Liverpool scale-up aims to eliminate over one million unsafe UK gas checks a year
A Liverpool-based technology firm has developed for the first time, a real-time gas safety solution aimed to eradicate unsafe gas works from 23.2 million UK homes.
The solution is focused at revolutionising the way gas works are completed and monitored, protecting people’s homes from the dangers of unregistered gas fitters. Gas Tag says its system could help to eliminate the estimated 1.1 million unsafe gas checks that are delivered in the UK every year.
The award-winning business, which has been supported by Liverpool City Region’s Local Growth Hub, is set to radically disrupt the gas maintenance industry in the UK, which conservatively is worth an estimated £4.2 billion each year.
The technology comprises an NFC tag that is scanned to evidence that work has taken place at a property, the Gas Tag app that verifies engineer credentials and provides a best practice workflow and an online portal detailing all Gas Tag-verified works conducted. Information collected on each job is presented via the portal to provide councils, housing associations and letting agents with the peace of mind that their residential properties are compliant with industry regulations.
A unique partnership with the Gas Safe Register has meant that Gas Tag’s technology is able to provide proof that work has been done on-site by qualified engineers and that all work is compliant with best practice and industry standards.
The technology has previously been praised by the Chief Executive of the Gas Safe Register, Jonathon Samuel, who has said: “Gas Tag’s technology will play a crucial role in revolutionising the industry, more importantly, it ensures that only Gas Safe Registered Engineers are engaged to complete the work.”
Only qualified gas engineers can sign up to use the Gas Tag app. Engineers simply scan the tag with a smartphone and follow the steps to ensure a fully compliant process. By creating a national database of gas maintenance works, the business hopes to help create a more transparent and accountable industry, while it is hoped the technology will help to eliminate public awkwardness when it comes to asking gas engineers for identification.
Gas Tag founder and Chief Executive Paul Durose said: “Our technology is already giving councils, housing associations and letting agents the peace of mind they need when it comes to the residential properties for which they are responsible, in relation to safety and compliance with industry standards. Our mission is to go further and get a Gas Tag in every property across the country and to create a nationwide database of all gas works.
“What’s more, the fact that Gas Tag can only be used by qualified gas engineers means that the general public are more protected from illegal gas fitters when they need vital, and potentially high-risk, work doing on gas appliances. Although it should be the first thing each and every one of us should ask, the research suggests that a large number of us are too embarrassed to ask for identification and qualification. With Gas Tag we’re eliminating this problem.”
Mr Durose co-founded Gas Tag in early 2015 with the aim of changing an industry that had not adapted to using technology to make homes safer. It raised seed money from early investors and then raised private equity money in early 2018 to expand the business. In November 2018 Gas Tag was awarded the coveted New Business of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. It now employs 98 full-time UK-based employees. However, as a disruptive technology business, Gas Tag initially struggled to gain credibility in the market for its unique product.
Mr Durose explained: “The challenge we had before working with the Local Growth Hub was that we didn’t have a massive network of connections with other businesses based in the city and lacked credibility as a brand new business. Having the Local Growth Hub behind us has opened a lot of doors and helped to make vital connections to the knowledge and experience that exists here in Liverpool when it comes to tech, innovation and business growth. In fact, a lot of the professionals that we are working with to this day were first brought to our attention via our involvement with the Local Growth Hub.”
Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Gas Tag is a real success story for the local business community and the company’s founders have first-hand experience of the challenges innovative new companies face when trying to get their ideas off the ground initially. By seeking the support of the Local Growth Hub, Gas Tag has been able to access a vast network of experts to set their company on the road to growth.”