In the past couple of years there has been a lot of discussion about gas boilers and the possibility of them being banned. This has caused concern for many homeowners who are worried they will have to pay for an entirely new heating system. However, as it stands there is no ban on gas boilers set to arrive in the next few years and we explain more about why below.
Will there be a gas boiler ban in the UK?
A gas boiler ban has been proposed for new build homes in the UK. The ban was initially announced in 2019 but has experienced several delays since and has yet to be fully confirmed by the government. If it does become law, then new build properties will likely use renewable heat technology such as heat pumps or hydrogen boilers that rely less on fossil fuels.
There is a possibility that gas boilers could be completely banned in the future. This would require homeowners to remove their existing system and replace it with a low-carbon alternative. However, that is unlikely to happen in the immediate future, due to the cost involved and because there are other ways houses can be made to be more energy efficient.
Can I still use my old gas boiler?
You can continue to use your old gas boiler and you do not need to replace it before 2025. If you want to replace your gas boiler you can also purchase and install a new model for your home, if needed. There has been discussion that you may be able to buy gas fired boilers that can be connected to a hydrogen gas supply in the future, although this technology is yet to be developed and government policy introduced.
Will hydrogen boilers or heat pumps replace gas boilers?
It remains uncertain whether hydrogen boilers or heat pumps will replace gas boilers. Both have been discussed as serious alternatives, but there are some issues that need to be overcome before either technology can become a viable option for homeowners.
Hydrogen boiler technology is currently being worked on by the leading boiler manufacturers. This type of system will not burn any fossil fuels (apart from needing electricity to turn it on and off) and will only produce water and heat.
Trials are currently being run in small villages around the UK to test 100% hydrogen capabilities, but these will run for several years. If hydrogen boilers are introduced, it is likely there will be a 20/80 hydrogen/gas split in the first instance.
Heat pumps are available to use now, with air heat pumps and ground heat pumps being the most common variety. They work by transferring heat from the air or ground into your home where it is converted for use to heat water and radiators.
While seen by many as a long-term alternative to traditional heating systems because they do not burn fossil fuels (aside from using electricity to run) the high cost remains an issue. Full installation costs can be at least 3 or 4 times the cost of a traditional boiler at minimum, so heat pumps remain an unrealistic option for many at the moment.