NICEIC is continuing its fight against the illegal use of its logo and has helped Milton Keynes Trading Standards successfully prosecute an electrical contractor who falsely used it on a web listing and business card.
Shaun McKever, trading as S&M Electrical Contractors, pleaded guilty at Huntingdon Crown Court to using the NICEIC logo in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Mr McKever used the logo to promote his company as being registered with NICEIC, despite having no affiliation with the organisation.
NICEIC has seen a rapid rise in the numbers of bogus tradesmen attempting to use the logo to their economic advantage. In response, NICEIC has made it clear that it will do all it can to prevent this happening in order to protect consumers and support contractors who undergo voluntarily assessment and notify their work where appropriate.
In sentencing, the Judge gave Mr McKever a 12 month Community Order with 150 hours of unpaid work.
'We will do all we can to prevent the illegal misuse of our logo,' says Emma McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer, NICEIC Group. 'It is recognised by members of the public as a mark of excellence and used by contractors as a way to promote the quality of their work. The sentence passed down by the in this case should serve as a warning and deterrent to others who misrepresent themselves in this way.'
Published 03 May 2010
Lack of Female Contractors
NICEIC concern over lack of female contractors
Despite industry wide initiatives to encourage women to become electrical contractors, NICEIC has expressed its concern at the slow progress being made on this issue. It claims that an underlying culture of discrimination still operates within this predominantly male profession and is acting as a barrier to entry.
A recent survey discovered that two of the reasons given for not employing female apprentices were that wives or partners would not like it and that separate facilities for women would have to be provided on site.
NICEIC believes that despite the ongoing skills shortage, employers are systematically ignoring just over 50 per cent of the population, even though there are good business reasons to employ women. For example, many elderly people and women, including those who belong to ethnic groups where there could be an objection to men entering the house, would prefer to use female contractors.
NICEIC's call for greater opportunities for women in the industry follows an announcement that it will be launching its own apprenticeship scheme later this year. Although the scheme will be open to all those interested in becoming electrical contractors, it will be doing all it can to encourage women applicants.
'Figures indicate that less than one in every thousand electrical contractors is female,' says Emma McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer, NICEIC. 'This is unacceptable, especially since many of the reasons behind the current situation have no place in a modern and forward thinking industry. Not only does the inclusion of women make good business sense for employers, all those who are interested in becoming electrical contractors should be welcomed and encouraged, irrespective of whether they are male or female.'
Published 03 May 2010
NICEIC Direct’s new Spring Catalogue
NICEIC has published its big Spring Catalogue
The Catalogue contains over 120 pages of products, certification tools, contractor offers, information on over 30 electrical and gas training courses, and much more. Produced in A5 format for ease of use, it is clearly laid out and broken down into colour-coded sections, making specific items easy to find.
One highlight of the Spring Catalogue is the Peugeot discount vehicle leasing scheme, which is exclusive to NICEIC contractors. The scheme features highly competitive rates that up until now have been unavailable to contractors on an individual basis.
A comprehensive range of test equipment from the industry’s leading manufacturers is also profiled, so selecting the right tool for the job couldn’t be easier. All products are available to NICEIC registered contractors at special discounted rates, enabling significant cost savings on these vital products. Non-registered contractors can buy from NICEIC Direct, but do not benefit from the same great deals.
Alan Wells, NICEIC’s Head of Electrotechnical, says, “The 2010 Spring Catalogue is a must for registered contractors who want a handy guide to all the products, courses and equipment that NICEIC Direct provides. We have teamed up with a variety of leading companies to offer some exclusive deals which shouldn’t be missed.”
To get a copy of the Spring Catalogue call 0843 290 3400 or visit www.niceic.com.
NICEIC launches Solar PV course
NICEIC has announced details of a new environmental course
The Solar PV course has been developed to support its Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for Installers. The course provides electrical contractors with valuable knowledge and skills about this important energy generating technology.
The new course will cover the majority of small scale systems currently being installed in the UK and provide an overview of the design, installation, commission and service of Solar PV systems.
