FETA is the recognised UK body representing the interests of over 400 manufacturers, suppliers, installers and contractors within the heating, ventilating, building controls, refrigeration & air conditioning industry to policy makers and the wider public.

ADCAS The Voice of the Ductwork Industry

FETA is the low cost but high profile UK trade body which represents the diverse interests of manufacturers, suppliers, installers and contractors within the building services sector. It is split into six principle Associations ADCAS, BCIA, BFCMA, BRA, HEVAC and HPA.

Product types covered by FETA include ductwork, ducts, duct insulation,  pre insulated ductwork, dampers, grilles, louvres, building controls, flues, chimneys, refrigerated display cabinets, chilled cabinets, refrigeration contractors, refrigeration equipment, refrigeration components, refrigeration end users, air conditioning, air curtain, air distribution, air handling unit, chilled beam, chilled ceiling, demand controlled ventilation, fan coil unit, fans, ventilation, filter, fire damper, smoke damper, humidity, residential ventilation, smoke control, heat pumps


IMechE HVAC Conference

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is organising a two-day conference, HVAC Engineering: Design, Commissioning and Operational Considerations for Large Infrastructure, which will detail the latest strategies and technologies to address the key challenges associated with system design, operation and maintenance of HVAC systems.

The event will be held at One Birdcage Walk, London on 3-4 March 2020

Attendees will hear technical details about recent HVAC projects together with best practice that can applied across multiple industries, with examples covering Nuclear, Tunnelling, Data Centres, Pharmaceutical, Transportation and other sectors.

Join us in March and take away the insights and updates you need to optimise your processes, increase energy efficiency, comply with emissions legislation and ensure high levels of safety are maintained for your organisation's HVAC systems.

Further details can be found here.

Discount for FETA members: as a supporting organisation of this conference, FETA members can book at the discounted Supporting Organisation rate online and save on their place. Or alternatively contact the IMechE and mention your FETA membership – email eventenquiries@imeche.org



Payment practices, especially  retentions, are of interest to a number of our members, particularly  those involved in installation aspects. You may recall that we have in the past leant our support to sister organisations such as BESA, ECA and the SEC Gp in their efforts to champion this cause – most notably the work done last year by Mr Peter Aldous MP to promote his  Construction (Retentions Deposit Scheme) Bill. Although it had garnered considerable cross-party support it fell victim to the lack of parliamentary time as BREXIT and the General Election intervened.

Nevertheless, the fight continues and the Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn has taken over the cause from Mr Aldous and is promoting a bill which goes even further in its aims. Details of this encouraging development are in the following link:


In a separate development the Scottish Government are carrying out their own consultation on retentions. They commissioned some independent research; the culmination of which saw the following recommendation:  “that a fairer, more neutral and more protected approach to the practice of retentions should be sought” and they now seeks views on this. Members who are interested in this topic may find the arguments laid out in the preamble to the consultation document of interest.

Clearly those who feel strongly about this issue are encouraged to take part as, if Scotland can be persuaded to legislate,  then this is all to the good. Please note that respondents do not have to be based in Scotland to take part. The closure date is 25th March 2020.

Details are at the following link:



Government and the wider public sector buy a huge range of goods and services.  It’s not just the big-ticket items such as building prisons or buying aircraft carriers. You will find opportunities ranging from gardening services through to specialist scientific equipment used in the nuclear industry.

These business opportunities are advertised on Contracts Finder. This is the Government’s single online portal, where contracts valued above £10,000 in central government and above £25,000 in local government, the blue light services, and the NHS, are all listed. In addition, major government contractors are using Contracts Finder to advertise sub-contracts in their supply chains.

It’s free to use, where you can register and search thousands of opportunities. Simply go to https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.


EPEE Count on Cooling paper published and launch event announced

In November 2019, EPEE, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment published its white paper “Count on Cooling: A five-step approach to deliver sustainable cooling” during the UN’s 31st Meeting of the Parties in Rome.

EPEE and its members (of which FETA is one) are committed to provide and promote sustainable solutions that are fit for the future, demonstrating the industry’s value by contributing to carbon neutrality, and helping the EU to achieve its Paris Agreement goal.

The use of cooling is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades triggered by a warming climate and global trends such as increasing urbanisation. Cooling delivers substantial benefits in many respects, contributing to health, fresh and safe food, productivity and thermal comfort.

Andrea Voigt, EPEE’s Director General, stated: “Growth in the use of cooling could lead to increased energy consumption with associated greenhouse gas emissions and place significant burden on the electricity grid. But there are numerous solutions available to address these impacts, maximizing the benefits of cooling whilst minimising greenhouse gas emissions and electrical peak demand.”

