Gold service key to success

When you think of the West Country you think of thatched cottages, cream teas and rolling hills, but what’s it like for oil installers working in the countryside? Oil Installer spoke to Sam Fice, director of Energy Systems (SW) Ltd, about the state of the industry today.

The company

“Energy Systems was established in 1984 by Clive King who’s now an OFTEC inspector. I joined in 1999 and eventually took over from Clive eight years later. In 2011 we bought Oil and Gas firing services (southern) along with the engineers so the company’s been steadily expanding. We’re based out of Exeter in Devon and a lot of people in the region live without access to mains gas, so oil is a popular way to heat their homes. We mostly work with domestic customers but we’ve got a number of commercial contracts as well. “


“Every installer wants to offer the best service in town and we’re happy we’ve been receiving some great feedback from the work we do. We’ve been nominated four times for the OFTEC awards of excellence and have won the Gold prize twice.”

How’s business?

“The past twelve months have flown by, we’ve been extremely busy working six days a week to try and keep on top of things,” said Sam. “It’s a tough environment out there at the minute, but there’s always going to be work for competent and trusted installers who consistently do a quality job.”

What’s tough?

“I think the biggest challenge at present is the economy. With customers looking to save money and some installers struggling for work, there are always people offering a cheaper price, but not carrying out a professional job or complying with current regulations. We’re always being called in to sort out problems due to a poor installation.”

What do you do?

“We’re a one stop shop and offer the whole works; services, upgrades, replacements and installations of heating systems and oil tanks. Nowadays people want to get the most from their boiler because replacements aren’t cheap and lots of customers wouldn’t be able to afford a new one. This makes services, upgrades and replacements really important and the most common job we do is the servicing of oil fired equipment, from boilers to AGAs.

“It’s our bread and butter but it’s essential because it means we can keep our customers’ heating systems running smoothly for as long as possible, and save their cash while we’re at it.

“This is where Plumb Center and Parts Center come in handy for us. If a boiler needs a replacement part then we’re straight to Parts Center, if someone opts for a fresh installation, then we head to Plumb Center. Every job is different so we need to know we can get the right kit for whatever we’re facing.”

Upcoming jobs

“As we’re heading into spring and summer, the next couple weeks for us are all about catching up on annual servicing of boilers, but with this continued cold spell we also have to deal with a steady number of breakdowns. Hopefully this year will be as busy as the last and we can continue to grow and keep our customers happy.”

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