This Editor's Comment is from our January 2019 edition.

Here we are again, at the start of another new year. This year will no doubt bring about an entirely new set of challenges that we’ve not even dreamed of yet, but let’s focus on what we do know.

Meteorologists are predicting this winter to be the coldest for eight years, meaning that there will be more than enough boiler services and installs needed across the UK to ensure everyone has plenty of work. A repetition of the ‘Beast from the East’ would certainly be a cause for uproar across the sector, especially if there’s another spate of frozen condensate pipes!

Moving later into the year, come April it will be the one year anniversary of Boiler Plus. Anedoctal evidence we have heard at HVP points towards it not working as hoped, but with the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy due to be publishing a review of the policy at the one year mark, it will be interesting to see if any solutions are put forward to revive the ailing scheme.

We could also finally see the much awaited SAP 10 protocol this year, if the proposed update to Building Regulations Part L does indeed take place. Although some are already working to these new standards, we will likely see a greater push towards electric heating as SAP 10 slashes the grid electricity carbon factor used from 0.519 kgCO2/kWh to 0.233 kgCO2/kWh.

A new range of tax challenges are also on the horizon for many installers. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is introducing tax changes which will affect businesses with a turnover above £85,000 in April under its ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative. For the full details, check out our story on p14 but, in summary, it will mean that many tradespeople will have to keep their VAT return data in a digital format which is also ‘digitally linked’ to the HMRC. If your business is not ready for it yet, now is certainly the time to start ramping up preparations.

This year is also a milestone for both HVP and the PHEX series of exhibitions. PHEX will be 25 this year, which is a great achievement for any live event. We have a lot of exciting things to reveal, so stay tuned.

However, the more significant milestone of 2019 belongs to HVP, which will be hitting its ‘ruby’ anniversary of 40 years in September. I hope you agree that the publication continues to go from strength to strength and look forward to celebrating with us this year.