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Boiler Breakdown Hotspots in England

By Pete Mugleston

Published: 28th April 2021 Last updated: 28th April 2021
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Our boilers are the heart of our homes, providing much-needed warmth to properties and their residents all year round – particularly given England’s unpredictable weather. As 2020 resulted in fewer empty homes during the day, a lot of boilers were running on overtime. But just how many boilers let their owners down during this homestay period?

To identify England’s boiler breakdown hotspots, we analysed the Local Authority Housing Statistics data for 2019 to 2020 and pinpointed which local authorities had the highest percentage of boiler replacements per number of dwellings.

The local authorities with the highest percentage of boiler replacements

Tower Hamlets was found to be the boiler-breakdown hotspot, with 13.89% of local authority owned homes in the area requiring a boiler replacement. Among the 11,477 local authority owned properties in the area, there were 1,594 boiler replacements made between 2019 and 2020.

The second highest percentage of boiler breakdowns occurred in Cambridge, with our research finding just over 13% of local authority owned homes had boiler replacements between 2019 and 2020. Despite only having 7,105 local authority owned homes in the vicinity, there were 929 boiler replacements from 2019 to 2020.

Slough had the third highest percentage of boiler replacements between 2019 and 2020. Of the 6,232 local authority owned households in Slough, there were 769 boiler replacements within this time period, which equates to 12.34% of local authority owned dwellings.

With 18,964 local authority owned houses in Gateshead, and 1,935 boiler replacements between 2019 and 2020 within these, Gateshead had the fourth highest percentage of boiler replacements in local authority owned homes in England. With almost 2,000 replacements during that time, that’s equivalent to 10.2% of Gateshead’s council-owned properties.

Leeds had one of the highest numbers of boiler replacements overall between 2019 and 2020, with 5,364 in total. However, since there are 54,738 local authority owned homes in the area, this equates to 9.8% of local authority properties suffering a boiler breakdown during that time, ranking the area in fifth place.

Despite being a popular seaside destination for visitors, Southend-on-Sea rounds off the 20 local authorities with the highest percentage of boiler replacements. According to our analysis, it was estimated that 6.88% of local authority owned homes had had their boiler replaced between 2019 and 2020, with 415 boiler replacements across the 6,034 dwellings.

The local authorities with the lowest percentage of boiler replacements

Surprisingly, some local authorities reported zero boiler replacements in their local authority owned dwellings between 2019 and 2020. These local authorities include Islington, Southampton, Barnet, Brent, and Canterbury, despite the areas having a collective sum of 65,156 local authority owned homes between them.

Aside from these areas, Northampton had the lowest percentage of boiler replacements in local authority owned homes, with just 0.37%. Across the 11,418 local authority owned homes in Northampton, there were just 42 boiler replacements during the period studied.

Meanwhile, Stevenage had the second lowest percentage, with 0.39% of council-owned dwellings having their boiler replaced between 2019 and 2020 after our research found there were just 31 reported boiler replacements across the 7,896 local authority owned homes across the area.

The regions with the highest percentage of boiler replacements

When it came down to the regions with the highest percentage of boiler breakdowns in local authority owned homes, the East of England fared the worst. Our study estimates that 6.12% of local authority owned homes in the region had their boiler replaced between 2019 and 2020 – the highest percentage of all regions studied. Of the local authority areas in the East of England, Cambridge had the highest percentage of boiler replacements, whilst Stevenage had the lowest (0.39%).

Yorkshire and The Humber came next, with the region having the second highest percentage of boiler replacements in local authority owned homes between 2019 and 2020 (5.98%). The region’s worst hotspot for boiler breakdowns was Leeds (9.8%), whilst the local authority making the lowest percentage of boiler replacements was Doncaster (3.1%), which had just 623 boiler replacements between 2019 and 2020 across all 20,128 council-owned homes in the area.

The region with the third highest percentage of boiler breakdowns was the West Midlands, with 4.14% of local authority owned homes having had their boilers replaced between 2019 and 2020. The West Midlands’ worst area for having the highest percentage of boiler replacements was Cannock Chase (9.37%), whilst the best area with the lowest percentage of boiler replacements was Wolverhampton (1.69%).

On the other hand, the South West had the lowest percentage of boiler replacements in local authority owned dwellings, leading it to be crowned the region with the lowest percentage of boiler breakdowns overall.

Methodology:

  1. OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk analysed the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government document ‘Local Authority Housing Statistics data for 2019 to 2020’ to determine the percentage of local authority owned houses in each local authority that were required to have a boiler replacement.
  2. To calculate this, the number of boiler replacements were divided by the number of local authority owned houses in each local authority.
  3. These numbers represent houses owned by the local authority, and do not account for boiler replacements within privately owned dwellings.
  4. Since there is an unequal number of dwellings per local authority, a percentage was used to determine the region with the biggest boiler replacements. Only local authorities with upwards of 5,000 owned dwellings were counted.
  5. Data was only available for local authority owned houses in England.

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