British Gas has continued to innovate in the development of heating boilers and has been developing a new type of intelligent boiler, which can be monitored from hundreds of miles away and will have the capability to call out an heating engineer before the system breaks down or a customer’s safety is put at risk.

The implementation of such technologies would mean that a British Gas boiler service engineer could be on your doorstep before you even knew a problem with your central heating was about to occur. This would also enable maintenance visits to be scheduled before the problem resulted in a boiler breakdown with the consequential home disruption.

Previous British Gas innovations mean it is already leading the way in improving servicing technology for its millions of boiler and central heating maintenance customers – its engineers can currently ‘diagnose’ a boiler’s performance by plugging their laptops directly into the appliance. This removes the need to dismantle and inspect a boiler – a process which often creates more problems that it solves.

In the future, household appliances such as boilers could be connected to a monitoring station which – via the phone line – could tell British Gas if they are safe and performing efficiently. This is a similar approach to burglar alarm monitoring systems. Time spent waiting for parts to be available and delivered could also be reduced or even eliminated, thanks to service engineers knowing which parts are required before they visit the customer’s home.

First of the innovations the RD1 (Remote Diagnostic Boiler) is manufactured exclusively for British Gas by a leading boiler manufacturer. The technology involved in this British Gas boiler could help to revolutionise household appliance servicing, saving time for both customer and engineer with faults to appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and cookers. This technical capability is now being built into all British Gas own-brand boilers – as the system develops, more and more homes will get the chance to benefit from this modern, efficient service technology.

Think of this different way of maintaining systems – British Gas can offer customers the means of detecting faults remotely – before the appliance breaks down. As a result they will ring the customer for a service appointment rather than receiving a breakdown call.

The RD1 boiler works by providing detailed information to a monitoring centre in Loughborough. Between midnight and 6am, information will be supplied on how the boiler has performed during the previous day.

The data provided will also include information about the energy efficiency performance of the boiler and what heating controls are set.

The cost of installing a boiler with remote diagnostic capabilities is similar to that of existing central heating systems. In the future, a low cost modification to existing boilers will enable them to be connected to the remote monitoring system.

Safety could also be enhanced by the new system. Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors could be connected to the British Gas remote monitoring centre – if a CO warning signal is picked up, then British Gas could contact the householder to alert them of the danger and even turn off the gas supply.

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