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    The Warmer Homes Report recommends energy efficiency policy changes

    Tue 3rd Mar 2015 - 3:31am Energy and Heating The Warmer Homes Report recommends energy efficiency policy changes


    Benjamin Clarke

    The UK’s leading think-tank, Policy Exchange, has recently published the Warmer Homes Report, the purpose of which is to encourage the next government to overhaul the current domestic energy policies and help combat the estimated 2.3 million households that are currently in fuel poverty.

    Policy Exchange is one of several organisations who have recently called for parliamentary ministers to make energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority, which would put it on equal footing with such things as the High Speed 2 rail project and aviation expansion. Policy Exchange believes that some of the £100 billion budget for infrastructure should be used for energy efficiency schemes to assist in the fuel poverty battle.

    The Warmer Homes Report shows a character profile of the 2.3 households in fuel poverty and reveals some incredibly interesting details:

    - 10% of all households in the UK are in fuel poverty.

    - 19% of those in private rented accommodation are in fuel poverty.

    - Almost 50% of the 2.3 million in fuel poverty are in work.

    - Households living in the least energy efficient homes would need to spend £1700 extra a year to heat their home to a comfortable level (18-20°C)

    - Between 2003-2013, consumer gas prices rose by 128%, which has greatly contributed to fuel poverty.

    - Compared to other European countries, the UK’s housing stock is very inefficient.

    The report has shown that there is a huge funding gap between what is needed for the government to hit their 2030 fuel poverty target and what they are actually spending. The report estimates there is a yearly shortfall of around £700 million and has set out several ways this gap can be closed:

    - Currently, only 33% of fuel poverty funding actually benefits those in fuel poverty. The Report recommends that the Energy Company Obligation (that legally obliges energy companies to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users) to be revised to focus more on households in fuel poverty. Policy Exchange believe this could raise £375 million a year to be allocated to the fuel poor.

    - The Winter Fuel Payment should be an opt-in scheme, because only 10% of the recipients are actually in fuel poverty. Left-over money, which the Report claims could amount to as much as £400 million, should be allocated to schemes assisting the those in fuel poverty.

    It is hoped that the Warmer Homes Report will help to show the next government that fuel poverty is a very severe problem, affecting a broad range of society, not just the elderly and the vulnerable. The whole heating industry hopes the government will take these recommendations seriously and pledges to make serious inroads into this increasing issue.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    The Gas Safe Register makes sure heating engineers are supported

    Thu 26th Feb 2015 - 2:32am Energy and Heating The Gas Safe Register makes sure heating engineers are supported


    Benjamin Clarke

    The Gas Safe Register is not a membership body or a trade association, however it plays a very important role in making sure engineers are valued, supported and promoted around the industry. The GSR offers a variety of services to engineers, that they are fully encouraged to take advantage of.

    An important service is the provision of technical support. The GSR has a special helpline, staffed by an expert team of dedicated gas specialists and this helpline is open to all gas engineers with a gas-related issue.

    There is also a huge wealth of up-to-date information on, where there are on-demand learning modules, specifically designed to educate, refresh and reinforce all registered engineers. The introduction of the Registered Gas Engineer App has made all this information very accessible on the go,via tablets and smartphones.

    A new tool that it is hoped will really take off in 2015, is the Annual Gas Safety Check Reminder service. This is a free service that allows people to sign up and receive an email when they are due for a safety check. Over 7,500 people have signed up so far, but it is hoped this will dramatically increase once word has spread.

    Additionally, all gas safe registered engineers are being encouraged to get the Gas Engineer Workspace App. This app assists with managing appointments, schedules and customer details and also contains very useful gas calculation tools.

    The Gas Safe Register has also been running awareness campaigns designed to improve the public’s knowledge of gas safety issues and to help increase demand for the services of gas engineers. The two main messages being promoted are to only use a registered gas engineer to carry out work in home and to make sure that gas appliances are checked on an annual basis. The GSR believe the message is getting through and say that their research shows 90% of people know they should only use a registered engineer to carry out a safety check and 82% know their systems should be checked annually.

    Another very important service the GSR provides is the ability to report shoddy workmanship carried out by unregistered engineers. They have a dedicated investigations team that will look in detail at reports of illegal gas work and they work closely with the Health and Safety Executive, who have the ability to prosecute individuals in a court of law.

    Hopefully in 2015, we will see an increasing number of gas engineers making use of the excellent services provided by the Gas Safe Register.

