Wolseley, the leading trade specialist, today launched an innovative component recycling/reconditioning scheme aimed at reducing the environmental impact of maintaining gas boilers by driving a more circular economy in the domestic heating sector.

The scheme will allow heating engineers to return faulty Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), diverter valves and fans from some of the most popular domestic boiler manufacturers and receive a small payment per component. The faulty components will then be returned to a specialist refurbishment company, where they will either be refurbished and offered back into the market or recycled where the product is beyond economic repair. Wolseley customers will be able to purchase a selection of kitemarked refurbished products with a two-year warranty and at a much-reduced price than buying the part new. 

More than 1.5 million boilers are changed every year and some estimates put the number of those repaired as high as 3 million, but most faulty parts are currently recycled as other materials or go to landfill sites, rather than being reused to extend their working life. Wolseley is introducing the new service on a test basis to understand the attractiveness to the customer base of returning parts for refurbishment as well as their willingness to purchase parts that have been reconditioned using a BSI Kitemark certified process. The test comes at an apt point in time given the cost-of-living crisis and the requirement to mitigate outgoings, as well as providing customers with a financial incentive to participate in a positive environmental trial.

Emma Conroy, Proposition Development Director, Wolseley Plumb & Parts, said: “We want to help drive a more circular economy in the domestic heating sector and believe there is customer appetite for reconditioned parts as an alternative to new ones. This new service amounts to testing the water at scale, at a time when many UK households need help with reducing costs.

“Evaluating this scheme with our installer customer base, with benefits for householders, the trade and the environment, will allow us to understand the potential for developing it further and extending it to other product categories,” she said.
Wolseley is partnering with Heating Trade Supplies Group (HTS) to deliver the service. HTS is the UK’s only boiler parts specialist to have attained a BSI Kitemark for remanufacturing of components. Wolseley will take in faulty parts at its branches before sending them for repair by HTS engineers.

The circular scheme also enables heating installers to offer a new kind of service to domestic customers, and provide advice around how to get best value when a boiler fails. Wolseley will give customers up to £4 per part when bringing in faulty parts to a small number of selected branches.