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Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

Renewable Heat Incentive – Domestic Scheme Now Launched

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


On a mission to promote heat generation from renewable energy sources, the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive payment scheme was initially launched on 28th November 2011 for non-domestic buildings.  The RHI was set up to replace the Low Carbon Building Programme which ceased in 2010, and rewards those who generate energy from renewable heat technologies such as ground source and water source heat pumps, solar thermal panels and biomass boilers.


Based on the Energy Act 2008, the introduction of the scheme for Domestic RHI has seen several delays but it was finally launched on 9th April 2014, providing financial reward for those who use renewable heat technologies within the home including air source pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Those who are interested in benefitting from the scheme need to complete an application process with the domestic scheme open to private landlords as well as owner occupiers, self-builders and providers of social housing.


Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets are administering the scheme and further information on eligibility and the application process is available at the Ofgem Website, with the scheme open to domestic customers regardless of whether they are on or off the gas grid, although for the latter the potential of the scheme is greater.


Those wishing to apply will need to provide an EPC Energy Performance Certificate, confirming that only a single property that is regarded as a domestic dwelling is being heated by the renewable system. The EPC will also cover energy use and recommendations within the dwelling and forms part of the Green Deal Assessment, details of all of which are also available from Ofgem.  Support is also on hand through Ofgem for installers on the necessary technology criteria that meets the schemes guidelines.


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Tradeshows in February – 2014

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

AquaTherm Moscow 4-7 February

Official Website:

Venue: International Exhibition Centre Crocus Expo – Pavilion 3, Hall 13, 14, 15
Moscow, Russia

Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10am-4pm Friday

Overview: AquaTherm is an international exhibition which focusses on industry sectors such as heating and ventilation, as well as environmental technology, water supply, sanitary equipment and air-conditioning.  With over 750 exhibitors taking part, World of water and spa will also be a key feature at AquaTherm Moscow event.

Exhibitors scheduled to attend include:

  • Electro Engineering Limited
  • Pipex Systems S.A.
  • REMS GmbH & Co
  • Samson AG
  • Valtec


PlumbexIndia – 20-22 February

Official Website:

Opening Hours: 11am-7pm daily

Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (East) Mumbai, India

Overview: PlumbexIndia is the only international show to take place in India which is dedicated to the plumbing industry.  With its 6th annual show taking place this year, PlumbexIndia is supported by global organisations such as World Plumbing Council, with companies such as Grundfos and KiTec also partners at the event.  CERA is sponsoring the symposium which takes place alongside the exhibition on the 20th February, with this year’s theme reflecting on Two Decades of IPA – Redefining Plumbing Standards in India.


AquaTherm Tashkent, Uzbekistan 25-28 February

Official Website:

Venue:  NEC UzExpoCentre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Overview: AquaTherm Tashkent will be held together with the UzBuild exhibition, resulting in one of Uzbekistan’s largest tradeshow events, which brings together manufacturers and suppliers from both the construction and HVAC industry sectors all under one roof.

With Exhibitors yet to be confirmed, product categories at the event include:

  • Green Building
  • Sauna and Swimming Pools
  • Sanitary Technology
  • Water and Waste Water Technology
  • Heating Technology and Equipment

Unicera Istanbul – 26 Feb – 2nd March

Official Website:

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm 26th Feb-1st March, 10am-6pm 2nd March

Venue: Tuyap Fair Convention and Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Overview: The International Ceramic, Bathroom, Kitchen Fair welcomes over 350 companies and 65,000 visitors to this popular event.  With Manufacturers and Exporters of Kitchen and Bathroom Equipment and Accessories, Wall and Floor coverings, Sauna and Turkish Bath Equipment and Ceramic Processing Technologies exhibiting in this the 26th Unicera show to take place.

