A recent investigation by The Guardian has uncovered that energy suppliers charged higher installation prices to consumers during the Boiler Scrappage Scheme earlier this year than regional and local firms. Boiler Guide, the UK’s leading online resource for homeowners and heating engineers regarding all boiler-related issues, says these latest figures show it’s essential for consumers to get a number of quotes from both nationwide and local heating companies to get the best price available to them.
The Guardian put in a freedom of information request to collate the take-up of the taxpayer-funded Boiler Scrappage Scheme and discovered big energy suppliers charged a third more on average than independent traders for the installation of an energy efficient boiler.
The figures showed that getting a boiler replacement though an energy supplier cost an average £812 more than using a small to medium sized firm, and £703 more than a larger installer group.
However, in some regions the difference was even greater, with the West Midlands suffering the most from inflated energy supplier installation prices according to The Guardian. The average cost charged by energy companies was £3,590 – 60 per cent more than smaller supplier who, on average, offered to fit a new boiler for a fee of £1,335.
The Boiler Scrappage Scheme ran from 5 January to 26 March this year. The aim was to replace the nation’s most inefficient boilers by offering a voucher towards the boiler and installation costs.
The upgrade of these older boilers to newer more energy efficient ‘A’ rated boilers was designed to reduce a household’s energy bill by up to £230 a year and carbon dioxide emissions by up to a tonne.
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) operated scheme offered an allowance of £400 to those householders who owned a working ‘G’ rated boiler of 70 per cent efficiency or less. The scheme also includes un-rated boilers of efficiency less than 70 per cent but eligibility.
Around 119,000 households took up the Boiler Scrappage Scheme offer with 17,000 opting to use an energy supplier, unaware of the inflated prices in comparison to specialist boiler firms and local companies.
Boiler Guide, a consumer’s free one-stop-shop for all their boiler and heating needs, offers a free quote service to consumers who can add their details and requirements which will then be passed on to a maximum of three different companies, with the three being a mix of UK-covering and locally-based firms. David Holmes, the founder of the site, said this service was a pivotal part of people saving money during the Boiler Scrappage Scheme, and is still the best way of ensuring you get the best priced service available to you if you’re looking to replace a boiler, have your unit serviced or to have repairs carried out.
“The Boiler Guide quote method means a consumer can compare the offers available to them in their area from nationwide energy suppliers, boiler and heating specialists and local boiler firms,” said Holmes.
“This allows a consumer to make the most informed decision available to them, without any cost to them to do so.
“We have an ongoing list of firms who are registered with Boiler Guide to carry out all sorts of boiler-focussed jobs with every company listed having to have Gas Safe Registered installers and technicians.
“This latest report from the Guardian proves that if a consumer doesn’t use a service such as ours, it could cost them in the region of £1000.”
For more information about Boiler Guide and how to use the simple quote system, visit www.boilerguide.co.uk.