Trading Standards in bringing about enforcement.

Case Examples

Earlier in the year we shred an article about a rogue trader who was ordered to pay more than £7,000 after he was prosecuted by Caerphilly Trading Standards for falsely claiming he was registered with HETAS. At a hearing in January this year the business owner was fined a total of £3,920, ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,518.75, compensation to consumers of £1,538.40 and a victim surcharge of £73.

Aided by HETAS entering a formal Primary Authority relationship with Trading Standards, we work in partnership with Gloucestershire Trading Standards and Trading Standards nationally to bring about far more enforcement action than before we entered the partnership.

Whistleblowing

The HETAS whistleblowing process has also been successful this year in allowing us to tackle installers who do not meet the required standards. This information is vital if we are to challenge installers not meeting the required standards of installation. Nobody wants bad installers working in our industry and HETAS is keen to work with all in the trade to root out the rogues.

The  helpline is led by Registration Manager Jo Courtney-Wiggins. Used to ensure consumer safety and prevent bad installations, the whistleblowing helpline is a great resource for those seeking both action and solutions.

Jo says: “We always want to hear about businesses falsely claiming to be HETAS registered, who appear to be misusing the brand or those who do not comply with standards and regulations. As an organisation, our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We would implore anyone with any concerns about rogue traders in your area or non-compliant installations to get in touch with HETAS.

“We’re proud to have the support from various sectors, manufacturers and organisations in the industry. Working alongside influential organisations such as BFCMA, SFA, SIA and sweep associations (APICS, Guild, NACS and Sweep Safe) allows us to provide the most up-to-date information and informed advice.”

Bruce Allen also comments, “Talking to HETAS installers every day, we know the frustration they can feel about installers who undertake very poor work whether registered with us or not. This year, several businesses have been suspended and/or removed from the registration scheme as a direct result of the whistleblowing procedure. Conversely, when we receive complaints about installers that are not justified we have been able to support installers and present a clear case to the customers concerned. Where there are safety concerns we always want to hear about them and will either act or advise as appropriate.

Contact the team

Get in touch on info@hetas.co.uk or contact Jo or the team directly on 01684 278170.

Defra Consults

Defra Consults on Air QualityDefra consults on air quality

Defra has confirmed via its latest consultation that it isn’t looking to ban the use of stoves. They do want to know what you think about their proposals for helping householders move to cleaner fuels for domestic burning.

The Clean Air Strategy states that air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK. We often think of air pollution as being caused by transport or industrial level burning of fossil fuels. Now that the emissions from these sources has decreased, the relative importance of emissions from other sources has increased. The Strategy is clear that we now need to tackle these other sources of air pollution, including emissions caused by heating our homes.

So what is this latest consultation all about?

Launched in August and running through until mid-October this consultation is focused on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood.

Using cleaner fuels in a cleaner appliance installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept by a professional or registered chimney sweep all make a big difference. Defra has developed simple guidance for all local authorities to share with residents on these simple steps and is working with industry to encourage householders to take action in all these areas.

This consultation gives more detail about the proposals set out in the Strategy, focusing on the domestic use of solid fuel in England considers what further steps can be taken to encourage households to make a change from dirtier to cleaner fuels, with some key areas of focus:

  • Consumers who burn traditional house coal switching to alternative fuels (e.g. low sulphur manufactured solid fuels);
  • Consumers switching from wet wood to dry wood (with a moisture content of 20% or less);
  • Introduction of sulphur limits and smoke emission limits for all manufactured solid fuels.

It is here that Defra confirms that “We are not considering banning domestic burning. The government recognises that households have installed wood-burning stoves and the government is not seeking to prevent their use or installation.”

 Our recent ‘Ban on wood stoves’ article helped clarify the direction Defra is working toward. Feel free to share this content on your social media channels and with you customers.

 Proposal

The proposals in this more detailed consultation include:

  • Restrictions on the sale of wet wood for domestic burning so that it can only be purchased in volumes over a specified cut-off point;
  • Applying sulphur standards and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels;
  • Phasing out the sale of bituminous or traditional house coal;

 This current consultation runs until Friday 12th October 2018.

HETAS and Woodsure will be contributing to the consultation and we encourage industry to do the same.

Consultation

To view all the information relating to the consultation and to contribute visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/air-quality-using-cleaner-fuels-for-domestic-burning.

Have your say

Installation Sub-Committee | Have your say……Have Your Say

Last month we introduced the newly formed Installation sub-committee which will support the HETAS Technical Committee. To support this group we want you to have your say, starting with Approved Document J.

 In support of the work within this group and to drive the focus of the work we are asking HETAS registrants for their views on Approved Document J.

What are the three things you would like to change in Approved Document J? What doesn’t make sense, what is confusing or unnecessary? HETAS will collate the top answers back to the sub-committee with the intention of working on solutions and a push for change for the better.

As an industry we have a stronger voice when working together and we really want to hear your thoughts on this issue. Through our newsletters and bulletins we will update you on the work of the installation sub-committee and the wider standards work that HETAS undertakes for industry.

