Behind the Scenes at the BMA AGM

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Behind the Scenes at the BMA AGM

As a participating BMA (Bathroom Manufacturer’s Association) Member, and with our MD being Vice President, we took our annual trip down to the BMA’s AGM, which took place on the 3rd July. This year’s AGM had a bit of a twist as there was a press conference held after the meeting, with an important announcement about the Water Label. This announcement led to the biggest turn out yet for the AGM.

Full Turnout for the AGM
Full Turnout for the AGM
Presentation by Mauro Cordella from the European Commission
Presentation by Mauro Cordella from the European Commission

Following the regular formalities, the AGM received a presentation by Dr Noble Francis from Construction Products Association. The presentation focussed on how the construction market has developed, including forecasts going forward. There were some interesting findings from this report…

  • Interest rates to stay low long-term
  • In the UK we are only building ½ the number of houses we need for future households – this is leaving a shortfall on housing stock.
  • We haven’t been building enough houses since the 1970s to cope with household increases.
  • There is a huge amount of demand for housing in London, which has seen house prices continue to increase, even during the recession – house prices in London are currently 18% up on pre-recession prices.
  • Private housing to rise 19% in two years, boosted by schemes such as FirstBuy, the Funding for Lending Scheme and Help to Buy
  • The Renovation Maintenance Improvement (RMI) market, fell by 5.9% in 2012, but it is beginning to make small growth.
  • The current Green Deal is not working for private households – there is a low awareness and the high interest rates are off-putting. There have been less than 300 households taking up the Green Deal in the last 3 years.
Presentation from WRAP about consumer research about attitudes to water using products
Presentation from WRAP about consumer research about attitudes to water using products

Following Dr Noble’s presentation a representative from WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) talked us through some consumer research, around consumer’s attitudes to saving water and water efficient products. This led nicely onto the press conference, where it was announced that the Water Label  is going to be backed by the majority of UK Builder’s Merchants.

Assembling for the Press Conference
Assembling for the Press Conference

The Water Label began being developed in 2006 and the BMA have worked hard to roll out the labelling scheme across the UK and out into Europe. Over 2000 products have received the Water Label, which has been designed to echo the styling and ease of use associated with the Energy Efficiency Label, that we have all become so familiar with on our white goods. The backing from the Major UK Builder’s Merchants is an important step in the BMA’s campaign to raise awareness of the importance of water efficiency in the UK.

Tim Pollard of Wolseley and Steve Lee, BMA President
Tim Pollard of Wolseley and Steve Lee, BMA President

So why is being water efficient so important to the bathroom industry? Here are a few of the top stats we’ve picked out for you…

  • ½ of the water used in our home is used in the bathroom.
  • The average person in England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day – it is estimated that by 2020 the demand for water could increase by 800 million extra litres per day.
  • Hot water use contributes £228 to the average annual combined energy bill and emits 875kg of CO2 per household per year.
  • Heating water is the second largest source of energy use in the home (after heating our homes)
  • Reducing the amount of heated water we use in the home could reduce our energy bills, regardless of whether you have a water meter.
  • The demands of modern living have led to our water usage increasing by 55% over the 25 years.
  • Of all the CO2 emissions in the UK, 6% are from water use.