Boiler Guide: Benchmark Scheme Changes Could Rid Industry of ‘Cowboys’

Boiler Guide, the UK’s leading online resource for homeowners and heating engineers regarding all boiler-related issues, said more manufacturers should get behind a campaign to link the commissioning checklist after Baxi added their weight to the drive this week.

A number of gas boiler manufacturers have already backed the move to link a boiler guarantee to the commissioning checklist which is completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer once they have completed an installation, with Baxi boilers -a well-recognised and established name in the industry – being the latest firm to add its name to the scheme.

Benchmark is a UK recognised quality standard that give consumers the knowledge that manufacturers and installers ensure high standard practice during the installation, commissioning and servicing of domestic heating and hot water products and is managed by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council.

Baxi’s Group Service Director Lee Robinson, who is also the chair of the Benchmark steering committee, said: “The boiler manufacturers have agreed that by linking the completion of the Benchmark commissioning checklist to the appliance warranty they are safeguarding consumers against poor quality and sometimes illegally operating installers.

The correctly completed checklist provides evidence that the system has been installed to the manufacturer’s instructions, and demonstrates compliance with the Building Regulations, by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It also goes a long way to ensuring the engineer demonstrates the system and its controls to the householder and explains the checklist and service record before leaving it with them.

Manufacturers are united in supporting the work of the majority of installers, who carry out their work competently and professionally, and will provide training, support and tools like this new checklist to help them.

We would like to encourage unregistered installers, who are at present working illegally, to get the necessary training, qualifications and skills to be Gas Safe registered as a minimum. “Our industry is united in sending a clear message that we will no longer carry the cost for poor quality installations carried out by cowboys.”

David Holmes, the founder of Boiler Guide, said the move would be a cleared hurdle in improving the public’s perception of the industry and also give consumers a further guarantee that their new boiler is being installed to the standards of both a regulatory board and the unit manufacturer.

The term ‘cowboy’ is one that really hampers our industry,” said Holmes. “Consumers are always reminded to be careful when employing the services of a boiler technician with some individuals being exposed for carrying out illegal and unacceptable work.

However, this link between manufacturers and the Benchmark commissioning checklist would put consumer minds at rest.

There are a lot of exceptionally good and well qualified installers out there, but unfortunately the wider industry does sometimes get tarnished with the same brush because of a handful of ‘cowboy’ technicians.

Boiler Guide only offers the services of Gas Safe registered engineers, offers free quotes from up-to-three  reputable national and regional firms and allows customers to give feedback on their installation to ensure anyone who uses Boiler Guide won’t get ripped off by ‘cowboy’ installers.

If you want to receive three boiler quotes from national and regional boiler companies in your area, please visit www.boilerguide.co.uk.