Please complete the suggestion form below with your three ideas and we will work through the most popular answers in our next meeting.

We are always looking for installers who are interested in attending the installation sub-committee meetings. If you would be interested in attending or contributing to such working groups get in touch with calvin.may@hetas.co.uk.

CSS Worksafe

CSS Worksafe

CSS Worksafe update

This time last year we introduced you to one of our new partnerships, CSS Worksafe. CSS Worksafe has supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of its system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

CSS Worksafe

As part of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (that came into effect way back on 6 April 2005), those involved in work at height must be competent. CSS Worksafe has developed a course specific for HETAS registrants and the height safety training is carried out in accordance with the recognised standard BS 8454:2006, Code of Practice for the Delivery of Training & Education for Work at Height & Rescue.

Background

In the late 1990’s CSS Worksafe designed an innovative fall protection and work positioning system for use with a secured portable leaning ladder. The system was developed for the Aerial & Satellite Industry, where engineers are predominantly lone workers engaged in installing satellite dishes and aerials on domestic properties. This system provides fall protection from ground up to the work position plus support at the work position allowing the user to use both hands for the task. The system is designed and tested to be used with leaning ladders and roofer’s ladders, providing the ideal solution for controlling the risk of falls from height, where ladders are used as working platforms. Additional measures to control the risk of working around chimneys supplement the system and extend its capability.

Development

Further developments of the system, during consultation with the Cavity Wall Insulation Industry, led to enhancements which allow the system to be rapidly moved between positions and the working height adjusted, without additional ladder securing fixings being installed. In essence, a whole elevation can be covered from a secured, portable leaning ladder with fall protection, from two small, removable fixings. Controls for accessing and working from flat roofs were developed creating a complete safe system of work for those carrying out minor works at height on domestic properties.

Today we see the system employed by a wide range of trades that work at height on domestic properties. A legal requirement for aerial & satellite and cavity wall insulation, the system has been adopted by many Local Authorities and Housing Associations, as well as roofers and installers of stoves & flues, solar energy collectors, security systems and central heating systems. CSS Worksafe have supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of the system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

Accreditations

CSS Worksafe hold a number of association accreditations specific to there are of work, including the following:

  • British Safety Industries Federation – Height Safety Group
  • The Ladder Association
  • The Access Industries Forum
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

A recent breach case brought about by the HSE for an incident in 2015 saw a business fined over £32,000 plus costs for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Whilst working on a roof, an operative fell a distance of around 2 metres through the fragile cement sheet, suffering injuries including broken bones in the left ankle.

An HSE investigation found the company had failed to adequately plan the installation of the heating system and the necessary work at height. The investigation also found the company failed to provide suitable work at height equipment such as a mobile elevated work platform, edge protection, crawl boards, a roof ladder or scaffolding.

This case demonstrates the importance of compliance with regulations through the appropriate training and equipment for operatives working at height.

Get in touch

Want to know more about how CSS Worksafe can help you manage your fall protection control measures? Get in touch with CSS Worksafe on the following details and quote HETAS:

Tel: 0800 783 0757

Email: info@cssworksafe.com

Web: www.css-worksafe.co.uk

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2018

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2018

Chimney Fire Safety WeekChimney Fire Safety Week is back for 2018! The annual event takes place in September. What will you be doing to support the campaign this year with theClean Air Strategy putting extra spotlight on our industry.

HETAS met with the team from Fire Kills back in July and once again we are pleased to be supporting the campaign which works with industry and Fire and Rescue Services to promote this positive safety message to consumers. We really want to know how you be supporting the campaign this year. Chimney fires represent less than 3% of total fires, however such fires are totally avoidable provided consumers take the appropriate action.

Awareness and Action

Ultimately the campaign strives to raise awareness of chimney fires and encourage consumers to take action. The campaign focuses on the importance of chimney sweeping and appliance maintenance, the use of quality fuels and tips to get the most efficiency from a stove.

Chimney fires have been steadily decreasing in most regions over the years, with the period from January to March usually the peak season for chimney fires, with figures identifying over 40% of chimney fires in England taking place over those three months.

Once again, we have provided a number of graphics that you can use on your website and social media channels to show your support. As soon as we have the official figures on chimney fires for 2017/18 from the Home Office we will make them available for you in the HETAS Technical Area. You will be able to see how your region is performing. Check in to the HETAS Technical Area ahead of the campaign to view the support images available and share the videos and images we will be sharing across the HETAS and Woodsure social media channels.

A campaign briefing pack will be sent to Fire and Rescue Services by the Fire Kills team in August, so make sure you engage with your local service on social media channels.

Get in touch and let us know how you’ll be supporting the campaign this year.

Ban on wood stoves? The truth of it all

Ban on wood stoves? The truth of it all

Ban on wood stovesNo doubt you will have all seen some misleading headlines in recent months about a possible ban on wood stoves. Here, we identify the truth behind the headlines and what you can tell customers who might have seen the headlines.

