The Government’s Energy Security Strategy fails to deliver

The Government’s Energy Security Strategy fails to deliver


The Government’s Energy Security Strategy fails to deliver, according to the FMB

“The Energy Security Strategy completely misses the mark in tackling energy consumption in our homes,” laments Brian Berry, Chief Executive at the FMB. “While the strategy does deliver 0 per cent VAT on energy efficiency improvements – a welcome move that the FMB has long been campaigning for – this only helps those with the money to pay in the first place. A broader, insulation led, retrofit strategy would have been an immediate solution to reduce energy consumption, boost the economy and, importantly, help save homeowners money on their bills during a cost-of-living crises.”



Government’s energy strategy criticised for focusing on the use of solar panels.

“Solar panels will raise costs,” argues housing and planning policy head, Rico Wojtulewicz. “You have to get a qualified person to install them, they require grid reinforcement, smart systems or home energy storage, and a change of electrical supply system.” He stressed moving from gas to electricity for powering heating and vehicles would entail upgrading the grid from single-phase to three-phase capacity. Potentially, this could mean that a development of 20 homes might cost an extra £100,000 to deliver. Property finance intermediary Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders were worried that SME builders could be faced with unsustainable costs if asked to invest in infrastructure upgrades.


LSBUD enhances search accuracy by partnering with Google Maps

The new mapping system will benefit from detailed geospatial data and make searching for underground pipes and cables more accurate than ever before. In addition, users will have access to improved zoom capabilities, allowing them to determine their work sites much more precisely, and plot their proposed work areas via satellite imagery. This helps ensure that people can see property boundaries and features, something particularly useful when operating in agricultural and rural settings.

For more information about LSBUD, visit


The CITB Grants scheme is supporting employers

The latest data has revealed that almost 14,000 businesses have been supported in the form of grants, with over £77m paid out in the last year, and over 45 per cent of grant spent went to small and micro businesses. “We’re incredibly proud of the support the Grant Scheme has been able to provide many smaller businesses,” declares Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive. “The Scheme is in place for all eligible employers who are registered with CITB, making it a huge opportunity that could really make all the difference for a business wanting to expand or further develop their skills.”


Tradespeople use social media to help combat tool theft, finds Direct Line

Nearly four in 10 tradespeople (37 per cent) are using social media to combat tool theft, according to new research from Direct Line business insurance. They are using these platforms to warn each other about suspicious sellers, as well as educate themselves on criminal and suspicious activity in their area. The same study revealed that only a small number of tradespeople are taking additional steps to help minimise the effects of tool theft, such as keeping their insurance up to date and engraving or marking their tools to make it harder to resell them and make it easier to recognise the owner if the items are recovered.

For tips on how to keep your van and tools safe visit


Rated People reveals how UK tradespeople are going greener in 2022

Homeowner demand for ‘eco home improvements’ – such as roof insulation, electric car charging points, and heat pumps – is driving the nation’s builders to take advantage. Rated People research has found that almost two in three tradespeople (63 per cent) will be making eco changes to their businesses and work in 2022, and 70 per cent are planning to extend their skillset this year to take on more eco jobs. The findings are taken from the 2022 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report.

To view the full report visit



Government must incentivise hybrid heat pump systems, says Baxi

Baxi is calling on the government to incentivise hybrid systems which combine a specially adapted heat pump with a traditional gas boiler, potentially reducing gas usage by up to 70 per cent. The government is about to offer a grant of up to £5,000 to customers for switching to a pure heat pump solution as well as a VAT cut on the technology. Hybrids could, however, provide a way to reduce gas usage, reduce bills and decarbonise the nation’s heating.


The Structural Timber Association (STA) is championing the vital role of timber

In a new White Paper the STA highlights its exceptional sustainable properties, including its ability to sequester 0.9 tonnes of carbon per metre cubed, as well as its stance as the only truly renewable building resource. It also looks at the construction advantages of structural timber, such as fast build times, and how these can assist with current issues, including the UK’s housing crisis.


Worcester Bosch gears up for 60th birthday celebrations

In September 2022, the UK’s leading boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch reaches its 60th birthday. To celebrate the company is launching ‘More than 60’, a new campaign which sees 60 prizes gifted to deserving recipients. The rewards range from brand new power tools and van wraps to day-out experiences and new heating systems. For installers, Worcester Bosch is looking for those who went above and beyond for their customers, particularly during the uncertain times of the pandemic.


Barbour ABI teams up with NHIC and FMB to launch the home improvement partnership

The initiative is intended to shine a light on trends within the home improvement industry and ensure businesses from every part of the supply chain have access to data that will help them to plan for the future, develop their offering and invest in the areas that are likely to see growth going forward. In addition to Barbour ABI’s annual Home Improvement Report the organisation will also produce a monthly or quarterly summary which will be made available to all members of the NHIC and FMB.


Plumbers and electricians offered more tea than any other trade

Checkatrade has found that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of UK adults offer a tradesperson a cuppa. The study of 2,000 British homeowners found that plumbers (72 per cent) and electricians (72 per cent) are the most likely to be offered a cup of tea, followed by builders (70 per cent) and painter/decorators (69 per cent). Meanwhile, those cleaning our windows (28 per cent) or connecting our broadband (27 per cent) miss out the most with fewer Brits offering them a hot drink.


With changes to the Building Regulations coming into force in England, on 15th June, the FMB is urging the Government to provide clear guidance to help make sure small builders are informed of the changes. In the most recent State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), a startling 52 per cent of builders are not yet prepared or aware of the changes. The revised regulations aim to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and are interim measures ahead of the Future Homes and Building Standards set for 2025.


The Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group provides its latest findings

Supply challenges continue to affect bricks, aircrete blocks, roof tiles, gas boilers, plastic drainage and other plastic products dependent on polymers, and some electrical products particularly those using semi-conductors. Price inflation remains the major concern. There are reports that some suppliers are only willing to hold quotes for tender prices for 24 hours. The resulting uncertainty is leading some contractors to pause before entering fixed-price or long-term contracts. In addition, the volatility of energy prices means manufacturers of energy-intensive products are now warning of surcharges linked to energy costs.



Plumbing professionals are called in more often than any other trade to fix a botched DIY job

Water Regs UK compared a range of typical jobs that are carried out in UK homes and recorded how many people have tried but failed to complete the jobs themselves. Over 2,000 people across the UK were asked which home maintenance jobs they or a family member or friend had attempted, only to end up calling out a professional to fix the problem. Almost a fifth (18 per cent) of those surveyed said that they had called in a plumbing professional to complete a job they had tried to do themselves.


RoSPA’s Safer Stairs campaign achieves breakthrough

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is delighted to confirm that the Government is now proceeding with a consultation on updating the Building Regulations to include British Standard 5395-1 on stair design. The changes would, according to RoSPA, significantly improve the safety of all new-build homes, with the updated stair design associated with a staggering 60 per cent reduction in the risk of falls. RoSPA has called falls on the stairs “a hidden killer” which claims the lives of over 700 people in England every year and hospitalises 43,000 more.

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