In the Chancellor’s Spring statement back in March 2019, the UK Government announced that gas boilers would have to be banned in the UK by 2025 in order for us to meet our carbon emission targets.
This news was then downplayed by the Government following a public backlash, and it fell off the press radar, but the ‘boiler ban’ has been back in the news, with a new target date of 2035 according to the new Heat and Buildings Strategy. So what on earth does this mean for UK homeowners? Are we not allowed to install new gas boilers? Can we replace our old ones or do we need to invest in costly alternative heat sources?
Firstly, everything is currently in the ‘proposal’ stage, with nothing set in stone and no real answers to anything important yet. Also, the Government has currently ruled out the idea of fining those who refuse to get rid of their gas boiler, so there is no need to panic! Our guess is that they may just make it less attractive to install a new gas boiler after 2025, meaning that they may have actually encouraged us all to update our boilers now before the cost rises!
So why is this happening?
The impact of household heating systems on the UK carbon emissions is sizeable, there is no arguing with that fact. Currently, there are some more eco-friendly alternatives to the fuel-hungry oil, gas, and electric heating systems that the vast majority of our homes run on, but these are usually far outside of the average household’s financial capabilities. For instance, eco-friendly heat pumps, which extract warmth from the ground or air, can cost more than £10,000 to install. These excessive costs are one of the main reasons for the Government extending the deadline from 2025 to 2035. We need time for technology to improve and costs to come down before we can all make the switch.
One alternative, proposed by the Committee on Climate change which advises the Government, is encouraging us to replace our methane gas boilers with ones that are capable of using hydrogen gas as a fuel alternative. This option could help the country reach its carbon emission targets without alienating the general public.
So what do we know for sure?
There will be a ban on installing gas and oil boilers in new homes from 2025, and we may be encouraged to start looking at alternative means of heating our homes from that date too, but there will not be a complete gas boiler ban anytime soon. Since your average boiler lifespan is 10 to 15 years, and with current incentives like the ECO free boiler grant, now could be a great time to replace your gas boiler! By the time it comes to the end of life then you can start investigating other fuel options which by then should be lower cost, more efficient, and likely with similar great incentives!