What does a gas boiler ban mean for the environment?
According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC, 2020), oil and gas boilers make up more than 90% of the UK’s heating appliances.
Already we have taken every step possible to ensure we leave a minimal carbon footprint on the planet. Current gas boilers are around 90% efficient at converting energy from burning fuel into heat for your home (Energy Saving Trust, 2017).
However, all gas boilers burn fossil fuels which in turn release carbon dioxide, meaning that gas boilers ultimately damage the environment and lead to climate change.
Will there be a gas boiler ban in the UK?
In December of 2020, the UK Government published the Energy White Paper, which outlined the ways in which we can take steps to become carbon neutral over the next decade.
The white paper lays out these commitments*:
- The Future Homes Standard will ensure that all new-build homes are zero carbon ready
- The government will work in partnership with industries to evaluate hydrogen as an option for heating our homes and workplaces and develop plans for a possible pilot hydrogen town before the end of the decade
- The government will increase the proportion of biomethane in the gas grid
- The government will consult on the role of ‘hydrogen ready’ appliances in 2021
*(‘Powering Our Net Zero Future’, HM Government, 2020)
Without changing the source of fuel for boilers, the UK will not meet its goals of becoming carbon neutral in the next decade.
What does this mean for my home?
The ban shouldn’t affect your home, it is designed to come at a time when most people will be needing to either service their gas boiler or install a new one.
You will still be able to have your boiler fixed by a gas engineer and these plans will only affect your home from the mid-2030s onwards.
If your boiler breaks down in the mid-2030s you will be required to install a new boiler which is low-carbon heating such as a hydrogen-ready boiler or a heat pump.
For people looking to purchase a new build, these homes from 2025 onwards will be built zero-carbon ready. The new policy will instruct architects of new builds to consult with the local council on whether connecting to the gas grid is feasible and appropriate.
What alternative gas boilers are there?
Hydrogen gas is a great alternative to fossil fuels as it can escape the atmosphere, leaving no carbon footprint on Earth. If manufacturers are able to create a sufficient hydrogen gas boiler by 2033 then we can continue to use gas boilers that are hydrogen ready.
What is a hydrogen-ready boiler?
It isn’t yet possible to buy a hydrogen boiler. However, many companies have started manufacturing hydrogen-ready boilers.
“A hydrogen-ready boiler is a gas-ﬁred heating boiler which is capable of burning either natural gas or pure (100%) hydrogen… A hydrogen-ready boiler is intended to provide a like-for-like replacement for an existing natural gas boiler. The boiler can be quickly and easily converted to burn hydrogen at the time when the local network switches over.” (Worcester, Bosch, 2021).
What does this mean for people in the gas industry?
The end of the gas boiler is certainly not the end of the gas industry, it is the beginning of a new carbon-neutral era.
Gas engineers will be more important than ever. Hydrogen gas boilers for domestic use are very new and the technology has taken decades to develop since hydrogen gas is volatile.
Gas engineers will be required to install these new boilers and to carry out maintenance tasks on them. There will be a lot of change coming so if you want to pursue a career in this field you can be certain that you will be kept busy for the next decade! Here at Brookhouse, we make it easy for you to transition into your new career so if you are looking to pursue a career in gas contact us or register to attend one of our open days.