Demand for boilers plunges by 34% due to coronavirus

New data from Rated People suggests people are failing to upgrade or service their boiler. Not only could neglecting our boilers cost households significant sums of money each year, but there are also important health and safety factors to consider.

Find-a-tradesperson service, Rated People, reveals that there was an overall 34% year-on-year decrease in people installing, servicing or repairing boilers in 2020, with gas boilers down by 36% and electric boilers by 25%.

Estimates from price comparison sites suggest a new boiler could save a detached house up to £305 annually on its heating bill. In addition, 55% of what a household spends on energy will come down to heating, and so a new boiler can be a worthwhile investment for those looking to save on their heating bills.

As well as looking at our boilers, energy saving measures, such as wall insulation and window glazing improvements, could save households even more on their fuel costs. Technology solutions like smart meters can be an effective way of lowering heating bills by allowing homeowners to monitor usage and access the cheapest energy tariffs available.

The top 5 most effective ways people can make their home more fuel efficient are:

  1. A new boiler – the best way to make your home more fuel efficient and save on your monthly bills
  2. Smart thermostats – these can help you track your energy use and manage your heating when you’re not around
  3. Cavity wall insulation – a third of heat loss is through uninsulated walls
  4. Energy-efficient windows – upgrade to double glazing if you haven’t already, or speak to a specialist about whether triple or secondary glazing is right for your home
  5. Roof / loft insulation – 25% of heat is lost through an uninsulated roof

As well as potential savings on energy bills, there are important health and safety considerations when it comes to our boilers. A regularly serviced boiler not only keeps it fuel efficient but also ensures the unit is combusting fuel safely, considerably reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are hundreds of hospitalisations per year due to carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty appliances like boilers. What’s more, a failing boiler could deprive a home of heating and hot water.

Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People commented:

“2020 was a tough year for many financially, and so it is understandable that people have reigned back on their spending. But, putting your boiler to the back of your mind might end up costing you more in the future. Instead, it is better to think of upgrading and maintaining your boiler as an investment that can pay dividends in the long run.

“The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your finances and see where you might be able to save. If a new boiler is too big of an investment this year, a tradesperson can advise on other ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping to bring down your bills. Should your household heating be one area where you are spending a bit too much, and you have the space for a bigger boiler, you might want to consider using the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme which can offset the cost of switching to a biomass boiler. Tradespeople will be able to advise you on which options are best for you.”  

The coronavirus pandemic has left many households’ finances stretched, and affordability has likely been a key factor in people’s decisions to not take care of their boiler. But, this doesn’t mean our desire to make our homes more energy efficient has lessened. Measures that have been supported by funding through government schemes, such as the Green Homes Grant, have proved incredibly popular, with installation of thermal insulation (+49%) and external wall insulation (+86%) soaring throughout 2020.