EPEE’s White Paper, introduces a 5-step approach to deliver sustainable cooling; these are to (1) optimise the need for cooling, (2) improve the energy and resource efficiency of cooling, (3) mitigate the climate impact of refrigerants, (4) address the investment cost for higher efficiency solutions, (5) shift to renewable energy sources with an integrated approach to cooling and heating of individual buildings or whole cities.

Voigt concluded: “It’s not a lack of innovation or a question of available technology. It’s a question of raising awareness on what needs to be done to deliver sustainable cooling. Cooling provides a true opportunity to contribute to a carbon neutral Europe, but its potential has not been fully recognised yet. It’s time to change this perception and industry stands ready to deliver!”

EPEE’s White Paper to deliver sustainable cooling can be downloaded here

A dedicated website has been launched to highlight this project countoncooling.eu.

You can follow the project on Twitter at #countoncooling

The campaign will formally launch at an event to be held in Brussels on 24th March, which also coincides with EPEE's 20th anniversary.  Details here


New FETA Magazine available and details of FETA Annual Lunch

The 2020 FETA magazine has been published!  This years issue contains messages from FETA Chief Executive, Russell Beattie, and FETA Chairman, Mark Woods, together with a variety of articles from FETA's constituent associations.

The magazine can be downloaded as a pdf here


The 2020 FETA Annual Lunch will be held on 23rd April at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.  The after lunch speaker will be the well known former footballer, Kevin Keegan.

Bookings for the 2020 lunch can be made by contacting the event organiser Touchwave Media; 07792 720 597

The opportunity exists for companies to sponsor all aspects of this event, from the ticket invitations to table favours! To find out how your company can become a sponsor and gain some excellent promotional exposure, call FETA on 0118 940 5043 or email us at info@feta.co.uk.

Further details can be found here




The 11th Rushlight Show, kindly sponsored by Innovate UK, BEIS, Flanders Investment & Trade,  Carbon Limiting Technologies, Granted Consultancy, Venner Shipley and London South Bank University is taking place on Thursday 30 January 2020 at Church House Westminster, Deans Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3NZ.  It is the leading event for cleantech companies and sustainable solutions to meet investors and financiers, corporate customers, government departments, advisers and intermediaries in the heart of London.

The event highlights are:

  1. The Innovation Showcase of the Cleantech Conference, with 40 companies presenting their latest cleantech and sustainability innovations to an audience of investors, corporate venturers and potential partners.
  2.  The Sustainable Solutions Market Panel, where organisations present their market-ready products and services directly to a panel and audience of leading sustainability and procurement representatives from UK organisations who are seeking to further their supply chain sustainability and resilience.
  3. The Innovate UK and BEIS Showcases in the Exhibition, together with the poster exhibition, amounting to over 100 of the latest innovations in cleantech and sustainability.
  4. UK Energy breakfast seminar, which will set out:  What Net Zero by 2050 means for UK Energy & Fuels.  This is a must attend event for anyone with an interest in UK power generation, the energy market, transport systems and fuels.
  5.  The Resourceful Conference, in association with LCRN and the Circular Economy Club, which is the market place for the development of the circular economy, with a major opportunity for solutions providers and intermediaries to present to investors, local authorities, government and corporates eager to engage in this space.
  6. A cooked breakfast, lunch and networking opportunities throughout the day.

The total audience for the whole event is expected to exceed 500 and will include cleantech senior management, investors, advisers, corporate customers, sustainability professionals, local authorities, community reuse businesses, trade associations, media and other consultants specialising in the various sectors. 

Full event details are available at www.rushlightevents.com/rushlight-show.  With delegate places for the whole Show starting at £85/ £110/ £160 plus VAT, this event is designed to be both informative and exceptional value for money.  If you wish to attend just the UK Energy Breakfast Seminar element of the day, the cost is £45 plus VAT, whereas the breakfast event is free for those registered for the whole day.  Registration for all aspects of the event is HERE.

Companies interested in presenting in the Innovation Showcase, to the Sustainable Solutions Market Panel or to the Resourceful Conference panel of investors, circular economy customers and local authorities merely have to register as a delegate(s) and then apply for one of the remaining slots.

Delegates for the Rushlight Show can obtain an attractive discount to attend the Rushlight Awards Party which takes place in the evening after the Show at the same venue.




