Are gas boilers being banned by 2025?
The quick and simple answer to gas boilers being banned is no. However there are many different aspects that we need to understand to really work out how we can heat our homes in the future.
Will gas Boilers be banned?
It is still widely unknown what is going to happen, mainly because everything is so new. So far this year, we have learnt that Hydrogen is likely to replace natural gas as the main source of fuel. This will be done in incremental steps, starting with a 20% blend of hydrogen. This has already started and tests are being done in the uk already. Over the next 10-20 years, hydrogen will hopefully completely replace natural gas in the existing pipelines to create a whole new network of hydrogen homes. The gas network of underground pipes are being upgraded over the next few years and whenever you see roadworks with “Gas works” written on the side, These are the usually the men and woman that are creating your new network of hydrogen ready pipes.
So what does this mean for you at home?
Unfortunately this is still widely unkown. What we do know is that all existing boilers can cope with the 20% blend of hydrogen and all boiler manufacturers are working towards a minor upgrade to recent boiler models to make them cope with 100% hydrogen blend. Unfortunately this does mean that older models may need to be replaced but hopefully there will be goverment grants available for anyone with a boiler that can not cope with Hydrogen to replace them. This means that hopefully, any boiler installed within the last 10 years will only require a £200-£300 upgrade to be converted to Hydrogen.
So what about my cooker/ fire?
Both these appliances work on slightly different technology to boilers and will hopefully be a simple injector change. Each appliance is slightly different but rest assured that manufacturers are working hard behind the scenes to make the changeover as smooth as possible.
So what is the gas boiler ban in 2025?
Gas boilers are only being banned in properties built after 2025. This is already being achieved in most new build properties and when looking to buy a newly built property, you should really be looking at how the home is heated and the answer should be, with a heat pump. There is no set date yet for when gas will be changed to hydrogen but rest assured that no home will be left without a means of heating or cooking for their home.
So are there any other options?
Yes, there are many different options. From electric radiators/ boilers to heat pumps. We are still in the early steps of the transition and we would say that now is not the time to change unless absolutely neccesary and even if you do need to change then look at the options very carefully. With rising energy prices, constantly changing technology and so many unkowns, we would recommend waiting. Its the old saying of, if it aint broke then dont replace it. This is relevant now, more then ever due to so many different technologiesin the pipeline and with so much uncertainty around the future home heating market. the last thing you want is to pay twice.
What are the enviornmental benefits?
Well that all depends on exactly where we are to get the fuels from. Both heat pumps and hydrogen boilers are 100% carbon free and do not give off any dangerous gases.
Heat pumps rely on electricity and the UK has smashed all targets set out by the goverment in bringing renewable technology to the uk market. This means that a large majority of the electricity we get is from renewable sources, however we are still relying on gas and coal to provide elctricity power to the Uk and with weather being the main factor in providing renewable electricity, many people are concerned that adding heat pumps and electric cars would rely on us turning back on the power stations which we are all trying to avoid. However there is no denying that currently heat pumpos are the most environmentally friendly way of heating the home.
So then we have to look at hydrogen and how good this is for the environment? While Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel and produces absolutely no co2, the issue we have is how do we get hydrogen? Some reports suggest that the old powerplants will be recycled to provide hydrogen but unfortunately there is no current information regarding how they will produce large scale amounts of hydrogen.
However if we could produce hydrogen in a carbon neutral way then we could use this hydrogen to create electricity in the same way we currently use gas to create electricity. This would create enough electricity to run the UK when we transition to electric cars and heat pumps.
What are the costs involved?
Currently heat pumps are the most expensive option, with many homes needing not only a heat pump but a buffer tank as well as insulation levels to be increased to reduce heat loss. The current installation cost, far out weighs the savings that will be made over time. However as with all appliances, the more we buy, the cheaper they will get.
Hydrogen boilers are unknown at present however with the prototypes that have been created, many of the components are very similar to the current boilers installed in many homes. So we would not expect too much of a price rise. However when they do come out, we would expect a lot of extra legislation to come into force. In 2018, Boilerplus building regulations stated that all new boilers must have an additional energy saving device fitted, from smart thermostats to Thermostatic radiator valves. In 2020, the goverment introduced the green homes grant that required insulation/ double glazed windows to be installed to be eligible for the grant, this shows that the goverment are looking at new measures to reduce carbon and not just the heating appliance on its own. It is clear that any grants will require a carbon reducing measure but we fully expect there to be many new regulations imposed on installers in the next 10 years to reduce carbon output of the home.
Conclusion- will gas boilers be banned?
So it is clear that in the current market, it is by far the best option to get a heat pump, they are much more energy efficient and are guaranteed to not be replaced/ made redundant at any time in the future. However personally I would hold off installing anything new unless we really have to until we know a whole lot more about hydrogen and we are able to make a clear informative choice based on environmentally friendliness, installation costs, running costs and of course installation requirements. Heat pumps will only get better and cheaper over the next few years and now is really not the time to panic buy anything as we are still in the early stages of the transition to renewable technology.
However there is something you can do now to get yourself ready for this exciting new future and that is to look at insulation levels inside your home. No matter what type of heating appliance you have, keeping the heat inside your home is crucial to reducing your carbon footprint and saving money. This can also prolong the life of your current appliance by making it work less and keeping the heat inside your home. There are many new technologies available that can increase your nsulation levels which will in turn, reduce your carbon footprint and increase your comfort levels and reduce your energy bills at home. Gone are the days where the only real solution was to insulate your loft. Unfortunately we do not offer insulation services here at J & S plumbing and heating but you can get in contact with an insulation specialist to find out how you can reduce your carbon footprint.
How to find out more?
We will be taking the journey to learn about these great new technologies every step of the way and posting here to showcase what we have learnt, so why not sign up to follow our journey?