interview - Hetas

into renewable energy? BEN: I decided that biomass was the natural progression from normal solid fuel boilers / stoves, etc, so decided to gain qualifications in ...
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INTERVIEW HIP!: What made you diversify into renewable energy?

HIP!: Is there a growing demand for renewable energy?

BEN: I decided that biomass was the natural progression from normal solid fuel boilers / stoves, etc, so decided to gain qualifications in this field. I completed the HETAS H005 course in early 2014, I then gained MCS accreditation to allow us to design and install biomass systems, which would be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

BEN: I believe there is a rapidly growing demand for renewable energy and this is amplified with the RHI. People are becoming very conscious of how they heat their homes and spend their money, so if they can install environmentally friendly systems with the benefit of gaining cash incentives, then I can only see the market growing. Once the RHI dwindles out who knows what will happen.

HIP!: Where did you carry out your HETAS training?

NAME: Ben Bowers AGE: 27 COLLEGE ATTENDED: Gloucestershire College

BEN: I carried out my original HETAS qualifications near Derby. My latest H005 HETAS course was carried out with Windhager UK, this is the company who supply my biomass boilers. I gained experience working with their boilers whilst gaining my qualifications, so it worked really well.

QUALIFICATION GAINED: NVQ 3 Heating

HIP!: What attracted you to a career in the plumbing & heating industry?

BEN: Gain the correct qualifications and experience rather than doing a ‘fast-track’ course. I think an apprenticeship is the best route. Once qualified stick to doing high standard work rather than rushing jobs for a quick buck – word of mouth is the best form of advertising. A good reputation can take years to gain but seconds to destroy, so quality is the key.

HIP!: Did you find it difficult to find an employer?

HIP!: Tell me about your company. BEN: Ben Bowers Heating Solutions carries out a wide range of plumbing and heating work. From bathrooms to bespoke heating systems. Primarily we carry out installation and maintenance on many heating systems from gas and oil to biomass.

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BEN: I value my membership because if we need their assistance they are always on the end of the telephone for issues such as technical advice. I also receive e-news and bulletins by email, which keeps me up to date. Having the HETAS logo also demonstrates to our customers that we are competent in what we do and that we can be trusted.

HIP!: Any advice for people coming into the industry?

BEN: The opportunity to gain a trade, so that no matter what I finally decided to do in life I always had a worthwhile qualification behind me.

BEN: I was very lucky, a local engineer was working across the road from me and my dad asked him if he needed any help – he said ‘yes’. I spent the next four and a half years working for him, full time. I finished my apprenticeship in 2009 and in 2010 started up on my own as BB Plumbing and Heating. In 2012 I entered a partnership, which helped to grow the business. The partnership ended at the beginning of this year and Ben Bowers Heating Solutions Ltd was formed in January.

HIP!: Is HETAS supportive?

HIP!: How difficult did you find the HETAS courses? BEN: As I had plenty of experience during my apprenticeship with a HETAS installer I found the courses relatively easy. The biomass was new to me so this was slightly harder, however, the course at Windhager UK was very well presented so I learnt a lot. For all the HETAS qualifications it took about two weeks, the biomass qualification took five days. HIP!: Did you find any problems becoming MCS accredited? BEN: When I originally looked at MCS requirements it all seemed a bit too much, but as I looked further into it and found Easy MCS, it became very clear what I had to do. I used HETAS rather than another governing body, due to the fact I was already a member for other areas of work