Solar PV cells produce electricity directly from sunlight and provide an opportunity to drive the uptake of renewable and low carbon energy. Solar PV forms a key technology set within the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which offers government grants for the installation of microgeneration based products and systems.
The introduction of Feed in Tariffs (FITs), the government backed support measure which has been designed to increase the uptake of microgeneration and help deliver the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets. FITs provide those generating renewable energy with 20 year – or 25 years for Solar PV – guaranteed per unit support payments (p/kWh) for electricity generation.
“NICEIC is at the forefront in promoting microgeneration and we encourage all electrical contractors to get involved with this growing sector,” says Wayne Terry, NICEIC’s Head of Energy and Environment. “NICEIC’s new Solar PV course provides an excellent way to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to maximise the revenue generating opportunities microgeneration offers.”Published 17 May 2010
Don’t wait, update!
Since NICEIC released its ground breaking Certification Software two years ago to allow its registered contractors to complete their certificates on a computer, it has been working closely with Clik software to provide a package which offers even more to users.
Following feedback from NICEIC customers and its own engineers the latest addition to the software is the release of a Verification update. It will check certificates for errors and any boxes which may have been left blank. NICEIC Certification Software will highlight any values which may be incorrect, but will still allow the user to continue and print if required. There is also a verification rules editor to allow electricians to create their own verification rules in addition to the built in ones.
“From within your certificate in NICEIC Certification Software, you click the ‘verify’ button,” explains Mike Pearce, Commerical Manager, NICEIC. “NICEIC Certification Software then whizzes through and checks your certificate creating a report that lists any rules which may have been broken. Each rule can then be double clicked and will take you to the source of the error.”
Verification is packed with power, is super easy to use and makes a fantastic addition to NICEIC Certification Software.
If you are already using NICEIC Certification Software, download the new update now, alternatively for more details on the software package call Clik on 0117 953 4600.
MCS success for NICEIC and NG Bailey
NICEIC’s Energy & Environment team has expressed its delight that NG Bailey has successfully registered onto its Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for installers.
NG Bailey is one of the UK’s leading providers of building services, mechanical, electrical, ICT and maintenance solutions, with 3,300 employees and a turnover in the region of £600m. The company is recognised as an industry leader in the fields of innovation and environmental responsibility, and is a founder member of the UK Green Building Council. Earlier this year, NG Bailey received a coveted British Council of Offices (BCO) Award for Innovation 2009.
The MCS is a product and installer certification based scheme which covers the various microgeneration technologies. Its aim is to help to build up a UK microgeneration market by improving public perceptions of these technologies.
NICEIC was quick to recognise the potential of the MCS and it has seen rising demand to gain registration on its scheme. The microgeneration sector is set to grow further with the announcement of renewable installation funding, including the Feed In Tariffs (FITs) which came into effect in April 2010. NICEIC also recently announced details of a new Solar Photovoltaic (PV) course it has developed to support its MCS, which provides electrical contractors with valuable knowledge and skills about this important energy generating technology.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome a company of the size and stature of NG Bailey onto our MCS Installer Scheme,” says Emma McCarthy, chief operating officer of NICEIC. “We have already identified a number of other services and products we can provide for them and look forward to developing our relationship in the future.”
Further information on Basec Warning
Basec issue more info on faulty cables
Non-Compliant H05VV-F Flexible Cables – Atlas Kablo. Letter from Dr Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive, BASEC
The purpose of this letter is to provide traders and users of cable with information and advice about non-compliant H05VV-F flexible cable in the marketplace made by Atlas Kablo. This is a separate announcement to the one issued by BASEC on 14 June 2010 relating to Atlas Kablo building wiring and the suspension of their BASEC licence.
The responsible approval body for these cables, TSE (the Turkish HAR member), has notified BASEC that Atlas Kablo’s HAR scheme certification licence for H05VV-F flexible cables has been suspended and that a recall of affected product is underway. Affected cable has excessive conductor resistance (insufficient copper). Testing by TSE and BASEC has confirmed non-compliance. BASEC advises that affected cable should not be sold or installed, and to seek advice if it has been installed. No other HAR approved manufacturer is involved.