Karen Perry becomes the new Chair of The IOR's Women in RACHP Network

Karen Perry from Daikin has recently become the new Chairperson for the Institute of Refrigeration’s (IOR) Women in RACHP Network. She follows in the footsteps of Samantha Buckell who held the position for the last three years. Talking about her appointment, Karen said “I am honoured to take over from Samantha as Chair and look forward to taking the group further to contribute to the HVACR industry by attracting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

Karen is taking on this new role following a busy year for the network which included the successful “100 for a 100” campaign aimed to increase female membership of the IOR. While discussing the future direction of the IOR’s WiRACHP Steering Group, Karen said “Having worked in this industry for 25 years I hope to share positive experience and ideas to support women in the industry and also attract new people through our network.”

Looking back on her tenure and the recent achievements of the network, Samantha Buckell said “over the last three years the group has gone from strength to strength.  I have been very lucky to be part of a conscientious hard-working team of people from the industry.  One of our main strengths is undoubtably inclusivity.” Discussing Karen’s appointment, Samantha said “Karen is the perfect person to move the Steering Group into its next stage and I am very excited to see where we go next.”

The IOR’s Women in RACHP Network offers a series of practical events and talks open to all aimed to improve diversity in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump sector. To find out more about the network and hear about future events, please visit the network’s dedicated page.



Heat Pump Association launches vision report

The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has launched its vision report; “Delivering Net Zero: A Roadmap for the Role of Heat Pumps”. The report, available to download from the HPA website, https://www.heatpumps.org.uk/resources/, outlines the heat pump industry’s commitment and readiness to step up to the challenge of delivering the necessary decarbonisation of heat through the scaling up of heat pump deployment.

The industry’s efforts to establish wide-scale deployment of heat pumps in the UK will be delivered through three key pillars:

  1. Putting the consumer at the heart of change
  2. Upskilling the installer base to create a cohort of highly skilled low-carbon heat installers
  3. Working with government to ensure a supportive policy mix

The decarbonisation of heat is a key priority following the government’s announcement that the UK will become the first major nation to commit to reaching a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. The report demonstrates the vast carbon savings that heat pumps can achieve immediately, that will be vital to avoiding the worst consequences of the climate crisis. The question of how we are going to decarbonise the heating of buildings in the future is of huge interest to designers, occupiers and installers. The roadmap presented in the report offers a large part of the answer to this.

Emissions through the burning of fossil fuels will not fall unless low-carbon heating systems are attractive to consumers, either by improving comfort levels or saving them money. The vision report enforces a message to consumers that heat pump technology can help to address other policy issues such as fuel poverty and air quality.

Installers will play a vital role in raising awareness among potential customers but there is an urgent need for trained and skilled technicians to be able to design, install and operate heat pump systems properly. Over the coming months, the HPA will work with other leading organisations to roll out a programme of training that will take existing heating engineers through the whole process of designing, installing and maintaining efficient low-carbon heating systems.

The report also calls for strong government leadership at both local and national levels and highlights the work the HPA carries out in consulting with all stakeholders to develop effective policy on the regulatory framework for the future of heating buildings to phase out high carbon fossil fuels.

Graham Wright, Chairman of the HPA, said: “The heating industry has been one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions and we now find ourselves at a pivotal moment as we look to decarbonise our heating supply. The HPA believes that there is a huge opportunity for the country to embrace heat pump technology at this time, and we want to re-emphasise the fact that heat pumps provide strong carbon savings now that will only increase further in the future.

“However, the successful widespread adoption of heat pumps relies on the industry stepping up to help shape strong government policy, education and consumer acceptance. This report will act as a ‘roadmap’ in how we can achieve these goals and help the UK achieve the net-zero carbon emissions target.”






Apprentices show off their talent at the SkillFRIDGE final 2019

The WorldSKills UK Live final, November 21-23, saw the SkillFRIDGE finalists go head to head to compete for the coveted gold medal.

The finals were held at the NEC in Birmingham and spanned several convention halls, where hundreds of apprentices from a wide range of industries and came together to compete to be the best in their sector. The atmosphere was filled with the nerves and excitement of the young competitors, all focussed on their own specialities.

After competing in regional heats, seven RACHP apprentices made it to the WorldSkills Final. Whilst being scrutinised by the judges, the apprentice’s skills were assessed as they completed a total of four tasks.

Sidney Copus, who won the national SkillFRIDGE trophy, was the front runner going into the WorldSkills Final. In addition to the 2019 apprentices, visitors also saw the return of SkillFRIDGE’s 2018 winner, Dominic Dray, as he competed for a place on Team UK.

David Dunn, sales managing director of Toshiba Carrier UK, said: “SkillFRIDGE is a superb initiative. It challenges and rewards young trainees to improve their skills and knowledge, and pursue excellence. We are delighted to once again be supporting the competition as headline sponsor, and look forward to the SkillFRIDGE 2020 events planned for next year.”  Toshiba Carrier, the headline sponsor of SkillFRIDGE, provided a range of equipment for this year’s competition.

