The United Kingdom Government is due to announce changes to Part ‘P’. Part ‘P’ was introduced to improve the electrical safety within dwellings and requires some electrical work in dwellings to be pre-notified to building control authorities, or be carried out by members of an electrical competent person scheme. Part P is one of a number of approved documents that accompany the Building Regulations 2000.
The Building Regulations 2000 apply in England and Wales (Scotland and N Ireland have their own building regulations and versions of Part P). However, when the amendment to Part P comes out it will only apply in England.
The Building Regulations were devolved down to the Welsh Assembly in 2012; giving the Assembly the power to change the Building Regulations in Wales, and recent indications from the Assembly indicates there are no immediate plans to change the existing regulations.
So what does this mean for electricians?
If you work on the boarders of England, Scotland and Wales, you no longer have to only deal with the different paperwork and procedures devised by the different building control authorities when notifying work; you will now have different legislation requirements to cope with at the same time. This could end up being a paperwork nightmare, to such an extent that people may ‘forget’ to apply the requirements of Part P!
As Part P was intended to improve the electrical safety in dwellings, any watering down of its requirements could result in a compromise in people’s safety.
Surely the United Kingdom Government should ‘get a grip’ and unite with us a single set of regulations that apply in every area of the kingdom and help electricians to keep people safe in their homes.
The Green Deal has been launched by the government to help people heat and light their homes more efficiently and affordably. Britain has some of the oldest and most inefficient building stock in Europe and consumers pay a high price for running inefficient buildings. The innovative Green Deal financing mechanism allows householders to have energy efficiency improvements to their homes with little or no initial cash outlay and then to payback the cost of the measures over an extended period.
In the meantime, as well as enjoying improved comfort, householders will be able to reduce the impact of rising energy bills. The Green Deal has been designed to help finance the installation of a broad range of improvements from the insulation, glazing, microgeneration, lighting and heating sectors. The Green Deal’s ‘Golden Rule’ ensures that the savings associated with the measures must always match or exceed the installation costs.
Consumers will also receive advice about how they can save money by simple changes in behaviour. In short, you should save more than you spend. Interested householders will first receive a visit from an impartial, accredited Green Deal adviser, who will carry out a full survey of the home and a study of how the building is used. This information is used to produce a report which defines the measures recommended for each home. This report can be used to obtain quotations from as many Green Deal providers as desired. Once an acceptable quotation has been obtained and an agreement signed then an accredited Green Deal installer will carry out the work. The cost of the measures will be recovered by instalments applied to electricity bills for periods of up to 25 years.
Most of the 45 energy effi ciency improvements that qualify for Green Deal are well within the capability of a competent heating installer. With minimal additional training however, a further range of measures also becomes available. We are confident the majority of heating installers will be more than capable of implementing all such measures in order to take full advantage of the many new business opportunities that Green Deal will undoubtedly create.
Each Green Deal package of individual energy efficiency measures is carefully structured to ensure all measures are eligible for full or partial funding. Green Deal plans will be assembled in different ways depending on individual circumstances.
1. A very small number of Green Deal Plans will include measures that meet the Golden Rule & will receive 100% funding
2. Most arrangements will include a package of Green Deal measures that partially meet the Golden Rule but require additional funding from the improver
3. Green Deal measures for solid wall insulation (ie no cavity wall space) or difficult cavities will receive an ECO contribution to partially support the cost
4. Green Deal Plans for households in the Super Priority Group will receive 100% ECO funding under the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
There are grounds for genuine optimism amongst British tradesmen, as the Japanese engineering giant Hitachi follows up its £700m acquisition of the Horizon nuclear project by expressing its long-term commitment to the UK infrastructure sector.
The construction project is to include the development of two or three 1300MW advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) plants in two separate locations, Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. It is estimated that each of these sites will support between 5,000 and 6,000 construction jobs, with the first of the units operational by 2025.
British businesses are also buoyed by the news, as, based on the experience gained during the development of four ABWR plants in Japan, 60 per cent of the project’s budget will be spent on materials, personnel and services from the local area.
Hitachi also intends to create a legacy of nuclear skills and training in the UK by working with local colleges and universities to introduce training programs and develop a permanent base of nuclear skills in the UK, leading to global demand for their skills.
