Why you should avoid short cuts with your gas appliances

According to new research, 58% of consumers still think CORGI registration is a must-have when choosing a gas engineer, despite CORGI no longer being the official register of gas engineers having been replaced by the Gas Safe Register in 2009. 

The nationally representative poll* of 2,000 UK adults conducted by London heating and hot water safety specialists, Aspect found that CORGI registration is one of the most important things consumers look for in a gas engineer, pointing to widespread consumer confusion around gas safety standards and bodies.

According to the research, when it comes to choosing a gas engineer, CORGI registration is more influential on consumer perceptions than recommendations from friends and family, the specific demonstrable experience of the individual gas engineers, positive online reviews and even manufacturer accreditations.

‘Must-haves’ when choosing a gas engineer

  • Gas Safe registered - 64% said this is a ‘must-have’
  • CORGI registered - 58% said this is a ‘must-have’
  • Highly recommended by people I trust - 42% said this is a ‘must-have’
  • Lots of relevant experience fixing my problem - 37% said this is a ‘must-have’
  • Positive online reviews - 32% said this is a ‘must-have’
  • Accredited by the manufacturer of my appliance - 28% said this is a ‘must-have’

The poll, conducted ahead of 2019’s Gas Safety Week, revealed that while two thirds of people say being Gas Safe registered is a must-have, CORGI’s legacy means consumers still see CORGI registration as an official endorsement. 

It also revealed a significant age disparity in perceptions of CORGI. Over-35s are 40% more likely than under-35s to view CORGI registration as a predictor of a gas engineer’s competence and ability to work safely.

"CORGI hasn’t been the official register of gas engineers for ten years now, but our engineers are often asked by customers if they are CORGI registered"

It has been a legal requirement since 2009 for anyone working on a gas supply to be on the Gas Safe register. Yet perceptions of ‘CORGI registered’ remains so positive that significant numbers of people continue to search for “CORGI registered gas engineer” on Google. 

In the past five years, Internet searches for “CORGI registered gas engineer” have often outnumbered searches for “Gas Safe registered gas engineer”.

Nick Bizley, director of operations at Aspect, believes the confusion is bad for a Gas Safe registered gas engineers and potentially dangerous for consumers. 

“CORGI hasn’t been the official register of gas engineers for ten years now, but our engineers are often asked by customers if they are CORGI registered. And we still receive high volumes of search traffic to our website from people searching for ‘CORGI registered gas engineers’. This tells us that people still believe CORGI is the official watchdog for gas engineers, which obviously isn’t the case.

“It’s a problem for engineers as well as customers. Our engineers take the time to explain that they aren’t CORGI registered, but are Gas Safe registered, but many report that this still causes alarm among customers, especially older ones. And because of this, customers are faced with confusion over who they should trust.

“While CORGI still exists as a voluntary register and commercial services provider, it is not clear how consumers are able to check whether a gas engineer is CORGI registered or not, or how many gas engineers are currently on the register.

“Manufacturers could help consumers here, by including clear advice on their appliances and the associated user-manuals, that only Gas Safe Registered gas engineers are legally allowed to work on them.”

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