British Gas unveils ‘breakdown smart’ boiler

Centrica-owned British Gas is launching an ‘intelligent’ boiler sometime this year, in an effort to expand its home services.

The boiler, which will be on show at the Ideal Home Show next week, will have a computer chip that will alert British Gas automatically in the event of a breakdown.

According to a British Gas spokesman, the so-called “smart chip” will be able to contact service engineers and give details of boiler breakdown.

The energy company is considering how to market the boiler, but claims it will not be sold at a higher price than its “non-smart” boilers. The company also claims this is a first in the UK gas and electricity market.

Last week, the company was referred to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over allegations that customers are being put under undue pressure to buy central heating systems.

British Gas awards commission to engineers servicing heating systems who arrange a sales visit that results in a purchase.

Earlier this year, British Gas launched a website, www.house.co.uk, which enables users to access a list of registered service providers, such as plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen to do household jobs.

The website also gives advice on essential household tasks such as updating the kitchen or buying gadgets.

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