The Hitachi president Hiroaki Nakanishi, said: “This is the start of a 100-year commitment to the UK and its vision to create a long-term, secure, low-carbon and affordable energy supply. We look forward to sharing Hitachi’s corporate vision and nuclear business with the management and employees of Horizon, working harmoniously with UK companies and stakeholders for the delivery of this vital part of the UK’s national infrastructure and the creation of a strong nuclear power company.
Energy minister John Hayes is hugely encouraged by this deal and the message that the rest of the world will receive, “that Britain’s economy is open and stable and committed to the development of new sources of nuclear energy.”
The project is to be supported by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency, who will work collaboratively with Hitachi to provide certainty that the reactor design will be fit for use in the UK. It is expected this will be a relatively straightforward process, given the approval the design of the reactor has already received from US nuclear authorities.
Following draft license modifications put before Parliament and a ruling from the Court of Appeal, solar PV systems will be eligible for the higher Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate. That means that domestic solar PV systems that are registered with a FIT provider before 3rd March 2012 will be eligible for a Feed in Tariff rate of 43.4/kWh.
Not prepared to accept the change, the DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) has indicated they will follow this ruling up by seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. If the DECC is successful in the appeal process, this could herald yet more changes.
The current rates available to domestic solar PV customers are as follows:
- If customers register their solar PV installation before 3rd March 2012, they will be eligible for a FIT rate of 43.3p for each unit of power they generate and 3.1p for each unit of power that they export to the National Grid
- Customers registering from the 3rd March – 31st March will be eligible for a FIT tariff of 43.3p for every unit of power they generate up until the 1st April 2012. Any power generated after that date will be eligible for a rate of 21p for each unit.
- Between 1st April and 30th June, the Government proposes to give 21p for each unit of power generated and 3.1p for each unit that is sent back to the National Grid.
There’s never been a better time to consider solar PV for the home and you may indeed have seen more and more homes with solar panels fitted. In order to have solar PV panels fitted, your home will need to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard and that means you’ll have to acquire an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘D’ or higher. Further reductions are proposed to the FIT rate in the future and these changes could be in place by 1st July 2012.
More and more people in the UK are starting to realise the benefits of generating their own energy and the changes to the FIT rate make installation look much more appealing. Solar PV panels are becoming less and less expensive and therefore more accessible to UK homeowners. In order to be eligible for solar PV you must own your own property in England or Wales and have your own mains electricity supply.
Renewable and sustainable energy seems to be high on the agenda in Parliament right now and there’s never been a better or more affordable time to tap into the sustainable energy market. Reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills at the same time.
With the rising demand for solar comes a rise in the number of solar installers required in the UK. Access Training specialise in helping people find their vocation, whether that's plastering or solar PV. To find out more about how to begin training, browse the rest of the website or call the knowledgable Access team on 0800 345 7492.
In our last blog post we examined the anticipated increase in bathroom installation over the next few years, and how such a renovation could have a significant impact on the value of your home. Well in an unexpected twist, Access Training, whilst carrying out some research, have stumbled across some earth shattering news: could the installation of a second bathroom really be the secret to a long and happy marriage?
Catherine Zeta Jones has added some of her Hollywood gravitas to a growing murmur that the installation of a second bathroom could well be the secret to a happy marriage.
Zeta Jones, who has received considerable press coverage over the past few weeks, is convinced that his and hers bathrooms have been of great comfort during her 10 year marriage to film star husband Michael Douglas. She said: “Separate bathrooms are always a really great idea. Mine is so messy; I’d absolutely hate for my husband to realize just how incredibly untidy I can be.”
British institution, Michael Caine, has also spoke out in favour of second bathroom installation, declaring that having a ‘little boy’s room’, separate to a calming space where the ladies can ‘powder their noses’, is crucial. Caine, who has been married to his wife Shakira for 37 years, said: “The secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms. It’s essential. Whenever we stay in a hotel we always get two bedrooms so we can have an extra bathroom. It’s vital to have your own space so you aren’t constantly in each other’s pockets.”
So as discussed before bathroom installation represents an investment, and not simply in monetary terms, it forges solid and long lasting relationships which is surely far more than important than money anyway, although obviously both is a definite bonus.
Here at Access Training we offer industry recognised bathroom installation and plumbing courses, although sadly marital bliss does not come guaranteed. For further information regarding bathroom fitting course please contact us today. Call 0800 345 7492 and enquire about your course today.