Following the two days of competition and Saturday’s feature task, the Gold medal was awarded to Sidney Copus of Space Engineering, certifying him as the SkillFRIDGE Champion of 2019. He commented: “I’m feeling very happy about my win and extremely relieved. After coming top in the regionals, I felt quite a bit of pressure to get a win in the finals and the step up in difficulty was a bit of a surprise.

The win’s given me a little confidence boost, but the biggest thing about it for me is all the support and messages I’ve got from my lecturers, colleagues and friends. Everyone has been really supportive the whole way through and I’m glad to be able to win it for Space and Bath College!”

Ben Wilson of Knights Engineers claimed Silver and Joshua Collins of JD Cooling came away with the Bronze.



IOR members in South West set up local Society

The new South West and South Wales Refrigeration Society was officially launched earlier this month during an Institute of Refrigeration Cool Talk Breakfast Briefing. With over 35 participants at the launch meeting it has generated a lot of interest with many talking enthusiastically about future plans for the society.

The programme for the event offered a good variety of topics with updates on refrigerants and developments in air conditioning technology.   The Society aims to provide local networking meetings and technical talks to appeal to a wide range of interests in the sector whether you work in refrigeration, in air-conditioning or with heat pumps.

Miriam Rodway, CEO for the Institute of Refrigeration said “ the IOR is very keen to increase and support local activity, whether this is IOR regional branches or independent societies such as the South West and South Wales group. This a great example of members getting together to make something happen!”

If you would like to become involved with the South West and South Wales Refrigeration Society, or set up a local group in your area please contact the IOR at ior@ior.org.uk.


IOR announces appointment of new President-Elect and trustees

At the recent IOR AGM held on 6th November the current President, Kevin Glass, announced that Mike Creamer had been voted in as the next President-Elect. The role of the President-Elect is to join the Board of Trustees and support the current President until his term concludes at the next AGM in 2020. Mike is well known to many through his training organisation Business Edge and has been involved in the industry for over 40 years.

The annual election has also led to the appointment of two new Trustees, Lisa-Jayne Cook MInstR and Juliet Loiselle MInstR.

Lisa is currently working as a sales and applications engineer at J&E Hall and is serving on the IOR’s WiRACHP steering committee. With over 19 years’ experience in the RACHP industry, Lisa was recently named as one of the top 50 female engineers by the Womens’s Engineering Society (WES).

Juliet is publisher of ACR News and Heat Pumps Journal and has been involved in the industry for more than 16 years. During this time, she has overseen the launch of the Trainee of the Year Awards (TOTY) and played a key role in the campaign to encourage more women to enter the RACHP industry.


To tackle climate change, the UK has a legal commitment for carbon emissions to be net zero by 2050. This means that high carbon fossil fuels currently used to heat our buildings will need to be replaced with low carbon fuels and technologies. In order to be successful, it will be vital that those working in the industry are a contributory part of this change.

A survey launched by industry member organisations, and supported by government, gave installers, plumbers and heating engineers an opportunity to share their views to help ensure Government understands the opportunities and risks that installers face in the transition to low carbon heating and the challenge of communicating the necessary changes to households and consumers.

Key findings included:

  • 90% of respondents work in organisations with less than 10 people and 48% are sole traders.
  • A large proportion of respondents were from an older demographic: 82% of respondents were aged 41 or over and 58% were 51 or over.
  • 74% of installers do not rate themselves as ‘very confident’ in recommending and choosing the best low carbon options to their customers.
  • Just 11.5% of respondents have customers who frequently ask about low carbon heating, renewable energy, or carbon emissions, while 69% say that they are either rarely or never asked.
  • Factors that installers rate as very important in influencing the decision to retrain are ‘obligatory training for organisation membership’ (58%), ‘new mandatory installation standards’ (50%), ‘future mandatory installation standards’ (42%) and ‘demand from customers’ (38%).
  • Installers believe the best way to increase awareness about the need for renewable heating systems is through communications and marketing.
  • Nearly half (41%) of the installers surveyed said that they understand what moving away from high carbon technologies means for their job, but more still needs to be done to raise awareness among installers.

A link to a summary of the survey data is available here 


Play a starring role at the 2020 BCIA Awards

Does your company deserve to be in the spotlight? Perhaps a fellow colleague deserves some extra recognition after exceeding expectations on a project? Don’t miss the chance to put your company on the map by entering the illustrious 2020 BCIA Awards. Don’t delay as time is running out – the deadline for entries is Friday 20 December 2019.

