What does the gas boiler ban mean for me and my home?
You may very well have seen or heard news reports that gas boilers will be banned in the UK from 2025. And, understandably, you might be wondering what this might mean for you and your home. After all, gas boilers heat the vast majority of the UK’s homes and so many of us are reliant on them.
The good news is that there’s nothing to worry about if yours is one of the millions of British homes that already runs on a gas boiler. And here’s why…
Do I need to replace my gas boiler? Will gas boilers be banned soon?
There is no legislation on gas boilers that means you must scrap or replace your existing boiler, either before or after 2025. If yours is relatively new and still doing a good job, then there’s no reason to get rid of it. That said, new boilers are really energy-efficient, so an upgrade might make sense if yours is old.
The main thing to know is that there is no ban in place (or planned!) on gas boilers in the homes we live in today.
So what does the gas boiler ban actually mean?
The new legislation on boilers that has attracted some big news headlines is that there will be no new gas boilers after 2025 - in newly built homes. So, all new homes built after 2025 will have an alternative heating system, such as heat pumps for example.
The gas boiler ban doesn’t apply to properties that were built before 2025 – i.e. the homes we already live in.
Why and when are gas boilers being phased out?
The UK government has committed to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. And finding an alternative to fossil fuels is absolutely key to reaching net zero. The Clean Air Strategy of 2019 [PDF 19.2 MB] set out how the government is tackling all sources of air pollution to help protect the nation’s health and the environment, while securing clean growth and innovation. Now, that’s a mammoth task. But it’s one that we’ve already set in motion. Electric cars are here already, and sales are growing fast (and we’re helping with our Hive EV charging).
And now, as part of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, next on the agenda is tackling emissions from homes and businesses – and the phasing out of boilers powered by natural gas is a big part of that. It’s all about achieving that goal of net zero.
What will replace gas boilers in 2025?
The ban means that gas boilers won’t be installed in new homes, which will be designed to be heated differently from day one.
But what it doesn’t mean is that you’ll be shut off from all gas in 2025. Millions of homes are heated by gas boilers, and will continue to be beyond 2025. So if your boiler is in good working order, it’ll continue to keep you warm for a good while yet.
What if your boiler is getting on a bit and you’d be thinking of replacing it in the next couple of years? Is there much point in buying a new gas boiler just a year or two before the ban comes in? Rest assured that even if you were to buy a new, super-efficient boiler today, it would probably use natural gas for all its working lifetime. In fact, it’s very likely to keep you warm and toasty for years to come.
What should I replace my gas boiler with?
As gas boilers aren’t the best for the environment, especially with the focus on achieving net zero emissions, we need to look at gas boiler alternatives. Here are three options, two of which we’re already installing in UK homes:
1. Heat pumps
Using air and electricity, heat pumps are based on the same clever technology found in your fridge freezer. An electric pump takes heat from the air outside and compresses it, so it reaches a high temperature. Then transfers all that lovely heat around your home.
Right now, the initial cost is quite high, but grants are available to make them more affordable. And the running costs are about the same as a hot water boiler system. While the tech is great, it’s not suitable for all homes. If you want to speak to our heating advisers about our heat pump options, just get in touch so we can see if it’s right for you.
2. Hydrogen boilers
Hydrogen boilers haven’t actually been developed yet, but they could one day replace natural gas boilers. The UK government is currently considering bringing them in gradually once they become available – but it’s by no means a definite plan. If it does go ahead, the first phase would be to introduce a 20% hydrogen blend into the UK’s mains gas supply. This won’t happen until 2028 at the earliest – and existing boilers should be ready for that. In fact, all boilers sold by British Gas today are hydrogen-blend ready, so you shouldn’t need to worry about replacing them if and when the switch comes.
There are some differences due to the way hydrogen burns, but hydrogen boilers would be similar to what we all know and love. Except better for the environment! The good news is that they’d cost roughly the same as the equivalent gas boilers. So they have great potential, but actually the switch to hydrogen is actually still quite a long way off so it’s not an option today.
3. Our A-rated boilers
If you need to replace your boiler in the next few years, you want to make sure you get a new one that is as efficient as it can be. All the boilers we install are A-rated for efficiency, so by having one of these to heat up your home will be better for the environment and your wallet too.
Upgrading your boiler to a more energy-efficient model is just one way of living more sustainably, but there are loads more. You can do it by changing the way you use energy. Switching off your TV or unplugging your chargers are just some of the tips that can help you save energy - and reduce your bills too.
If you’re wondering what the right choice for you would be, our heating advisers are on hand to talk to you about your options. And as all our boilers are A-rated for efficiency and hydrogen-blend ready, if you buy a new boiler from us you should be all ready for any changes to the energy mix if and when they come. Get your free quote today.