Global Warming, Energy Costs, And Water Poverty - The Need For 'Green' Plumbing In The UK And Worldwide


There are rapidly increasing expectations and demands, in the UK and more widely, for 'low temperature' or 'low carbon' plumbing and heating systems to combat global warming and rapidly increased, volatile energy costs. At the same time water and fuel poverty are more and more prevalent.

Kevin Wellman will tell us that this is a significant challenge to the plumbing and heating (P&H) sector - to ensure that it is sufficiently expert to design, install and maintain more complex, yet 'greener', technologies (heat pumps etc), whole-building heat loss assessment, and the selection of best solutions, including insulation, tailored for each building. 

And there are consequential requirements - the need to update government policy, legislation, and consumer incentives, and to upgrade the education and training of installers (in FE colleges and through Continuing Professional Development), backed up by better plumbing practitioner certification. This will enable new, higher standards of equipment installation and performance, of safety & health, to be met/exceeded in a new P&H world.

Kevin Wellman will also speak about the global challenge, as Deputy Chair of the World Plumbing Council. He will explain that there is an urgent need for cross-national cooperation in the industry, and between governments - a truly coordinated approach on 'best practice' solutions to heating and cooling needs, and to common plumbing and sanitation issues, especially at a time of rapid climate change. The plumbing challenge, not least to meet the demands of UN SDG 6, requires global solutions which can only be achieved through greater collaboration, where richer nations (supported by international agencies) are willing to invest in plumbing, heating & cooling R&D to the benefit of all nations.


Kevin Wellman served an indentured apprenticeship and won an Advanced Craft certificate in plumbing and heating. He joined the Institute of Plumbing in 1985 and in that year that completed his Higher National Certificate in Building Studies. In 1993 he successfully completed a Diploma in Management.

In 2011 he became Chief Executive Officer of the CIPHE and was also elected to the Executive Board of the World Plumbing Council. At the 2023 World Plumbing Conference in Shanghai, he was elected as Deputy Chairman of WPC.

Kevin has been an active Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Plumbers for many years and became a Court Assistant in 2023; he serves on the Education & Technical Committee.

He is a founder Director of WaterSafe. In 2016 he was awarded Fellowship of the City & Guilds London Institute.

Kevin is proud of his career-long work to increase his industry’s engagement with government to raise standards in the education and training of plumbers. He regards the CIPHE’s Plumbing Engineering Service Design Guide and the recently launched Low-Temperature Plumbing Qualification as key contributions to the plumbing & heating sector in the UK.

Kevin Wellman’s broadest mission is to make the world a safer, healthier place through better plumbing. He strives for ‘clean water for all’ in a world of fast-growing populations and increasingly extreme weather crises, both drought and flood.