SSE cuts energy prices but increases boiler cover costsWhich? reveals best boiler cover companies

04 February 2016

Gas boiler being fixed

Which? research reveals the boiler brands that won't let you down.

SSE will cut gas prices by 5.3% on 29 March this year, which is good news for some customers, but more than 390,000 customers with SSE boiler cover will see their bills rise 12.5%.

The price change will affect any customer renewing their contract, from the point of renewal. 

A spokesperson for SSE said: 'SSE will be increasing prices for customers renewing their Gas Maintenance products by 12.5%. Despite this increase the offer still remains highly competitive.

'This move has been taken because the cost of servicing a boiler increases over time. All customers will be informed of the increase by letter before the end of their contract and will at that point have the option of accepting the new charges or discussing other options should the new prices not suit their personal circumstances.'

We've rated 13 boiler cover companies, including SSE, having surveyed more than 10,779 boiler cover owners. Discover which are the best and worst boiler servicing companies - the top scored 77% while the bottom just 41%.

Is boiler cover worth the money?

The simple answer is possibly not. In a Which? survey last year, we found less than 3% of members were financially better off with a boiler servicing contract when we looked at the likelihood of saving money with boiler cover.

Matt Knight, Which? boilers expert said: 'While a boiler servicing contract costs £245 a year on average, according to the Which? members we spoke to, the average cost of a one-off boiler service is only £70. So if your boiler doesn't need repairing in the first six years - which the majority of the most reliable boilers don't - you'd pay an average of £1,190 over the odds*.'  

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Getting the best boiler service

Last year, Which? investigated boiler engineers from five major brands and five independent companies, and unveiled worrying findings. 

During our investigation we found:

  • eight out of 10 failed to meet the minimum legal requirements
  • six did not fix the gas pressure, which we had deliberately set too high
  • two did not take the case off the boiler and a third engineer only took it off for just 13 seconds.

We also exposed engineers making potentially dangerous mistakes. These included not checking the boiler case seal for leaks, not checking the flue properly, letting unburnt gas hiss out into the room and – in two instances – lying about safety checks.

You can read about our full investigation and find out more about how to get the most from a boiler service in our guide to getting the best boiler service.

*Figures are based on the average amount paid by those who needed repairs in the last year [£210], the average cost of an annual service [£70] and the average cost of a boiler servicing contract [£245].

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