The cables affected by the suspension are H05VV-F type, PVC insulated and sheathed, in sizes ranging from 0.75 sqmm to 4.0 sqmm, and with 2 to 5 cores. Affected cables are all marked with the manufacturer’s identification ‘Atlas Kablo’, a ‘2010’ manufacturing date and with the ‘TSE <HAR>’ approval mark. Marking may be by embossing or printing and various sheath colours are involved. Many cables are also marked with a British designation or standard, such as ‘3183Y’ and ‘BS 6500’.
We understand from TSE that Atlas Kablo is in the process of notifying their customers and has begun to make arrangements to recover cable through the supply chain. Cable traders, wholesalers and contractors should check what cable they have in stock, quarantine affected cable and notify their supplier about recovery, or contact Atlas Kablo direct.
Where affected cable has been installed, purchasers or contractors should check that the necessary electrical installation verification tests have been performed by a suitably qualified/competent electrician and that the results are in all aspects satisfactory. In the event of any performance concerns being raised, these should be further investigated by a suitably qualified/competent electrician or engineer to assess whether circuits are safe, or if protection needs enhancement or any cables replaced.
It is essential that this letter is passed on to appropriate contacts within your organisation and to relevant customers
Further information about this may be obtained from BASEC at: email@example.com 01908 267300 or at www.basec.org.uk
Published 29 June 2010
BASEC product warning
BASEC issues cable warning to contractors
Suspension of BASEC Licence and Recall of Cable Products – Atlas Kablo - letter from Dr Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive, BASEC
The purpose of this letter is to provide traders and users of cable with information and advice about non-compliant cable in the marketplace made by Atlas Kablo. Atlas Kablo’s product certification licence has been suspended by BASEC because of a serious decline in quality across their range of products. Affected cable has excessive conductor resistance (insufficient copper). BASEC advises that affected cable should not be sold or installed, and to seek advice if it has been installed.
Atlas Kablo has notified their customers, issued a letter of guidance and posted a list of affected batches of cable on the Atlas Kablo website: www.atlaskablo.com Atlas Kablo has been required by BASEC to investigate and rectify the problem and to assist the market in locating and recovering affected product. Atlas Kablo has begun to make arrangements to recover cable through the supply chain for scrapping.
The cables affected by the suspension are: flat twin, single and 3-core with CPC (BS6004 Table 8 and IS 201-4 Table 1, 1.0sqmm – 16sqmm), single core unsheathed (BS 6004 Table 4a, 1.5sqmm – 35sqmm), single core sheathed (BS 6004 Table 7, 1.5sqmm – 35sqmm). The quantity of cable involved is 11,000,000m, and identified batches are production with a “2010” manufacturing date. Cable traders, wholesalers and contractors should check what cable they have in stock, quarantine affected cable and notify their supplier about recovery, or contact Atlas Kablo direct. Please note that all affected cables are marked with the manufacturer’s identification “Atlas Kablo”. No other BASEC approved manufacturer is involved.
Where affected cable has been installed, purchasers or contractors should check that the necessary electrical installation verification tests (e.g., R1+R2/loop impedance) have been performed by a suitable qualified/competent electrician and that the results are in all aspects satisfactory. In the event of any performance concerns being raised, these should be further investigated by a suitably qualified/competent electrician or engineer to assess whether circuits are safe, or if protection needs enhancement or any cables replaced.
It is essential that this letter is passed on to appropriate contacts within your organisation and to relevant customers.
Published 16 June 2010
Government MCS News
Government makes MCS announcement
NICEIC has welcomed the government’s decision to launch a consultation on a microgeneration strategy for the household and business use of green technologies.
The consultation, announced by Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, will look at a number of key areas including how consumer confidence can be enhanced through equipment and installation standards, and how to ensure that the microgeneration supply chain has the requisite skills to meet consumer demand. It will also examine how consumers can gain access to advice and information about microgeneration, and will trial new technologies in order to improve them.
The announcement follows plans to repeal the 1976 Local Government Act by the end of 2010 so that local councils can sell electricity produced from microgeneration technologies to the national grid.
