To Install a Stove Your Need to be HETAS Registered
HETAS stands for the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme, and it was set up by the government as a body to regulate the wood burning and solid fuel stove industry here in the UK. From a consumer’s perspective, using an engineer who is HETAS registered to install a new wood burning stove or service an old one means that you are getting a guarantee of quality and should be safe in the knowledge that your wood burner is not going to poison the family with carbon dioxide. Wood burning stoves are hugely fashionable at the moment, partly because using one to heat your house often works out cheaper than heating it with gas or electricity, and partly because the warm glow from a stove gives a focal point to any living space. HETAS also regulates other forms of alternative energy such as biomass, and as the country becomes increasingly energy aware these sorts of heating systems will become more important in the future. Many heating engineers and builders feel that adding HETAS accreditation will enhance their business, and becoming registered is not as complex as you many think.
Through the year, HETAS runs a variety of different courses which are the best starting point for ticking all of the boxes required for accreditation. Some of the courses are aimed at builders or plumbers who have previous experience in installing and maintaining heating systems, others are more general courses which are aimed at beginners or people with no prior knowledge. Courses are outsourced to a variety of training companies which operate at training centres across the country from Glasgow to Exeter, including Wales and Northern Ireland too. A full listing of the approved training centres and the courses offered is available on the HETAS website in the section aimed at professionals rather than consumers.
Curriculum and Certification
The courses offered at HETAS approved centres vary in terms of length and what is covered. For example, the course covering the installation of chimneys in domestic properties only lasts one day, and all that is required is appropriate work experience. However, the in depth Biomass Installation course lasts five days, and one of the prerequisites is the successful completion of the more basic course. Once any of the HETAS courses at an approved centre is successfully completed, the candidate is awarded a certificate which they can then use to be listed on the website.
Once you have done the appropriate courses and have the certificates, you can then apply to HETAS for listing on their website under their approved installers section. This gives enormous benefits to any business in the heating business, as HETAS are rapidly becoming the only port of call for consumers who are looking for a competent, approved engineer to install their biomass or solid wood burner. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the problems surrounding a shoddy installation of a wood burner, and are advised to go to HETAS to find a qualified person. It may cost several hundred pounds to go through the HETAS training and gain the certificates, but this outlay is more than justified by the increased work which will be gained when listed on the website.
Once you are HETAS registered you have the added advantage of being able to self-certify your own work. For example, if you are HETAS registered and are asked to install a wood burner in a client’s new extension, you simply issue them with a certificate saying that the work has been carried out to HETAS standards. If you are not registered, the homeowner then has to get someone else in to certify the work instead. This adds time and cost to the overall process, and it’s easy to see why customers and project managers prefer working with people who can provide an all in one service. Many people who have been installing wood burners for decades with no accreditation may feel that HETAS certification is an unnecessary hoop to jump through, but having the certificate opens so many more doors in terms of attracting and keeping customers.