The BCIA Awards has truly become ‘the’ industry night of the year in the building controls and BEMS sector. If you’ve not entered the Awards before, now is the time to bite the bullet. Who wants to be an extra when you can play a starring role on the biggest night of the year? Firstly, the Awards are free to enter and you can enter more than one category. Secondly, an independent expert panel of judges using clearly defined criteria will analyse all entries to ensure it is a fair and stringent process for all.

There are nine categories up for grabs this year including a brand-new Smart Buildings accolade which will be awarded to a manufacturer, installer or team in recognition of a project which demonstrates how smart technology has been used to enhance the user experience in a building or building complex.

Other popular categories include Building Controls and BEMS Installer of the Year, Technical Innovation of the Year – Projects, Energy Management Award, Best Service & Maintenance Provider, Contribution to Training Award and Technical Innovation of the Year – Products.
Individuals also get their chance to be celebrated with the Engineer of the Year Award and the Young Engineer of the Year accolade (for those 35 and under).

The entry process is quick and simple as it is done online via the BCIA website. If you are looking to gain exposure for your business, being named a finalist or winner confirms your capabilities to a very wide audience and more importantly shows that you are at the top of your game. Don’t let your hard-earned success go unnoticed, the Awards present a unique opportunity for companies, engineers and products to be recognised in a growing and dynamic industry.

So, don’t be caught standing in the wings, get centre stage under the spotlight by selecting your category and get your application submitted.


BCIA President Jon Belfield said: “By showcasing and celebrating examples of excellence, we raise the bar yet again in the exciting and growing sector of building automation. The BCIA Awards not only provide a massive boost for any team or individual, but they are integral to increasing our professional standards, business opportunities and gaining unique publicity. So, if you have what it takes, help raise the bar again and prove it by entering the 2020 BCIA Awards today”

Remember to use the hashtag #BCIAAwards20 to stay up to date with the event.


Heat pump industry rises to meet low carbon challenge

Reducing or eliminating domestic carbon emissions will involve transforming the UK’s entire housing stock through a combination of improved insulation, behavioural change and a reduction in the use of carbon intensive heating. For Manchester and the wider city region, this equates to retrofitting up to 1.2 million properties, while ensuring that new homes are built to the highest possible standard.

Working with Manchester City Council, Manchester Climate Change Agency and wider stakeholders, Low Carbon Homes opens on the 14th November at Manchester’s Friends Meeting House to tackle the particular challenges of retrofit across the city region.

A major new feature of the free-to-attend event is Heat Pump Focus - an event within an event - in which heat pump associations, manufacturers, system designers and installers will demonstrate the role of heat pumps in helping Manchester meet its 2038 zero carbon ambition.

This week, the UK Government issued a consultation on their proposed Future Homes Standard, involving a major review of Building Regulations, which affect how new homes are specified and constructed. A further consultation is anticipated soon to address the more complicated issue of existing homes. The current consultation proposes that widespread use of energy efficient technology is deployed to reduce the carbon impact of domestic heating, (which accounts for 17% of UK emissions) including heating system design suitable for heat pumps.

Although not a new technology, heat pumps (which can be up to four times more efficient than conventional electric or gas heating, emitting up to three times less carbon than gas combination boilers) have not been widely adopted in the UK for various historic reasons but are widely adopted in other North European Countries such as Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Norway. With the industry assembled on 14th November, Heat Pump Focus provides a unique opportunity for housing professionals to explore and better understand the benefits of heat pumps - at all scales of development - from individual properties to heat networks, and how to utilise the natural thermal energy stored in ground, air and water.

Presentations and Q&A sessions will cover technology fit, current policy and longer-term direction of the heat pump industry in pursuit of net zero.

Heat Pump Focus contributors include HPA, GSHPA, NIBE Energy Systems, Vaillant, Infinitas Design, Kensa Contracting,

Star Renewable Energy, LG and Daikin.

More details can be found here.


A major new payment and mental health survey has been launched by 27 bodies in the UK construction industry, to understand how poor payment practices are impacting mental health and business wellbeing.

The survey is being run by leading engineering services trade bodies ECA and BESA, in association with the Prompt Payment Directory.

The survey can be completed here - www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PLV22QP


ECA Director of Legal and Business Rob Driscoll commented:

“Mental health is an increasingly important - and costly - issue in both construction and wider society.

“This major initiative from ECA and BESA aims to connect the dots between poor payment practices and the impact on the mental health of business owners and senior managers, along with the wider impacts on other employees and their families. 


BESA Head of Legal and Commercial Debbie Petford commented:


“Poor mental health is bad for wellbeing and bad for business. The survey is an important next step in the campaign to reform retentions and the late payment culture in the industry. It will help us gain an understanding of the human costs of these practices, that are often overlooked.”


