Energy Company Boiler Installation Rip-Off

by Jamie on September 22, 2010

The Guardian is today reporting that the energy suppliers are ripping people off when it comes to replacement boilers.

After a freedom of information request the data from the boiler scrappage scheme was released covering nearly 120,000 boiler installations. The scrappage scheme ran in the first half of the year, offering a £400 subsidy for the replacement of G rated boilers with A rated condensing boilers.

These figures showed that on average energy suppliers were charging a third more than local independent installers. As the average cost of a boiler is around £2,300 this means that the energy suppliers are charging about £800 more than independent installers. But across England the discrepancy varies considerably. In the West Midlands the energy suppliers have been charging a staggering £3,600 on average compared with the £2,250 charged by local installers – 60% more.

The article doesn’t say as much but chief amongst them will doubtless be British Gas, the largest installer of boilers in the country, as there has long been anecdotal evidence that British Gas were overcharging their customers.

It is also worth pointing out that the energy suppliers were charging these exorbitant prices under a taxpayer-supported incentive scheme – no doubt this was a handy boost to their £585m  profits in the first half of 2010, 98% higher than the same period in 2009.

My advice is to stay well clear of energy suppliers when replacing your boiler. Ask friends for recommendations of local installers and obtain multiple quotes.

A fully installed replacement boiler should cost around the £2,200 to £2,500 mark. Go for an A rated condensing boiler and in order to maximise the savings you should make sure the installer flushes the heating system to remove any gunk and restore the efficiency of the radiators. An inhibitor which prevents build up of deposits in the heating system should also be added and a full set of heating controls is required with all boiler replacements.

Check out the other posts on boilers for more information.

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