Local Heroes 2019 - A year in numbers
The year, and the decade, is almost over, and how quickly it’s gone. As always, lots has happened this year, many of which can be summed up nicely including:
- 11.7 million - how many fans watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal between England and the USA1
- 520,000 - how many copies of “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber were sold during its 8 weeks at the top of the charts2
- almost 14,000 - how many times John Bercow shouted “Order!” in his time as Speaker of the House of Commons3
- 297 - how many minutes the longest ever men’s final at Wimbledon 2019 between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic4
- 73 - how many episodes of Game of Thrones aired before concluding in May
- 11 - how many points the UK were awarded in their bottom place finish at Eurovision 20195
- 2 - How many prime ministers the UK has had this year (at the time of writing)
- 1 - How many royal babies born this year
And what about us? As a data driven, digital business we rely on numbers and statistics to deliver and improve our services. We asked Andre Turkiewicz, our head of data, to take a look at some of our numbers this year and see what they tell us about our customers and our country.
The prevalence of smart home devices, including Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, has grown significantly in 2019 and is predicted to continue to grow at almost 15% per year for at least the next five years6. While many smart home devices are simple plug and play, some require installation and our numbers confirm their growing popularity. This year, Local Heroes installed almost 1500 smart devices, including Hive thermostats and Ring doorbells.
More than 30,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2019, a 100% year on year increase
It’s not just smart home tech either, the number of electric vehicle sales sold in the UK reached over 30,0007 as of October, a more than 100% increase year on year. While still small compared to the overall market, the shift towards greener modes of transport is growing. Here at Local Heroes, we launched our electric vehicle charger installation service earlier this year and have installed our chargers at an average cost of £412 (after OLEV grant discount).
2019 has been a year of unusual weather, including over the summer, but the colder months at both the start and end of the year have seen lots of extremes and even some records. A cold spell at the end of January left many parts of the west of the UK under snow and heavy frost with schools and roads8 closed and temperatures plummeting as low as -10 degrees9.
Towards the end of the year and as winter has set in, more cold snaps and snow storms have been predicted. Some even go so far as to predict the 2019/2020 winter could be the coldest on record10 with temperatures already dropping below -5 degrees C in November and early December, typically the warmer winter months.
When the temperature begins to drop, people turn on their heating to ward off the chilly nights. As many people turn on their boilers for the first time in months, some discover their boilers, radiators or other parts of their central heating systems aren’t functioning properly, or simply dead altogether.
The average cost of servicing a boiler was less than half the price of all kind of repairs
This year Local Heroes helped repair 3,965 customers’ boilers and central heating systems including:
- 719 boilers displaying a fault code
- 260 radiators refusing to heat up
- 69 broken thermostats, and
- 1590 needing a Local Hero to investigate
The best way to make sure your boiler and central heating system keeps running smoothly is to have it regularly serviced, ideally once a year. This year we carried out over 5000 boiler services (5,119 to be exact). The average cost of a boiler service in 2019 was £100.62 compared to £213.58 for all different kinds of boiler repair, proving prevention is better than cure.
Rain, rain, go away
The UK is known the world over for its weather, sadly it’s not for glorious sunshine but miserable rain. It rains on average 133 days a year in the UK; that’s almost one in three days, or at least twice a week!
November 2019 was one of the rainiest months on record in some parts of the UK with floods reported in Nottingham, Sheffield and the north west of Scotland11.
All this rainfall takes its toll on the pipes and drains in our homes and one of the most common issues it causes - leaking pipes, is also one of our most popular jobs.
In 2019, Local Heroes plumbers and drainage engineers fixed 1,008 leaking pipes, dripping overflows, broken waste pipes and blocked external drains. Increased rainfall can also find its way into our homes and we also helped 277 customers with dripping or damp walls.
Camilla Benitz, head of Local Heroes, says "it's fascinating to see how our data aligns with wider trends and events. We really value the insights the data we generate reveal and by keeping informed nationally, we can make sure we're prepared to help when and where our customers need us most".