The survey, which is aimed mainly at business owners, CEOs and managers, contains just 12 questions and should take just minutes to complete. It runs from Thursday 12 September – Thursday 10 October, and answers are completely confidential.

Survey supporters cover a range of construction activity, including electrical, plumbing, building, scaffolding, roofing, civil engineering, fire safety, painting and decorating, and interiors. They include the National Federation of Builders, SEC Group and FETA (see Notes to Editors for full list).

The survey supporters are all part of a wider industry coalition pressing Government to reform the practice of cash retentions in in construction. Cash retentions is widely considered to be one of the most unfair and abused payment practices in the industry.



SKILLcard renewals now available online

Holders of Engineering Services SKILLcards are now able to renew their cards online following another upgrade of the online SKILLcard application system operated by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The application process for new SKILLcards moved online earlier this year and the website (www.skillcard.org.uk) has now been further enhanced to accommodate renewals.

More than 60,000 people working in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration sectors hold the Engineering Services SKILLcard. It provides evidence that they have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out on construction sites.

BESA took the SKILLcard process online following a survey of the sector, which showed that more than 75% of card holders would prefer to apply and renew online.

Engineering Services SKILLcard was the first of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Partner card schemes to go ‘smart’ easing the process of updating the holder’s qualifications and making it simpler and quicker for site managers to check skills and prevent potential fraud.

“The response to our online application service has been really encouraging with users describing it as fast, easy to use and convenient,” said Rachel Davidson, Director of Certification at BESA. “After a rigorous testing process, we are now able to offer renewals online as well, which I hope our users will find equally helpful.”

The CSCS Partner schemes, such as SKILLcard, are playing a crucial role in the government’s 2025 Construction Industry Strategy by helping clients check whether workers have the right qualifications for the job in hand and have suitable health & safety training.

Speeding up and streamlining the application process to keep up with the pace of change across the industry was, therefore, regarded as a priority by BESA.

To access the SKILLcard online application service go to: www.skillcard.org.uk


Women in RACHP Network launches survey

The Women in RACHP Network is encouraging everyone in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector to take a survey to be in with a chance of winning a Latitude travel charger set.

As the RACHP sector continues to struggle to bring more women into the industry and utilise female talent to its full potential, the Women in RACHP Network is undertaking research in this area in an aim to drive change. The network is requesting 5 minutes from all industry peers, in order to collect data to benchmark the industry’s benefits and attitudes towards women and explore what should be done to close the gender gap. 

The research by the Women in RACHP Network focuses on cultural change, in order to re-brand the industry to be more female-friendly. By focusing on equal pay, a clear path of progression and a healthy work-life balance, it is expected that the survey results will play an important part in the wider goal of promoting the role of women in a male-oriented industry as well as showcasing the amazing opportunities RACHP has to offer to the next generation of female leaders.

Everybody working in the RACHP sector can take part in the short survey, and all entrants completing the questions before December 1st will be added to a prize draw to win a Latitude travel charger set.

Astrid Prado, Member of the Steering Committee at the IOR’s Women in RACHP Network, said, “Women make up 25% of all people employed in the manufacturing industry and 12% of those employed in the construction industry in the UK. Although there are no official figures in the UK the reality of the RACHP sector is comparable to that of the US where women represent only 1.2% of the HVACR workforce.

A reputation for being ‘man’s work’ is failing to attract talented women at all levels in the industry. Benefits are also failing to keep pace with the configuration and expectations of a diverse and modern workforce as we are living with the residual legacy of work packages developed decades ago for a largely male, full-time workforce. In order to drive change, we must redesign current workplace practices to accommodate the diversity of today’s workforce who want flexibility, equal opportunities, and better access to training and development”

Let’s change this today by collecting extensive data on the gender-parity gap in the RACHP industry, establishing what are the most female friendly practices that promote diversity and inclusion, and pushing improvements forward, to help encourage more women into the RACHP industry.”

Through this research led by the Women in RACHP network, feedback from industry professionals will be used to evaluate progress over time. Questions are based on the industry’s current business practices and will highlight what the most female friendly practices that promote diversity and inclusion are. 

Astrid added, “Although this is only a starting point, the outcome of the research will serve not only as a point of reference but as industry guidance for the future, to help us improve and ensure we offer an attractive package to women so that they are inspired to join and stay in the industry.”

The survey is open to both men and women working in all roles and from all pay grades and structures.

Anyone taking part in the survey can request a complimentary copy of the report for reference, which is a great opportunity for businesses to compare against and ensure they are able to attract and retain top talent.

