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Entrepreneurial beginnings

We work with a number of local entrepreneurs and we recently caught up with Jo Alsop to find out more about her new business venture.

The Heating Hub is a new Maidstone based consumer website that aims to disrupt the traditional home heating market by providing householders with true facts about their heating systems along with impartial, expert advice to help them select the very best boiler package for their household needs.

A new boiler represents a considerable investment, so it is perhaps surprising that consumers in the UK typically replace their boiler after seven to 10 years, when it should last over 20 years.  Choosing the right boiler for the household’s requirements is essential to ensuring new boilers operate at their peak efficiency, reducing fuel bills and saving consumers £1,000s on unnecessary, premature boiler replacements.

The Heating Hub has recently launched a new, impartial, paid-for service called Hero Support which is aimed at homeowners who are faced with the often-daunting prospect of selecting a new boiler.  The Hero Support service takes care of the entire process of boiler research, selection and finding an installer from among the company’s Elite Installer Network.

The Heating Hub is the brainchild of founder Jo Alsop, female entrepreneur and long-time champion of consumer home heating rights. She launched the new Hero Support Service in November 2020.

Jo explains: “For too long the UK’s domestic heating industry has been focused on volume boiler sales rather than on advising consumers about how to choose long-lasting, efficient systems.

“Through my years of working in the heating sector, it has become apparent that in the vast majority of UK homes we find an oversized boiler, incorrect setup and ineffective controls.  Unfortunately, little is understood about the damage this causes and we have come to believe a boiler will last on average between seven and 12 years, when it should in fact last 22 years - that’s a huge difference! Our service specialises in helping consumers select the right boiler for their homes and connecting them with a highly competent installer from engineers that form our Elite Network.”

“Every boiler on The Heating Hub shortlist has been vetted by our Expert Panel – a consortium of some of the UK’s top home heating engineers – against a stringent set of criteria to ensure only the best, most energy efficient, and reliable boilers are recommended to customers.  We aim to make the home heating sector fairer and more transparent, and to and provide homeowners with the facts and choices they need to make an informed decision.

“We launched our Hero Support service during the pandemic and have fortunately not seen any negative impact on the scheme’s usability or accessibility.  Enquiries are taken online in the first instance, and much of our advice and recommendations can be provided over the phone, limiting the need for face-to-face contact.  If an engineer needs to visit the home and restrictions make this difficult, video surveys can also be conducted.

“I’d advise anyone starting a business – especially in these times – that doing the groundwork and really getting to know a marketplace before launching is key.  There is a lot of competition out there in every sector, but for The Heating Hub we have always been confident in our service as it is backed by some of the sector’s top engineers and is focused on getting the best deal for the consumer, not on generating high volume boiler sales for manufacturers.  That’s what makes us stand out from the crowd.”