Homeserve, the emergency home repair services specialist, has signed a marketing agreement with a US company that gives it access to a further 2.6 million households.

The Walsall-based company, which has some seven million customers worldwide and which claims to respond to an emergency in Britain every four seconds, said yesterday it had linked up with Progress Energy of North Carolina.

The three-year agreement is to market policies for water heater repair and replacement to Progress Energy's 2.6 million electricity customer households in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

It increases the number of US households to which Homeserve can market to 9.3 million.

It's US business, based in Miami, has 325,000 home emergency policies in force.

Homeserve chief executive Richard Harpin said: "This agreement is an excellent start for 2008 for our US business, opening up a further 2.6 million households for water heater products with a blue-chip partner."

He added that the company would continue to target electricity and gas companies in the US as well as water and said the pipeline of opportunities remained encouraging.