Business is booming for Wigan chimney sweep as gas prices rise

Fears for a gas crisis have led to a surge in demand for log and coal fire sweeps at one Wigan firm.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:00 pm

Mr Soot Chimney Sweep, based at Hewitt Business Park in Orrell, has experienced increased bookings since the issue hit the headlines.

Energy regulator Ofgem is warning of “unprecedented” rises in gas prices and several suppliers have gone bust.

In last week’s Wigan Post, Citizens Advice Wigan Borough and Age UK Wigan Borough raised concerns about the impact the situation could have on the borough’s residents.

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Mr Soot owner David Sudworth

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Mr Soot owner David Sudworth said: “It’s been manic. Our phones have been ringing off the hook over this with people worried about how they’ll keep warm this winter.

“Of course, this time of year is always busy for sweeping appointments, but there has been a noticeable surge in the number of people getting their chimneys swept because of the current situation.

“It’s a combination of many people still working from home, the expectation that this warmer weather isn’t going to last forever and uncertainty about the gas situation.

“Luckily, our team has been able to rise to the challenge.

“Not only have we increased our hours and put more vans on the road, but we’re also in the process of recruiting more staff.”

David says the current uncertainty with gas demonstrates why real fireplaces made a comeback.

“It goes back to the financial crash of 2008,” he said.

“People started worrying about gas bills so switched to wood and coal.

“When things are uncertain, people like to feel that when it comes to something as basic as heating their home, they can have an element of control over it.

“With gas, you are at the mercy of others, as this whole episode has shown. But if you have a coal or wood-burning appliance, it makes you feel secure knowing that, come what may, you will still be able to keep warm.

“It goes without saying that if your chimney hasn’t been swept in the past 12 months, now is the time to take action. Demand is high but we’re working hard to get to everyone.”

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