The Women in RACHP Network was set up by the Institute of Refrigeration as an educational and networking group to encourage diversity in the workforce and promote the role of women in refrigeration. To take the survey go to  www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/wrachp19 


The Science and Technology Committee has highlighted the lack of Government policies in place to deliver the net zero target by 2050 and recommends 10 steps the Government should take to meet this legally binding target.

The Committee welcomes the Government’s decision to strengthen its long-term emissions reduction target, to effectively eliminate all emissions by 2050. However, the Committee on Climate Change has warned that the UK is not even on course to meet its existing legally binding targets for 2023 to 2032. The Committee’s Report on clean growth highlights that urgent Government action is needed to reverse the current policy trend of cut backs and slow progress.

The Committee identifies ten key areas in which Government policy to support the implementation of low-carbon technology has been delayed, cut back or undermined carbon reductions:
1. the 'plug-in grant' for low-emissions cars was reduced for the lowest-emissions cars in October 2018, and cut completely for other low-emissions cars;
2. fuel duty has been frozen for nine years in a row, while bus and train fares have been allowed to increase every year over the same period;
3. the 'feed-in tariff' for low-carbon power generation was closed;
4. the Energy Companies Obligation scheme was restricted to vulnerable households in November 2018, despite the Government conceding that this would result in lower carbon emissions reductions being achieved;
5. the Government launched a consultation on how to build a market for those able to pay for their own domestic energy efficiency improvements in 2017, but has still not announced what new policy framework will emerge from the consultation responses;
6. following the cancellation of the 'zero-carbon homes' policy in 2015, the Government said that it would consult on changes to building regulations in 2019 to improve energy efficiency—but no consultation has been launched;
7. changes to business rates in 2017 have seen business rates on solar panels increase between three- and eight-fold, equating to thousands of pounds in additional costs each year for schools, SMEs and hospitals;
8. onshore wind and large-scale solar power have been excluded from the financial support mechanism available to other renewable power technologies since 2017, and planning permission for onshore wind farms has also been made more difficult to obtain since 2015;
9. the ‘Renewable Heat Incentive’ scheme is due to close in 2021 but no replacement scheme has yet been announced; and
10. the Government’s new White Paper on ‘The future of the energy market’ was due to be published in “early” 2019, but has not yet been published.


Recommendations for change
Against this backdrop of policy delays and reversals, the Committee makes a series of recommendations across different sectors, including transport, heating, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas removal to get the UK ready for net-zero by 2050. Ten priorities include:
1. Strategy for decarbonising heat: The Government must urgently develop a clearer strategy for decarbonising heat. This will require large-scale trials of different heating technologies, such as heat pumps and hydrogen gas heating, operating in homes and cities to build the evidence base required for long-term decisions.
2. Incentive scheme for energy efficiency home improvements: Previous initiatives to encourage the installation of energy efficiency improvements in the ‘able-to-pay’ market have failed because they have focused too narrowly on providing financial support for specific interventions. In order to incentivise homeowners to install energy efficiency improvements, the Government should consider adjusting Stamp Duty so that it varies according to the energy performance of the home as well as the price paid for it. Homebuyers should then be able to make energy efficiency improvements within a defined time after purchasing the property, and claim back corresponding reductions in the Stamp Duty paid retrospectively. The Government should additionally establish a ‘Help to Improve’ scheme by July 2020 that offers matched funding and interest-free loans to homeowners, to cover the costs of making energy efficiency improvements.
3. Plan for reducing vehicle emissions: The Government must bring forward the date of its proposed ban on the sales of new ‘conventional’ cars and vans to 2035 at the latest, and ensure that it covers hybrids too. In the near-term, the Government must reconsider the fiscal incentives for consumers to purchase both new and used vehicle models with lower emissions. The Government should also work with public services and owners of public land, such as schools and hospitals, to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle chargepoints, and introduce measures to ensure that chargepoints are interoperable, compatible with a smart energy system, reliable, and provide real-time information on their current functionality. Although ultra-low emissions vehicles generate very little emissions during use, their manufacture generates substantial emissions. In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership therefore does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation. The Government should not aim
to achieve emissions reductions simply by replacing existing vehicles with lower-emissions versions.
4. Support for onshore wind and solar power: The Government must ensure that there is strong policy support for new onshore wind power and large-scale solar power projects, where there is local support and projected cost-savings for consumers over the long-term. Planning consent and technological lifetimes mean that most existing onshore wind farms were expected to last 25 years before needing to be decommissioned or ‘re-powered’ with upgraded equipment. The Government should ensure that national planning policy facilitates the re-powering of existing sites, with a clear planning permission framework for re-powering existing onshore wind farms in place by the end of 2020.
5. Review of the Smart Export Guarantee: The Government must review the functioning of the Smart Export Guarantee―the planned successor to the feed-in tariff scheme―by the end of 2020, and should be ready to include a minimum price floor if there is evidence of a lack of market competitivity—for example, if uptake of tariffs is not significantly greater than the current number of tariffs or if the tariffs offered are significantly lower than wholesale electricity prices.
6. Sustain nuclear power without growing the industry: The Government must make a decision on the future finance framework for new nuclear power by the end of 2019. Subject to value for money, the Government should seek to support new nuclear power generation so as to sustain, but not grow, the UK’s nuclear power industry. It must anticipate any gap in future generation capacity such a policy would cause, and support sufficient renewable power alternatives to fill the gap.
7. Removal of greenhouse gases: The Government should launch a consultation to inform the development of a future framework for managing and incentivising greenhouse gas removal on the scale required for net-zero emissions, and to provide greater certainty to encourage private investment in the development of these technologies. In line with this strategy, the Government should be ready to increase funding for research, development and demonstration of greenhouse gas removal technologies.
8. Clear action on carbon capture, usage and storage: The Government must provide greater clarity on the details of its carbon capture, usage and storage action plan, setting out:
a. what it considers to be deployment at scale;
b. what constitutes cost-effectiveness or sufficient cost-reduction;
c. how it expects to share costs with industry; and
d. what the major milestones for the plan are, as well as when they are expected to be achieved.
The Government should learn from previous carbon capture and storage projects and ensure that a sufficient number of projects, of sufficient scale, are undertaken to optimise the chance of successful deployment, and that the knowledge gained from publicly-funded work is publicly accessible.
9. Clean growth regulation of the energy market: The Government should consider the case for amending Ofgem’s principal objective so that it explicitly
includes ensuring that regulations align with the emissions reduction targets set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.
10. Support for local authorities: The Government should support local authorities and members of the public in contributing to the UK’s net zero target. For local authorities, this should include access to low-cost, long-term finance as well as a statutory duty to develop emission reduction plans in line with the national targets set by the Climate Change Act 2008. For members of the public, the Government should publish an easily accessible central guide explaining what measures households can take to support decarbonisation and re-introduce a bespoke telephone and visiting advice service.

Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:
“Parliament has declared a climate emergency. The worrying effects of climate change, such as heatwaves, wildfires and flooding are already occurring at an alarming rate and will have a huge impact on future generations. Throughout our inquiry, it was worrying to hear that although the Government may be ambitious when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, it is not putting the policies in place which are needed to achieve those targets. We need to see the Government put its words into actions.
“The Government's own projections suggest that the UK is not currently on track to meet its current emission targets, let alone net zero by 2050. The rate of deployment of several key low-carbon technologies is significantly lower than what is required to meet the Government's ambitions, and various stakeholders expressed concern at the current and projected rate of progress of the UK's decarbonisation.
“We heard of cut backs in various programmes and slow progress, which are incompatible with the UK's two upcoming, legally binding, carbon budgets—this is unacceptable. If Governments across the world fail to act, it will have dire consequences for the environment and generations to come.
“The scale of the challenge cannot be underestimated. This Report clearly highlights ten key areas of concern and we hope the Government listens to our realistic, achievable recommendations on how to make the UK a world leader in cutting carbon emissions once again.”


European groups produce leaflet on illegal refrigerant imports

With the European market swamped with cheap, illegal refrigerant, the contractors association AREA, refrigeration component manufacturers group ASERCOM, refrigerant producers organisation EFCTC, and EPEE, the European Partnership for Energy & the Environment, have joined together to produce Protect your business: buy refrigerant from safe sources.

The new leaflet gives a brief overview on how to distinguish safe sources from illegal ones and how to recognise illegal refrigerants. 

It warns that the risks of buying illegal refrigerant are high and range from hefty fines to risks for health and safety for installers and users. 

The leaflet also warns of the environmental impact of the illegal trade: it undermines the F-gas regulation’s aim to phase down HFCs and increases the risks of refrigerant leakage to atmosphere through the use of inadequate cylinders, or illegal disposable cylinders.

It recommends that refrigerant should only be purchased from a reputable distributor, to avoid purchases from internet platforms and not to buy refrigerants in disposable cylinders which are banned in the EU.

The document can be downloaded from the EPEE website here.


New AREA guide to EN 378

AREA, the European refrigeration contractors association, has issued a new publication "Introduction to Refrigeration Standard EN 378".  This is a useful and practical guide to the standard, and the calculations required to ascertain appropriate refrigerant charge sizes for different applications.  As such, it complements FETA's work on risk assessment.

The guide can be downloaded here

We are advised that the guide still needs some work on the graphics, but AREA took the decision to publish anyway.  These updates will be made after the summer break.