Let's be clear about the answer to this; No, they are not and here’s why:
Firstly, let's be clear about what this means; right now registered gas engineers can still install and replace a gas boiler with a combi gas boiler. These boilers must, however, be of Boiler Plus Standard in England (in Wales the rules vary due to property type). This covers the vast majority of housing stock in the UK and will remain so for decades to come so there will be no shortage of boiler work for installers for the foreseeable future.
So why the confusion about new builds you may ask? Well it has come about from the erroneous inclusion of a comment in the government's latest Ten Point Plan that the Prime Minister announced days ago, for a Green Industrial Revolution that gave a promise to outlaw gas boilers in new homes by 2023. The plan gave a pledge to implement the Future Home Standard in a shorter space of time, followed by many within the industry asking questions about this bold line. It turns out that it was included in error and was hastily retracted. But confusion still reigns, with questions such as, ‘are we going to stop installing gas boilers in homes?’ as a typical example.
The rules only affect new builds. It's an inevitability that the installation of gas central heating appliances in new build properties will be banned, alternative means of heating including heat pumps or hydrogen boilers or electric boilers will have to be specified by developers. However, these technologies are far from being installed in great numbers as yet with further technological developments needed before they are both widely available and able to deliver reliable heating results.
For more background on this we need to look at The Future Home Standard which is due to come to fruition from 2025. The government is now extending the Green Homes Grant for another year according to the aims set out the Heat and Buildings Strategy for 2021 and the government’s Ten Point Plan also supports the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which says that all new developments in the UK are required to be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) before 2021. Hence why everyone is confused; the timeline is short and becoming condensed. Kevin Wellman, CEO of CIPHE was quoted in PHAM News on this subject:
“The infrastructure will not be in place by 2023 to abolish gas boilers. The Hydrogen network is not due to be trialled at scale (in limited areas) until 2023 and heat pump production will need to increase significantly to reach demand.”
The bottom line is that existing properties will not be affected by the legislation and are expected to be able to use gas boilers for the foreseeable future. The government has a commitment to Net Zero by 2050, so it’s true that natural gas fired boilers are time limited and technology will inevitably change, but not for another 30 years.
Overall, the industry will take many, many years to adapt and gas boilers will exist in millions of properties for many years to come. They will all need servicing and maintaining and replacing and there still remains the problem that there are not enough Gas Engineers to carry out this work at present.
Whether you want a new career as a Gas Engineer, expand your existing services or need to renew your gas certificates we are here to help you get there through our bespoke gas training courses.
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The Gas Safe Register, the UK's gas safety authority which all gas installers are legally required to join upon completion of their ACS assesments, is urging members of the public to get the safety of their gas appliances checked after their latest research revealed that 9 out of 10 Britons could not identify gas appliances that were deadly or potentially life-threatening.
1,200 consumers were shown 10 images of gas appliances, eight of which were dangerous and only two of which were completely safe to use. The results were particularly startling, with nearly everyone (95% to be precise) thinking at least one of the deadly appliances were safe. 6% of them even thought that all eight of them were safe! Only one person of the entire 1,200 was able to correctly identify all 10 - and that is definitely cause for concern.
Six of these eight dangerous gas appliances could have resulted in a gas leak, fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning, but were thankfully from homes checked before anyone got hurt. The other two appliances shown, however, were ones that had only been discovered after the damage had been done - one tragically killing the homeowner and the other hospitalising a family. In the case of the appliance that resulted in a fatality, half of respondents thought it looked safe when shown the photograph.
Stakeholder manager for Gas Safe Sarah Hill had this to say about the findings:
"Our research backs up what we, as the UK gas authority, already know - people cannot spot a deadly gas appliance as often there are no obvious signs. That’s why it’s vital to get your gas appliances safety checked regularly by a registered engineer, who has the skills and the know-how to spot the dangers. Sadly, we also know that the consequences if you don’t can be serious, especially when CO is involved as you can’t see it, taste it or smell it."
