Installer Mark Gray reveals why business is still good up in Scotland.
We're based just south of Glasgow and the weather up here is cold. The thermometer in the car's telling me that right now it's minus four degrees out, so it's no wonder our customers want to make sure their heating systems run smoothly.
Obviously there are repairs that need to be done, that's always the same; all hours, seven days a week. But people aren't afraid of buying a new boiler despite the poor economy. We've been going for 21 years and 2010 was the quietest by far; all of a sudden the phone stopped ringing. But since then it's picked up again and we're fitting three or four new boilers every week.
We've still got the scrappage scheme up here – a Scottish government initiative to replace old, inefficient boilers by offering £400 towards a new one – so people are taking advantage of that. We've always said it's much better to install a brand new Baxi boiler than spend money trying to repair an old one that just isn’t up to scratch. A couple of years ago people were reluctant to install new systems, but now they're realising that it's the best solution in the long run.
With sky-high fuel bills, people want to get their boiler running as efficiently as possible and don't mind spending a bit of money to do so. We've got demonstration units in the van to show customers how things like filtration systems and water treatment products work. After we explain how these can help the boiler run more efficiently they're keen for us to install them.
Another thing we get asked a lot about is controls because they're one of the easiest ways to save money on your bills. If they don't have the controls installed and set up properly, they won't be saving any energy. It's our job to explain this to our customers because otherwise they could be throwing away hundreds of pounds a year.
Mark Gray from Mark D. Gray Ltd - Gas, Central Heating and Renewable Energy Solutions, East Kilbride, Scotland. For more information please visit www.markdgrayltd.co.uk