NICEIC is at the forefront in promoting microgeneration and has seen a growing number of electrical contractors join its Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and enrol on its related training courses. MCS registered contractors with NICEIC will be a crucial part of the supply chain for domestic and commercial users of microgeneration installations, especially as Feed In Tariffs (FITs) become more prevalent.
With over 100,000 microgeneration installations in the UK and growing consumer awareness, electrical contractors who become skilled in the design and implementation of these products stand to gain from the revenue generating opportunities on offer. The MCS was established to ensure quality products and services in the microgeneration sector.
“NICEIC wholeheartedly supports the decision to carry out this consultation,” says Emma McCarthy, NICEIC’s Chief Operating Officer. “Microgeneration will help to develop a sustainable society while reducing carbon emissions, and I would urge all electrical contractors to get involved with this exciting and potentially profitable sector.”
Published 13 July 2010
TechTalks are back!
NICEIC has announced details of a new series of TechTalks for 2010-11. Starting in September, these TechTalks will be bigger than ever, with new regions, new venues and new topics, enabling NICEIC registered contractors to get face-to-face advice and information on a range of subjects.
Tony Cable, NICEIC’s Senior Marketing & Events Engineer, and highly respected industry expert, will give a series of technical presentations at each event, looking at microgeneration, new approaches to PIRs, technologies for smart homes and buildings, and the amendments to BS7671.
Joining Tony will be a selection of NICEIC technical engineers and there will be an opportunity for delegates to put their questions to them in an open Q&A forum. Contractors will also be able to speak to NICEIC staff about its products and services, and have the chance to purchase NICEIC books and DVDs at discounted prices.
Tony Cable comments, “NICEIC’s TechTalks are a fantastic way for registered contractors to get up-to-date information about a number of hot topics. We have made sure that we visit as many regions as possible and can guarantee that attending a TechTalk will be time very well spent.”
The TechTalks will be taking place at the following locations:
- Newmarket, Newmarket Racecourse – Tuesday 28th September
- Norwich, Odeon Cinema – Wednesday 29th September
- Reading, Madejski Stadium – Tuesday 5th October
- Southampton, City Cruise Terminal – Wednesday 6th October
- Leeds, Headingley Carnegie Stadium – Wednesday 20th October
- Cornwall, Eden Project – Wednesday 27th October
- Aberystwyth, Penrhos Golf Course - Tuesday 9th November
- Swansea, Liberty Stadium – Wednesday 10th November
- Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium – Thursday 11th November
- Coventry, Ricoh Arena – Tuesday 18th January
- Nottingham, Belfry Hotel, Wednesday 19th January
- Worcester, Odeon Cinema – Wednesday 26th January
- Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse – Tuesday 8th February
- Manchester, City of Manchester Stadium – Wednesday 9th February
- Belfast, Stormont Hotel – Thursday 24th February
- Newcastle, St James Park – Wednesday 23rd March
- Carlisle, Carlisle Racecourse – Thursday 24th March
- Glasgow, Celtic Park – Tuesday 5th April
- Dundee, Odeon Cinema - Wednesday 6th April
Tickets for the events are £20 per person and you can book online now at www.niceicdirect.com. For further information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0843 290 3502.
Published 26 July 2010
Invitation to comment
Building Regs - have your say
NICEIC has been invited by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to contribute to an ideas forum regarding a review of the Building Regulations in England and Wales.
The purpose of this forum is to offer the Department our thoughts on simplifying the Building Regulations, while maintaining safety standards and compliance.
We believe that our customers should have the right to contribute to NICEIC’s response to DCLG’s request. Please send us your thoughts and ideas, with evidence, on the Building Regulations and how they could be improved to email@example.com.
We will communicate our customers’ contributions, in summary, to DCLG.
If you have already contributed to the Your Shout email in May, then we will of course take on board your comments pertaining to the Building Regulations and there is no need to respond again.
Published 30 July 2010
Tony Cable advises 'Help! My house is falling down!'
NICEIC feature on Sarah Beeny TV show!