Exhibitors scheduled to attend include:

  • Alteo
  • Dune Ceramica S.L.
  • Fuccelli
  • Studor Ventech Ltd
  • Swarovski

Tradeshows in January-2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

There are 4 big tradeshows taking place internationally over January. These are:

Haus (House) Bad Salzuflen – 10-12 January

Official Website:

Venue: Messezentrum Bad Salzuflen, Benzstr. 23
32105 Bad Salzuflen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Overview: Haus (House) is part of a combined event, House, Garde, Tourism, and is focused around heating, plumbing, construction, electrical and renovation. The show appeals to a range of sectors including building construction, materials, structural engineering and plumbing.

Exhibitors scheduled to attend include:

  • Domus Sana
  • Allkauf
  • Bosch
  • Busch
  • Velux



Stay Warm this winter, Help Your Home to insulate more efficiently

Monday, November 4th, 2013

One of the hot topics (or cold topics) of conversation at the moment is about the price rises from the energy companies.

Homeowners are constantly being told to install extra insulation or double glazing to manage the energy use efficiently. Double glazing and extra insulation are very valid solutions, but can also be an expensive solution.

So here are some tricks and tips that are less costly and will help to keep your house warm.

Draught Excluder

Draught Excluder

Thick Curtains – Losing home heating through the windows is a common problem. By having thick curtains up at windows and even doors will help to insulate your house massively. You can buy thermal curtains now that are specifically designed for this. To help cut the costs even more you could line your curtains yourself. Use materials like fleece which are super warm, but also cheap. So the thicker the curtains, the better the insulation.

Tin Foil – Reflect the heat back into your rooms. By lining the wall behind your radiators will help bounce heat back into the house. Especially if your radiator is on an external wall. Good quality tin foil works very well, but you can actually buy purpose made foil that is much more effective and can be purchased under £10.

Double Glazing – This is the most efficient way of keeping the heat inside your house. But as mentioned, this can be quite an expensive option. But there is a thing on the market that imitates double glazing and it works pretty well. It is a special film that you fix onto the window frame with tape and heat. It only costs about £15 a pack. This would cover a medium sized house.  The only drawback is that, once the films have been attached and sealed, you cannot take them off and on. But a pack should last 2-3 years.

Sunshine – Keeping the curtains shut will stop heat escaping and stop draughts from coming in, but when the sun is out make sure that you make the most of it. Any natural heat from the sunshine shining through your windows will help. As soon as dusk sets in, draw your curtains.

Draughts and Heat Escape Routes – Do you use your fire/chimney? A lot of heat can be lost through an open fire and up the chimney, so if you are not using your fire regularly then why not get a chimney balloon installed? This is a balloon that is inserted into the chimney hole, so that you cannot see it and is then inflated. The balloon is made from laminate and is not too expensive, around £20. Once the balloon is inflated then it stops any heat from escaping and stops any draughts.  Have a wander around your home and look for any draught spots e.g. the letterbox, or if you have a large keyhole in your front door. It is amazing the amount of draught that can come through. Animal flaps in the door can produce terrible draughts. If you can block up these holes, what a difference it will make.  Remember the door sausages that your gran used to have? Well it is time to bring those back. You can even modernise them yourself and design them to fit in with your décor.

Efficient Radiators – Allow your radiators to work to their full potential, move any furniture that is blocking them, e.g. if your sofa is right in front of your radiator then pull the sofa out by a foot. This will allow the heat to escape into the room more efficiently. If your radiators have cool spots in the panels then you may need to bleed your radiators, if this is the case then by doing this, you will really feel the positive difference.

Big Old House? – Do you have rooms in your house that you do not use? Shut rooms off that are not being used. Contain the heat you create in smaller areas. This is far more economic than heating the entire house.

Heating Timers – You should never turn your heating up full blast to get the house warm quickly. Set a timer to come on earlier and give the house time to warm up slowly and efficiently.

By using all of these tips and tricks, heating your home will be much more of an economic expense.

Keep the Heat In and the Cold out

Keep the Heat In and the Cold out

Don’t Burn Money To Keep Warm

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Burning money to keep warm



The weather is up and down. Sunny and warm one moment, wind and rain the next. Having to turn your heating on and off. I myself, tried for as long as I could, to go without those radiators giving me warmth.  Starting and stopping the boiler cannot be good for any system and the number of boiler related call outs increased from the first week of September to the first week of October by over 72%, they will continue to increase as the temperatures get colder and colder.