On the 22nd May the Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a Clean Air Strategy which aims to cut air pollution and save lives, backed up through new primary legislation. What does the strategy say and how will it impact you and your customers?

The new strategy, which is out for consultation until the 14th August, is a key part of Defra’s 25 Year Plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. HETAS, Woodsure and The Stove Industry Alliance have all been consulting with Defra for some time now and once again Defra has clarified they are not looking to implement a ban on wood stoves.

No ban on wood stoves | The key points

The strategy summarises actions to reduce emissions from domestic burning, clearly identifying there is no intention to ban wood burning stoves. Here are the key points:

  1. Legislate to prohibit sale of the most polluting fuels.
  2. Ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.
  3. Give new powers to local authorities to take action in areas of high pollution, bringing legislation into the 21st century with more flexible, proportionate enforcement powers.
  4. Work with industry to identify an appropriate test standard for new solid fuels entering the market.
  5. Ensure that consumers understand what they can do to reduce their impact from burning.

The strategy also suggests Defra will give local authorities powers to go further in areas of high pollution, for example exploring what further steps government can take to enable local authorities to encourage ‘no burn days’ during high-pollution episodes.

Initiatives

The strategy identifies a number of voluntary initiatives that industry has undertaken to address concerns over air pollution from wood burning. These include Woodsure’s Ready to Burn, The SIA Ecodesign Ready scheme (administered by HETAS) and the Burnright campaign.

HETAS will continue to work with Defra and industry to drive forward policy and reduce air pollution from wood burning stoves. Defra would like your views on the actions being proposed to reduce air pollution and its effects, and to hear whether you have any further suggestions. Make sure you have your say at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/clean-air-strategy-consultation/consultation/.

Back in June we summarised the Clean Air Strategy in more detail. Click here to read the article.

Stay tuned to the HETAS website, newsletters and social media channels for regular updates. Click here to get in touch with the team.

Sweep Safe Signs Up

Sweep Safe Signs Up

Sweep Safe Signs UpFor a number of years HETAS has recognised three chimney sweeping associations as a route for chimney sweeps to become HETAS Approved. In June we formally welcomed a fourth association as Sweep Safe signs up with HETAS.

HETAS has a long standing relationship with three chimney sweep associations, APICS, Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and National Association of Chimney Sweeps. Having worked with these associations we have verified their association’s processes from assessment and induction through to terms and conditions, enabling their members to become HETAS Approved Chimney Sweeps. In June HETAS welcomed a fourth association, Sweep Safe.

Sweep Safe was conceived in April 2018 as a new type of chimney sweep association for the UK and Ireland. Sweep Safe works to build a recognisable consumer brand, a powerful identity (Logo, name, colours and presence) in the market place and ensure their certified chimney sweeps are the prime beneficiary from this brand power. The association is highly digital and marketing driven, both to promote its members to consumers and promote itself in the industry. Sweep Safe requires prior experience working in the industry before acceptance of membership. For more information on Sweep Safe visit www.hetas.co.uk/sweep-safe or visit the Sweep Safe website.

HETAS offer the H003 training course or the H009 training course, and attending one these courses is a pre-requisite towards registration, but not the only criteria. If you wish to become a HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep you must apply to us as a registered member of one of our nominated trade associations. Click here to find out more.

Hearth and Home time

Hearth & Home time!

HETAS at Hearth and HomeIt’s that time of year when the HETAS team head up to Harrogate for the annual Hearth & Home exhibition. You’ll find HETAS and Woodsure in our usual position in Hall C. Come and meet the team and pick up the latest Technical Bulletin which will be hot off the press.

Hearth & Home Exhibition 2018 brings together all sectors of the hearth industry, providing an exciting environment that offers trade professionals the opportunity to network and meet each other. Visitors can expect to see industry leading demonstrations, new innovations and product launches, while exhibitors benefit from a valuable and enthusiastic audience of industry professionals.

Taking place at the Harrogate Convention Centre there are three halls of new products and services. David Spencer, exhibition director comments “The halls will be packed with the very latest the industry has to offer. Whether you are an independent retailer, installer, builder, architect, interior designer, chimney sweep, distributor or agent, a trip to Harrogate is a valuable opportunity to stay one step ahead of the competition by seeing the latest trends and ordering new product lines, exclusive exhibition deals and offers.”

HETAS is pleased to be exhibiting at Hearth & Home once again and you can catch up with the team in Hall C in our usual position. We will be supported by Amanda from Woodsure who will be discussing the Defra supported Ready to Burn initiative.

Latest Technical Bulletin

HETAS registrants can pick up the latest Technical Bulletin which will be hot off the press at the exhibition and the technical team will be on hand to talk through your technical questions. We will also be discussing the recently announced Clean Air Strategy and what this means for our industry.

Don’t forget to bring along their ID cards for a chance to win in our registrant raffle. We’ve been picking up prizes from across the industry, but you must have your ID card available to enter!

Find out more

Doors to the exhibition open on Sunday 10th June at 10am. For more details visit https://www.hearthandhome.co.uk/.

Click here to sign up for free tickets.