On Tuesday night NICEIC’s very own Tony Cable appeared on an episode of Sarah Beeny’s 'Help! My house is falling down!' The show followed a couple who bought a house in Brighton and realised very quickly that the property had a host of serious problems, one of the most concerning being the lethal state of the electrics which Tony estimated to be at least 60 years old!
Tuesday night’s show reached millions of viewers and you can catch Tony’s appearance again for a limited time on the Channel 4 On Demand service. If you don’t have time to watch the entire programme you can jump straight to Tony’s inspection by fast-forwarding to 12 minutes in. NICEIC also provided the electrical statistics for the show.
In support of the show, NICEIC posted guidance on the 4Homes website, and while the show was on 4Homes posted links to this advice on Twitter. Advice can also be found on the Help! My house is falling down! homepage on the Channel 4 website by Tony Cable.
Published 09 September 2010
NICEIC launches Campaign
New “MOT Your Home” campaign
New research from NICEIC has revealed that homeowners are risking their lives by not getting their electrics fully checked, leaving potentially deadly faults lurking in thousands of homes.
The survey revealed that nearly nine out of ten (89%) homeowners don’t really think about getting their electrics fully tested, with eighty eight percent (88%) confessing that getting their gas boiler checked is more important to them. Worse still, over a third (32%) admitted they have never had the electrics in their home fully tested.
That’s why NICEIC has launched ‘MOT Your Home’, a national consumer safety campaign warning homeowners about the dangers of electrical DIY.
Fronted by home-improvement expert Linda Barker, the new campaign encourages homeowners whose property is over 10 years old to employ a registered electrician to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report, which acts like an MOT for the property.
Linda Barker says: “I’ve teamed up with the NICEIC to encourage consumers to get their homes checked and make electrical safety a top priority. Even though it’s tempting to try and save a few pennies where possible at the moment, a simple home MOT could save lives. To help homeowners ensure optimum electrical safety in their home I’ve put together some simple tips and advice to protect families and homes from electrical fire risks.”
Tony Cable from NICEIC adds: “Nearly half (48%) of homeowners admitted to asking a friend or partner to have a go at electrical work in their home. This means there are potentially deadly underlying electrical problems in homes across the UK as a result of botched DIY jobs. Our campaign aims to change the public’s mindset about getting their electrics checked by a registered electrician, in order to keep their home and family safe.
“Many NICEIC contractors offer a Periodic Inspection Report which will reveal if electrical circuits are overloaded, find potential hazards in the installation and identify faulty DIY work. Homeowners will then receive a report which details the overall condition of all their electrics and points out any work that might need to be carried out.”
Published 27 September 2010
Government support for renewables
Welcome for renewables boost
NICEIC has welcomed the Government’s decision to retain the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme and progress with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2011, following last week’s comprehensive spending review.
The announcement by Chancellor George Osborne to push ahead with both has been seen as a boost to the renewable energy sector, and allayed fears that they would be scrapped in an attempt to reduce costs. The RHI will represent over £850m of investment driving a more-than-tenfold increase of renewable heat over the coming decade, shifting renewable heat from a fringe industry firmly into the mainstream.
“This is a very encouraging sign for all those connected with the industry and the decision supports the coalition’s vow to be one of the greenest governments ever,” says NICEIC‘s Chief Operating Officer Emma McCarthy. “There is now a dedicated plan to put a low carbon economy at the heart of this Government’s plans and this can only be good news for those associated with the renewable energy industry.”
Microgeneration is set to play a prominent role in the energy mix of the UK and this pledge of support from the Government is seen as a great opportunity for those with the skills and knowledge to supply and install renewable products.
“We have seen a growing demand from consumers for items such as Solar PV and heat pumps and those at the cutting edge in the knowledge stakes will reap the rewards,” continues Emma. “MCS registered contractors with NICEIC will be a crucial part of the supply chain for domestic and commercial users of microgeneration installations.”
NICEIC is at the forefront in promoting microgeneration and has seen a growing number of installers register with its Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and enrol on its related training courses.
Published 25 October 2010
New Best Practice Guide issued on Test Instruments
NICEIC issue new Best Practice Guide
Together with ESC, other industry bodies and test instrument manufacturers, NICEIC has developed a new Best Practice Guide- Test instruments for electrical installations: Accuracy and consistency.