Not picking the right plumber can be a costly experience especially if they are not registered and qualified. Over 60% of people pick their plumbers on cost. Going for the cheapest option can cost you more in the long run. Ideally you want your plumber to be on an approved contractor’s scheme and or have credentials and references.

Using an unqualified plumber could cost you a lot more money when you have to pay to rectify any mistakes. According to figures from Watersafe (a recognised plumbers register), Britons have had to pay more than £2.5 billion to fix bungled plumbing jobs.

The danger is not just about how bigger a dent the mistake makes to your pocket, but there could also be health and safety implications as well, for instance your water could get contaminated.

You can go to the Watersafe directory and find a list of registered and accredited plumbers local to your area.

You might not actually need a plumber, there are many things that you can do yourself to maintain your heating system, Plumbing Tools can help.

Wind Farm Opponents Need A Rethink

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The Liberal Democrat energy Secretary, Mr Davey accused the Conservatives of trying to ruin the renewable energy industry. Singling out The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson. Mr Davey warned that Mr Paterson wants to completely get rid of wind turbines.

Wind Farm

Renewable Energy has to be the way to go?

According to The Telegraph, It has been found that members of Mr Davey’s department have tried to stop a report from being commissioned by Mr Paterson about the impact of wind farms on the countryside.

Government sources claimed that Mr Davey was troubled about the report as the “Lib Dem” ideology on Wind Farms would not fit. The report was to look at how turbines affect house prices.

Strangely enough, before Mr Davey’s conference speech, in an interview, he warned that Mr Paterson’s report would be potentially inaccurate and “partial”.

Mr Davey is having a tough time dealing with “trench warfare” and is his Tory colleagues over Green Energy saying that opposers of wind farms are stuck in the “stone ages”.

Mr Paterson is against wind farms however this is not the agreed coalition position, Mr Davey is having to point this out to Mr Paterson.

David Cameron has mentioned many times that fracking could reduce energy bills. The Energy Secretary has contradicted this and said that fracking does not hold the answers to the UK’s high energy bills.

Mr Davey was trying to avoid exaggerating about fracking and needs to weigh up all the evidence.

Last month the Prime Minister insisted that the country must accept fracking and that it could reduce everyone’s energy bills, that there would be tens of thousands jobs and windfalls for many communities.

Mr Cameron also pledged that there would not be any damage to the countryside.

Fracking is a way of extracting natural gas. It involves fracturing rocks very deep underground using chemicals and water. Fracking has been a great success in the USA and has reduced energy bills dramatically.

The Ministers are obviously hoping for the same bill cutting success in the UK. Although there have been a lot of protesters in West Sussex.

I Need a Plumber!

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013


Hiring a plumber can be a mine field, many are reputable and good quality but the industry has suffered with its share of sub-standard contractors, not playing with a straight bat when it comes to their work.

We will all need the help of a good plumber at some point whether it is to stop a leaking tap, unblocking a drain, manage heating systems and much more. Whatever the job, you will want it to be done properly, to last and to not break the bank.

If you know a good plumber through friends, family or neighbours, word of mouth can be the ideal solution when looking to hire one. Evidence of a job well done.

If you don’t know of any plumbers, then here are some good ways to ensure that you will get the best service and value for money when blindly searching out your ideal person for the job.

There are many trade sites around now that list certified plumbers, There are so many to choose from, narrow the search to your area and look into people that have had good reviews.

Get a selection of quotes

Unless you have an emergency on your hands, try to get a minimum of three detailed quotes before you finally decide on the right plumber for you. If a plumber is trying to quote over the phone, be cautious of this. Surely the plumber would need to see the job to know what exactly entailed, the job might not be as straight forward as when face to face with it, unless it is something like changing a tap.  Make sure that you get your estimate in a written format as a verbal contract will not protect you.

