The best talent in the heating oil industry from across the UK and Republic of Ireland was showcased at OFTEC’s 2014 Awards for Excellence event on Tuesday, with both installers and manufacturers recognised for their achievements.
Attended by more than 170 industry guests, this year’s Awards saw David Ewins from Cornwall-based Davanna Heating Limited beat off stiff competition to pick up the title of Boiler Installer of the Year, with Stephen Owen of SC Owen in Reading receiving the award for Servicing and Commissioning Technician of the Year. David who was also crowned Boiler Installer of the Year in 2007 and runner up in 2006, said, “Over the 20 years I have been running the business, I have always pushed for the highest professional standards and to be recognised for this by OFTEC means a lot. The award further strengthens the work that we do and will undoubtedly benefit the business going forward.”
Heating Oil Tank Installer of the Year was won by Lee Stafford of LWL Heating in Brighton, while Daniel Pannell of Pembrokeshire Housing Association was highlighted as Trainee of the Year. Daniel said, “Winning this award is massive. I didn’t know I’d been entered for it until my boss told me two weeks ago so it’s a real surprise and a confidence boost. I’m working towards becoming a fully qualified plumber and this will definitely help me along the way.”
Innovative Product of the Year was won by pioneering storage tank telemetry specialist Dunraven Systems Limited, for its OilPal, web-enabled remote heating oil monitoring application. OilPal not only allows consumers to monitor the level of heating oil inside their tank, but allows them to reorder fuel online too.
The remaining 2014 Awards for Excellence categories were won by Worcester Bosch Group (Best Customer Support), Grant Engineering UK (Best Member Website), METAC Training (Best Training Centre) and Colin Sutherland MBE (Lifetime Achievement Award).
The Awards took place at Nailcote Hotel and Leisure Club near Coventry, as part of OFTEC’s new look ‘Big Event’ which included a trade show, seminar programme and Member mini conference. Speaking at The Big Event, OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley, said, “This year’s Awards for Excellence proved bigger and better than ever before and the standard of entries reflects the abundance of talent we have in the industry. I would like to congratulate all our winners and the excellent contribution they have made to the oil heating market.
“Our industry undoubtedly faces challenges going forward but with the current competitive price of oil, which is predicted to remain low, and a revival in oil boiler sales, we remain optimistic about the future. OFTEC will continue its valuable work at all levels, from the Government to the consumer, to safeguard and progress the oil heating industry.”
The Big Event mini conference saw guest speakers John Huber, President of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) in America, and Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Utilities Alliance (EUA), a not-for-profit trade association which helps to shape the future policy direction within the UK energy and utilities sector, share their views on the market.A full seminar programme for technicians ran alongside the mini conference too.
The morning’s events were followed by a buffet lunch and the Awards ceremony, compered by Canadian comedian Sean Collins.