THE organisation which represents thousands of heating and plumbing engineers across the country has set up a new working group to look at the issues surrounding renewable energy. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has launched the group and its first meeting will be held in the New Year. The country’s leading heating and plumbing organisation has more than 12,000 members across the country and represents the interests of the industry at local and national level. And with increasing subsidies for renewable energy schemes and growing interest in sustainability the CIPHE believes the time is right to create a new advisory body. Changes to the law have also meant that there is more pressure than ever before on the industry to cut emissions. The Climate Change Act which was introduced in 2008 set legally binding reduction targets which mean the emissions will have to reduced by 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. And with heating leading to the highest percentage of carbon emissions in homes the pressure is on the industry to lead the way in introducing new renewable technologies. The group is being headed up by leading industry expert Keith Westcott and it has already drawn up a set of core objectives and aims. Its core mission is to keep a close eye on emerging technologies and pass on the necessary advice and information to CIPHE members. The newly created body is also keen to take part in the ongoing debate on renewable energy and advise the Government on policy. Mr Westcott, who is chief executive of the Lafarge J.V. Thermoplane specialising in eco-radiant screeds for heating and comfort cooling, has been named as the chairman of the new advisory group. He said: “The overwhelming response from our members has been very positive. We recognise the importance of education, communication and interaction with the UK’s heating and plumbing installer and contractor network especially at this time. “We also want to make the best use of the vast knowledge of our members and relay the information back to the industry and to outside organisations.” He added: “The complex nature of renewable sector from the point of view of a tradesman can be intimidating due to many factors. We want to help our members get to grip with all the important issues and new technologies. “Through our quarterly meetings and regular up-dates we will be looking to inform and educate plumbing and heating contractors. We also want to place ourselves at the centre of the interaction and conversations between the installers of renewable technologies and all other industry sectors.” The first meeting of the new advisory group is due to take place on January 10th at Lafarge Cement offices in Solihull, Birmingham.