There are some things to look out for in your written quote. Are one of the bids much lower than some of the others? A well-known plumbing scam is giving a low quote. This could mean that the cost for labour has not been accounted for. Often you will have to pay the costs for extra labour before the plumber has finished the job. So make sure that you ask all questions regarding the complete job. If the quote is higher than the others, don’t be afraid to ask why?

Down Payment

Many contractors request a down payment before beginning the job. Usually charged around 10%, this can be called a call out fee. There are a lot of plumbers who do not have call out fees, Check if it is buried into your quote. Some contractors will charge higher rates for the first hour of the job, even when the job is a 10 minute one. Ask the plumber to carry out routine maintenance checks and give your system a check-up, after all, you have paid for an hours work. The contractor could be able to warn you about upcoming problems to look out for, so you can prepare yourself for expense down the line.  

Stay Alert

If you live in rented accommodation or flats. The will be the odd time that a plumber will call in, usually legitimately saying that he is calling on behalf of the landlord or the that the water board have sent him round to check the mains and carry out maintenance. Always check the plumbers identification (always check any contractors identification with their company or your landlord). There have been some unfortunate cases of theft by a scamming contractor. So always check.

Switch Up

Once you receive your official quote, any parts that need to be purchased for the job should be listed with the make and model of the parts. People have experienced being charged for more expensive parts, when cheaper parts have actually used on the job.

If you live in an area of affluence, then this could well reflect in the prices of your local plumber. This is why it is important to get a selection of quotes. Try looking for Plumbers that are situated no more than an hour away from you.



Global Energy Guide

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Worldwide demand for energy has risen relentlessly during the last 150 years and ties in with the industrial development and growth of the population. Forecasts show that the demand for energy will keep rising and by a minimum of 50% by 2030 because developing countries like India and China who need more energy to keep up with their rapid economic growth.

About 80% of the world’s energy is at present, supplied thorough fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal. Forming a very long time ago from the remains of dead animals and plants that are carbon rich, unfortunately these are non-renewable energy sources that are running out.

Over the last decade or so, there is worry about the impact on the environment. When fossil fuels are burning they create greenhouse gases which if not monitored and reduced will cause climate change.

The pressure is on to replace fossil fuels and find more renewable sources of energy that are non-polluting and enduring like solar energy or wind.

Nuclear Energy could be an option.

Fission: It’s the basis of current atomic energy production involving the decay of specific large atomic nuclei like uranium-235, which releases a lot of energy. Commercial nuclear reactors first started up in the 1950’s and now about 440 reactors supply over 15% of global electricity. This was supposed to be the failsafe option, delivering clean and plentiful fuel, however the nuclear industry struggled with its image, because of accidents like Chernobyl and the big job of dealing with radioactive waste. Now that fossil fuel prices are rising and reserves are getting lower, there is pressure mounting about dealing with climate change, some countries are looking towards Fission again.

Fusion: Energy can be released by forcing together light atomic nuclei instead of splitting heavy ones. This is the same process that power stars. Some believe that nuclear fusion will provide a safe and green energy source compared with fossil fuel. Allowing huge amounts of energy to be produced from plentiful sources like lithium and water. However this is a relatively new method and a commercial reactor has not been made yet and won’t be expected to be made until about 2050, if ever? There are still so many engineering and scientific tests to be made.

Hydropower is the best source of renewable energy. Relying on rainfall that flows into rivers, to dams. Water is then channelled to flow to a turbine and turn it, which then produces energy in a generator. After the dam is built, hydropower is a cheap source of power and there are no carbon dioxide emissions. Norway produced over 99% of its electricity for domestic use from hydro stations.

Wind is the second most successful renewable energy source. It is more costly per unit of electricity produced than fossil fuels. They are flexible as they be used on shore and off shore. Their efficiency is down to the weather. Some people also complain as they think that they can mar the landscape. Wind power seems to be more popular in Europe.

Sun is a renewable and emission free energy. IT is not a cheap method of using renewable energy as the initial set up is very high. But the costs are eventually lowering and once they are installed the actual energy source is free.