Would you be able to spot an unsafe gas appliance? If you think you could just look at the pictures and spot it, have you considered a career as a gas installer? Gas can be an extremely useful source of energy when installed properly but if anything goes wrong the results can prove fatal. Installers are required to have passed their ACS assessments and join the Gas Safe Register before they are legally allowed to start work, and here at Access Training we can provide you with all the training needed to work safely with gas appliances.
To find out more about our professional gas courses, please contact us on 0800 345 7492.
The Gas Safe Register isn't just a comprehensive register of the UK's qualified gas engineers (something that is a legal requirement - not just something we recommend to our gas course trainees!), it also plays a huge part in promoting awareness gas safety and making sure people know how to detect a gas leak. And their latest efforts have paid off, as the Register is awarded a DBA Design Effectiveness Award for its 'Silent Killer' campaign.
The campaign was set in motion after one in five homes in the North West were found to have unsafe gas work, and used a mix of online, local press, outdoor advertising, events, and even a horror-movie styled advertisement. All of these steered viewers towards the 'Silent Killer' campaign website, where they could then book a gas safety check and sign up for an annual reminder. The campaign was a roaring success, with the Gas Safe Register seeing a 300% increase (equivalent tomore than 53,000 homes) in higher risk households signing up for annual checks.
The Design Effectiveness Awards 2014 gave 'Silent Killer' the gold award in the 'Design for Society' category, featuring the full case study on its effectiveness outlined by Gas Safe on their website. Gas Safe Register marketing and communications director Nick Terry commented that: "“The Silent Killer pilot was the first time Gas Safe Register had aimed to persuade people to change their behaviour, rather than simply raise awareness of the dangers of gas work. It was therefore vital that the design was engaging and would encourage people to act; by getting their gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer."
He continued to say that the campaign's success has helped shape future ones to come as more and more people sign up to protect themselves from unsafe gas work nationwide. However in a perfect world they shouldn't need protection - all gas installers would be professional and above board, fully qualified members of the Gas Safe Register. Unfortunately there are those out there who aren't so honest, and while they are always eventually caught they put lives at risk with dangerous workmanship. At Access Training Acadmies we make sure all candidates on our intensive gas training courses are given expert levels of tutelage, teaching them the very basics of gas engineering all the way up to assisting them with their gas portfolios and ACS assessments. For more information, call 0800 345 7492 to speak to one of our advisers.
But for now, congratulations to the Gas Safe Register and long may its good work continue!
When it comes to gas fitting, there is nothing more important than safety. Not taking the right precautions can cost people their lives, and installers found guilty of negligence could face manslaughter charges and prison sentences. For an example of just how dangerous gas can be when not properly handled, cast your eyes on the story below.
Two houses were completely destroyed with others damaged yesterday when a gas explosion of currently unknown origin occurred in Clacton, Essex. Thankfully no one was killed in the blast but 10 were injured, with two - a man in his 70s and a woman in her 50s, badly burnt but now in "stable" condition.
Taking place around 8:30am yesterday morning, a total of 10 properties in the street (Cloes Lane) needed to be evacuated along with a further nine in the road behind. Victims were needed to be pulled from the rubble as houses were flattened, with debris blowing across to hit those nearby.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), National Grid and Essex Police/Fire Services will now carry out a full investigation into what caused such a destructive blast. A spokesperson for the National Grid has already said that it did not appear as though there were any faults in the pipes leading up to the three badly damaged houses, however more thorough tests would be carried out once demolition work has been completed. There had also been no mains replacement work done in that area recently, further adding to the mystery of what could have caused it.
Houses were cornered off as a reception centre was set up for those evacuated from their homes. A Facebook group has also been set up to offer support and donations to those who have lost their homes. Access Training wish everyone involved in the disaster a swift recovery and hope that they will be able to return to normality soon.
This is the kind of damage gas negligence can cause. ANYONE dealing with gas pipes at any level should be fully qualified, having undergone the correct gas training course, complete their ACS assessment and joined the Gas Safety register. This is a legal requirement of ALL gas installers and non-compliance is not tolerated. The life of a gas installer can be a challenging, exciting and prosperous one, also one that requires focus, dedication and conscienciousness. Would you want to be the cause of something like this?
Story via BBC News