The Guide supports the NICEIC model test accuracy form. In addition, adhering to the guidance given in the Best Practice Guide will show the NICEIC Area Engineer at a contractor's annual assessment visit that an effective system is in place, enabling them to confirm the continuing accuracy and consistency of all a contractor's test instruments used for certification and reporting.
Published 03 November 2010
Sparking up the Festive Spirit
NICEIC's Christmas Safety Campaign
Festive fever is already sweeping the nation as Brits prepare for the Christmas season earlier than ever this year. However, despite spending hours on choosing the perfect Christmas gifts, finding the fattest turkey and best pud, homeowners are often guilty of stringing up their hundreds of Xmas lights without a second thought.
Every year Christmas crazed homeowners adorn their properties with an array of sparkling lights, decorative snow flakes and multiple ‘Santa please stop here’ signs. These festive fanatics have no limits in their desire to make their homes stand out from the crowd and be the shining stars of the Yuletide displays.
However Tony Cable, spokesperson for NICEIC is warning homeowners to be cautious, he comments: “We all like a spot of Christmas spirit but every year the odd few get too carried away with festive lighting, putting the household’s safety in jeopardy. Too many lights and decorations are not a good idea, so try to limit the amount of plugs per socket and when you turn the lights off, make sure you also switch them off at the wall. If you need additional sockets ask a registered electrician to fit some more for you.
“Money may be tight for some this Christmas so many people will be re-using lighting decorations that may have been stored away for a year and should be thoroughly checked before use. If you are in any doubt about the quality of the lights, throw them away and buy new ones.
“When purchasing new Christmas lights look for extra low voltage options with LEDs instead of traditional filament light bulbs. LEDs reduce the risk of electric shock, use less power and generate less heat so they are less expensive and safer to use. Because they are made of a special plastic, there aren’t any breakable glass bulbs and these lights also save energy, so are more environmentally friendly and will help save on energy bills.
“Most importantly, if you are worried about faulty electrics or encounter an electrical problem, do not tackle it yourself, call out a professional.”
Published 09 November 2010
NICEIC Apprentice Scheme
Future looks bright for apprentices
NICEIC has launched its Apprentice Academy which aims to provide students with the necessary training and skills to meet the demanding challenges of the electrotechnical industry. It is hoped that in time the Academy will also go some way to plugging the skills gap in the electrical contracting industry.
“NICEIC is committed to improving standards within the industry and our Academy will give those starting out on their careers the knowledge to complete electrical installations in line with current and future working practices,” says NICEIC’s Chief Operating Officer Emma McCarthy. “Apprenticeships can make industries more effective, productive and competitive by addressing the skills gap directly. They are the proven way to train the workforce of the future.”
Run in partnership with Bedford College, the Academy will see the trainee contractors complete a series of fortnightly courses over two years before embarking on a final year of professional development under the guidance of NICEIC.
The training covers traditional areas of interest including: asbestos awareness, first aid, aluminium scaffolding, risk assessments, certificate completion, periodic inspection and testing, alongside teaching in new technologies such as microgeneration, which will assist contractors tap into the expected green technology boom.
“Apprenticeships give you a good mix of day-to-day stuff out on site and more practical knowledge such as regulations in the classroom,” says Jack Howes, 18, one of the first apprentices on the scheme. “I felt this course was better suited to my needs compared to a previous training course I was on, and when you are getting paid for learning, it keeps you motivated.”
Course Manager at Bedford College, Jeff Welch, adds: “I think these boys are quite privileged as they are getting the best training out there. The NICEIC programme includes six or seven additional modules compared to traditional courses including training on Solar Photovoltaic installations which will be vital to electricians over the next few years.”
NICEIC will help cover the cost of the apprentice’s salary by subsidising their wage by up to £2,000 per academic year. All other costs associated with the student’s learning are covered by the partnership with Bedford College.
If you would like more information about sending your apprentice on the course, along with details about subsidised funding, please email Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org
Published 13 December 2010