Wave and Tidal Power are big sources of unused energy from the ocean. These are new technologies and have not been explored to the extent that wind and solar energy have and development is costly.

Biomass is organic and a material that is non-fossil which creates a renewable energy source.

Heat Pumps could save you Money!!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Households could save money with heat pumps. Air source products could save a household £1,400 per year and around £3,000 per year on ground source installations according to the Senior Technical Manager at the Energy Savings Trust, Jaryn Bradford.

Heat pumps are an effective and efficient way of providing a cost effective heating solution for homes in the UK. The technical data which supports heat pump performance and feedback from the users shows that heat pumps that have been well installed and are operating correctly will perform to very high standards.

The government have targets to increase the usage of renewable heat sources and technologies. They require 12% of all heating to be from renewable sources by 2020.

It is a good time to look at installing heat pumps as the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) have had recent tariff announcements.

Currently the utilities industry is trying to better understand how heat pumps perform and what ensures that they perform to their best ability. Where will they best be installed? This will all assist in them in making the grids transition to a low carbon network.

The main important point of using a heat pump is having it installed correctly although Heat pump user behaviours does effect the performance of the pumps. 80% were satisfied with their pump installation.

The study shows that heat pumps are a positive technology and will continue to evolve and improve in regards to performance and efficiency.

Also the RHI will guarantee annual payments for the homeowners that install heat pumps. Which will mean good income and savings for about seven years.




Energy Firm wants End to Automatic Renewal Contracts

Friday, July 26th, 2013

E.On the energy giant is calling for a ban on rollover contracts for energy for small companies.  This follows the decision by Ofgem to hold off regarding the new rule regarding the end of contract dates.

E.On wants all of the energy companies to end the controversy and ban rollover contracts. The rollover contracts see businesses automatically committed to expensive long term deals.

Ofgem has declined to ban rollover plans until the industry insists upon it. British Gas has made an announcement that as of September 1st 2013 the new customers will not be sold products that automatically ties them into fixed term contracts.

E.On started this campaign after a result by Ofgem to put back the date where it is compulsory to have end dates on the actual contracts.

The Sales & Marketing Director at E.On, Anthony Ainsworth said that they know from their own business consumer panel and the research that got carried out independently, most small businesses don’t like the rollover process that happens automatically and they find it too complicated which is why they are wanting to make things more simple and straight forward by the industry working together. Anthony also added that if the new practice is accepted then the industry and the regulator will have to work together and make sure everything is fair. Providers must offer their customers simplicity, clarity and consistency.

E.on has introduced the end of contract dates onto customer’s bill as well as applying a “fair negotiation” Policy for companies that have missed or forgotten about their renewal dates. Although, none of this will ban the rollover deals as it needs to be the industry that pass the bill.

British Gas customers can actually opt for the fixed period contract from the 1st of September.

As of June 2014 current British Gas consumers will be able to choose the tariff they would like from a variety of options (fixed term contracts or variable contracts). If any BG customer reach the end of their contracts before June 2014 they will be able to jump over to a non-rollover contract if they get in contact to discuss what they would like to do next.

The Managing Director of British Gas, Stephen Beynon said that more and more BG small business customers have told us that they dislike the providers automatically moving them to new contracts. So British Gas have decided to keep their customers happy and hopefully entice more by getting rid of automatic renewal.

Ofgem are currently reviewing whether automatic renewal contracts should be banned across the board and they are considering the results. Ofgem will decide by winter of 2013-2014 (this year).

British Gas acting on the consumer’s request, shows a shift in the industry by the energy provider making the contracts much more flexible.

In June, EDF Energy launched a flexible contract for electricity providing small business with an alternative to a fixed duration, fixed price one. The contract allows the customer to leave the supplier whenever they want, without having to pay an exit charge.

The Director of SME at EDF Energy said that because small businesses are so busy, energy is often not a priority on their to do lists and they don’t have the time to fully investigate the energy market, so they commit for a longer time, often being stung.

This system suits some customers, but in the most part, customers want to have more control.




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