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    VIDEO - How to Bleed a Radiator

    Tue 24th Feb 2015 - 5:39am DIY Troubleshooting VIDEO - How to Bleed a Radiator


    Benjamin Clarke

    In this video, Jimmy, the fully-qualified plumber, explains the reasons you might need to bleed a radiator, as well as taking you through the process step by step.

    One of the main reasons you might need to bleed a radiator is when it feels cold at the top and warm at the bottom. This usually means that there is air trapped in the rad, most commonly caused by a lack of inhibitor fluid in your system over a long period of time.

    Inhibitor helps to stop corrosion from occurring inside your heating system and components. This corrosion can lead to the production of hydrogen and radiator sludge, which can cause a rad to have hot and cold patches.

    Although the problem described above is the most common reason for needing to bleed your radiators, there are various other reasons you might need to perform this task.

    Jimmy runs through all of this in the video to enable you to tackle this issue with confidence with your own radiator, should the need arise.

    The radiator featured in this video is a Black 1800x415mm Saturn Double Designer Radiator >>

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    VIDEO - Why adding inhibitor is beneficial to your heating system

    Thu 19th Feb 2015 - 3:38pm Energy and Heating VIDEO - Why adding inhibitor is beneficial to your heating system


    Benjamin Clarke

    In this video, Jimmy the Plumber demonstrates just how important inhibitor is in keeping your central heating system running smoothly and efficiently.

    In the video, Jimmy conducts a simple experiment whereby he places a bunch of nails in two separate jam jars. In one jar, he adds tap water to cover the nails. In the other jar, he uses the same amount of liquid to cover the nails, but uses half tap water, half inhibitor.

    After leaving the jars for two months, Jimmy comes back to see the results, which clearly demonstrate how vital inhibitor is. The nails in the jar that contains inhibitor fluid are as shiny and clean as the day they were placed in the jar. In stark contrast, the nails in the jar filled purely with tap water have gone rusty, and the water is dirty and filled with a sludge-like substance.

    When water comes into contact with metal, there is a natural chemical reaction which can slowly cause the metal to corrode, with tiny pieces of metal often breaking off causing a brown sludge. Inhibitor fluid helps to prevent that corrosion from occurring, which is why in this experiment, the nails seem so clean.

    If you now think of what is going on inside your central heating system, throughout the radiators, boiler and pipework, the process is exactly the same. Water is constantly flowing around your system and, without inhibitor, a chemical reaction will be taking place. Over time, this will cause natural corrosion in your system, eventually leading to narrowing flow through your pipes, extra wear on the components inside your boiler and water pump and causing sludge to build up in the bottom of your radiators, which is a classic reason for hot and cold patches on your rads.

    Adding inhibitor to your system is a simple process, but can work wonders in keeping your heating system clean and running efficiently. In the process, all components in your system will last longer, meaning less money needs to be spent on emergency repair work. It’s a win-win situation!

    You can buy Inhibitor fluid on our website >>

    Other recommended videos:

    How To Add Inhibitor Via A Pressurised Heating System »»

    How To Add Inhibitor Via A Loft Tank »»

    How To Add Inhibitor Via A Heated Towel Rail »»

    Article by Benjamin Clarke

    VIDEO - How To Fit A Vertical Radiator

    Tue 17th Feb 2015 - 3:54am DIY Troubleshooting VIDEO - How To Fit A Vertical Radiator


    Benjamin Clarke

    In this video, Jimmy the plumber goes through the process of removing a standard horizontal radiator and replacing it with a vertical radiator.

    Vertical radiators are becoming increasingly popular additions to people’s homes because, not only are they available in a fantastic range of designs and sizes, they are an excellent way to heat a room that has limited wall space and where a traditional horizontal rad just won’t fit!

    As Jimmy explains in the video, before you even think of removing the old radiator from the wall, you need to make sure the system is drained of water, otherwise you will get a messy leak all over your floor!

    By following Jimmy’s instructions, you will will learn how to correctly measure the radiator and how to use the fixing kit (that comes with every Trade Radiators radiator) to properly hang the radiator on the wall.

    You’ll also learn some best-practice tips, such as which side to have your air vent and how to determine which pipe is the inflow.

    The aim of the video is for you to watch a professionally qualified plumber go through the process of installing a vertical radiator so that you feel knowledgeable and comfortable enough to carry out this task at home with your own radiators.

    If you do have limited wall space and previously thought that it simply wasn’t possible to get a radiator with enough heat output to satisfactorily heat the room, now you know otherwise.

    We have a great range of vertical radiators in a variety of designs and sizes, so you will definitely be able to find a rad suitable for your home!

    View our vertical radiator range here:

    Article by Benjamin Clarke