Old Boilers Contribute to Higher Energy Bills

7 million of us are running an old boiler, but how much could your boiler be costing you?

Graphic of a boiler with smoke coming from it to signify the age of the boiler

Millions of UK households have an old boiler but if replaced with a newer model, it could save Brits hundreds of pounds on energy bills on average.

  • One in six Brits haven’t replaced their boiler in over 10 years1
  • One in ten will only replace their boiler once it’s broken
  • Third of calls to HomeServe gas engineers in July are due to people being without heating or hot water
  • This summer, home assistance providers HomeServe are urging Brits to consider replacing their old boilers, as millions of UK households could be missing out on up to £840 saving

Older boilers waste more energy and therefore cost more to run, while newer models are usually more energy efficient, therefore saving you more money over its lifetime.

According to research commissioned by home assistance provider, HomeServe, 7 million people have a boiler aged 10 years or older and this means they could face an average energy bill which is up to £840 higher.2

Among the surveyed UK adults, one in five (17%) Brits say they have never replaced their boiler and of those, one in 10 (10%) said that they will only replace it once broken.

But with fluctuating energy prices, HomeServe is urging Brits to talk more about their boilers and to consider replacing them before they break.

The findings shows that three in 10 Brits find talking about their boilers a boring topic (30%) – more mundane than talking about cleaning clothes, (28%), cars (26%), or pensions (24%).

Gas engineer at HomeServe, Brian Sweeney, comments:

“It may seem at odds to be considering – or talking about – replacing your boiler in the height of the summer months. But, no heating or hot water is the most common boiler-related issue in July – with a third (32%) of callouts of this type 3.

“It’s even more important to have peace of mind when we do get to Winter that your boiler will pull through, as you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t heat the home. Equally, running an old boiler could mean you are missing out on a yearly saving of up to £840 due to its inefficiency. Buying a new boiler can be far more effective in the long term, and that’s why we’re offering money off new boilers over the summer months.”

Five signs your boiler might need replacing from HomeServe Gas engineer, Chris Houghton:

  1. Your boiler is leaking: 14% of our boiler callout jobs last year related to a leaking boiler and if this is the case, you should call out an expert to service your boiler. The most likely issue is that internal parts may have faulted or started to disintegrate, which tends to happen when boilers reach an older age. It may be that the parts need replacing, or a new boiler is needed.
  2. Your boiler is making funny noises: Once boilers are turned on, it is common for them to make a low repetitive humming noise. However, if you’re hearing banging, clunking, or whirring – which caused 5% of our boiler callouts last year – this could indicate a broken valve or an issue with the heat pump. You should contact a trusted engineer to troubleshoot the issue.
  3. Radiators are taking longer to heat up: If it took a while to heat up your radiator last time you used it, it may just be that you need to bleed them. However, it could also signal a blockage in the central heating system, or a larger issue within the boiler which means it needs to be replaced. It’s important to have a boiler service to discover the cause.
  4. The boiler smells bad: A healthy boiler will never give off any bad smells, so if you notice that yours has an odd odour, then get in touch with a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible. HomeServe have experts on hand nearby, who can look at the problem for you. However, if the smell is sulphurous or eggy, and stronger when your boiler is in use, this could mean you have an escape of gas or fumes. In this case, you should turn the boiler off straight away, open any windows, and evacuate to a safe location outside the home. Then call the emergency gas line on 0800 111 999.
  5. Your energy bills are increasing: Old boilers tend to be less efficient at burning fuel, so if your energy bills are much higher than usual (even with the hike in energy prices), it may be that your boiler needs replacing so it runs more effectively.


Notes to editors:

For more information, or to arrange a media interview, please contact:

Liam Reeves – Third City

Telephone: 07398 268 187
Email: liam@thirdcity.co.uk

Niamh Finnie – Third City

Telephone: 07761 669 176
Email: niamh@thirdcity.co.uk

About the research

Unless otherwise stated, the research was conducted by Opinium Research among 2,000 UK adults in July 2023.

A little bit about HomeServe

As one of the country’s leading home assistance providers, HomeServe has 30 years’ experience looking after UK homes. From plumbing, drainage, boiler, heating, or electrics cover to new boilers and one-off repairs, they're always looking for ways to bring you better care for your home, through their range of products and services. With a nationwide network of Home Experts and a claims line that’s open 24/7, 365 days a year, you can count on them to be there when it matters most.

Diversity and inclusion

HomeServe is proud to promote equality and inclusion through all their partnerships, including Business in the Community, Stonewall, Race at Work Charter and the Business Disability Forum. In recognition of these efforts, they’ve become a signatory of the Race at Work Charter, voted Best Place to Work for Women 2020, achieved accreditation to become a Disability Confident Committed employer and are now ranked in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. In 2021, HomeServe also earned a place on the list of European Great Places to Work.

HomeServe - we’re on our way.

One in six of those who’ve changed their boiler, say they haven’t done so for 10 years or more in Opinium research conducted July 2023.

On a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK adults, 266 are UK adults that have not replaced their boiler in more than ten years. 266 / 2000 * 53,188,204 (UK adult population) = 7,074,031 Replacing an old gas boiler could save up to £840 a year. This is based on September 2022 Energy Savings Trust research on the average savings found in a detached house in England, Scotland and Wales when replacing an old gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls.

Unless otherwise stated, internal data refers to boiler callouts during the period of January – July 2022.