OFTEC – anniversary celebrations and ‘business as usual’ post Brexit

(l-r)  Jeremy Hawksley, Nick Hawkins and Paul Rose
(l-r)  Jeremy Hawksley, Nick Hawkins and Paul Rose

As OFTEC marks 25 years of raising standards in the heating industry, its focus remains firmly on the future.

In a communication last Friday (24th June) director general Jeremy Hawskley assured members that ‘OFTEC will do all that it can to obtain and communicate information to its members on any impact/changes that a BREXIT may bring about in our industry’.

With respect to members and registrants in the Republic of Ireland, OFTEC is ‘fully committed’ and will ‘continue to represent their interests whatever the final outcome negotiated with the EU regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the Union’.

The milestone anniversary was officially marked at OFTEC’s annual conference and AGM where chairman Nick Hawkins, director commercial operations at Kingspan Environmental, also formally welcomed OFTEC’s new CEO Paul Rose.

Paul, who is currently OFTEC’s technical director, will take over the post next month when director general Jeremy Hawksley retires following nine successful years at the helm.

Speaking at OFTEC’s 2016 conference and AGM at the Hilton Puckrup Hotel near Tewkesbury, Nick Hawkins said:

“Over the past 25 years, OFTEC has worked tirelessly to promote the highest standards, championing the industry at both a national and international level. I firmly believe that without OFTEC, oil heating would be long gone in Great Britain. We have risen to some major challenges, most notably a seven-year battle with the European Commission to obtain realistic nitrous oxide limits within the Energy Related Products Directive – which we won in 2014.

“Another major threat was the government’s ambition to eliminate oil heating by 2025 via the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). I believe our objections to this seriously flawed scheme, and the more realistic suggestions we put forward to tackle energy efficiency and carbon reduction, have helped reduce the impact of the RHI on our industry.

“But we have also been extremely fortunate. The continuation of low crude oil prices has prompted a revival in fortunes with oil remaining by far the cheapest home heating fuel. Last year boiler sales were up 9% on 2014 levels and this April boiler purchases increased by 28% compared to April 2015. We also saw a similar rise in tank sales in 2015.

“OFTEC will always work hard in the best interests of the industry,” said incoming CEO Paul Rose.

“My role now is to build on the huge and valued contribution Jeremy Hawksley has made to OFTEC’s progression both in the UK, Ireland and Europe, and I look forward to taking OFTEC onwards into the next 25 years.”