British Gas Primed to Rescue Boiler Breakdown Brits as Clocks Go Back

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British Gas today warns that Brits may be lulled into a false sense of security by the drizzly weather. The UK’s largest energy supplier is expecting its first peak in emergency calls due to boiler failure this weekend, as the clocks go back and people finally succumb to the realisation that winter has arrived.

British Gas - Rescuing Boilers

We look after half the homes in the country, which means it’s our responsibility to help the nation prepare their homes for winter

According to its data based on emergency call-out patterns from previous years, British Gas estimates that more than 20,000 boilers could breakdown on Sunday 31st October alone as Brits crank up their heating.

New research by British Gas reveals that almost a quarter of Brits (24 per cent) have suffered from the inconvenience of boiler breakdowns in previous winters. Despite the fact that up to 15 million people have experienced a boiler breakdown in the past, 68 per cent of people fail to prepare their homes for winter before a problem arises. Forty one per cent do nothing at all to prepare their home and a further 27 per cent only take action once something has gone wrong.

Despite being located in the milder South, Londoners could be worst hit by boiler breakdown day, with over quarter of a million calls last winter being made by people living in the capital. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their locations, the North West and Scotland were the second and third regions most blighted by boiler breakdown last winter – with residents of Edinburgh suffering more than any other city in Britain.

To help its customers cope with the havoc a boiler breakdown can cause, British Gas has launched its Winter Pledge:

  •     New same day service pledge: All British Gas customers with a HomeCare® package can now access a new Same Day Service – if a customer has no heat or hot water and calls before 1pm, British Gas is committed to coming out the same day.
  •     Families with young children and elderly finding themselves without heating will be prioritised for the Same Day Service
  •     British Gas will do all it can to ensure it won’t leave customers cold – that’s why engineers now carry electrical fan heaters, which they will leave with the customer if they really can’t fix it the same day. The heaters are issued at no extra cost to the customer
  •     British Gas is also preparing for potential snow – introducing 60 all-wheel-drives to its fleet, strategically placed across Britain, so engineers can get to even the remotest spot in a hurry

Chris Jansen, British Gas’s Managing Director Home Services, said:

“We look after half the homes in the country, which means it’s our responsibility to help the nation prepare their homes for winter. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to check their boilers now, before the cold winter really kicks in, and ensure they don’t get caught out. We’re doing our bit too – we’re introducing a winter pledge which means we will do all we can to make sure our customers have the heat and hot water they need.”

To help customers get the best out of their homes this winter, British Gas has also enlisted the support of its new Winter Homes Expert, Robin Bray, who is a qualified engineer and home energy expert.

Robin Bray’s top tips to help winter proof your home:

1.    Love your boiler: Check to make sure your boiler is working properly before winter sets in.
2.    Bleed your radiators: to make sure they are working properly.
3.    Curtail with curtains: Hang heavy, lined curtains at windows to help keep the heat in and close them as soon as it starts getting dark.
4.    Combat your thermostat: Set your room thermostat at or around the recommended temperature of 21°c (70°f). If you turn down your heating thermostat by 1°C you could save around £60 a year.
5.    Only heat the rooms you use: Fit thermostatic radiator valves to your radiators so you only heat the rooms being used.

More hints and tips on winter-proofing the home are available at http://www.britishgas.co.uk

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Laurie Erlam
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