Here’s everything you need to know about a gas boiler ban that might affect both new and existing houses.

A gas boiler ban is expected to go into place soon, which could have a significant impact on UK households. We know there won’t be a blanket ban because of the Heat & Buildings Strategy, but householders are being warned that natural gas boilers will be phased out as part of the move to net zero.

As part of the Strategy announced in October, a gas boiler ban was expected to take effect in 2035, which would have required millions of householders to remove their boilers and replace them with low-carbon alternatives.

Natural gas boilers are seen as one of the most significant obstacles to the government’s net zero goal, and by 2035, all new installations must utilise low-carbon technologies, such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, or hydrogen boilers.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the gas boiler ban and what it means for your home.

Will Gas Boilers Be Banned?

There will be no stated, outright ban on gas boilers in existing homes, and the Heat & Buildings Strategy confirmed that no one will be forced to remove them.

Instead, the government suggested a milder method to shifting UK homes from natural gas to more environmentally friendly heating sources.

To encourage people to switch to new, low-carbon systems, the government stated that the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will begin in April 2022, with the goal of lowering the cost of installing heat pump technology to the same level as a gas boiler.

This is part of the government’s long-term goal to phase out gas boilers as the market shifts toward alternate solutions.

As part of the Future Residences Standard, it is predicted that no new homes will be allowed to connect to the gas network after 2025. Instead, they will be insulated with energy-efficient materials and heated with a low-carbon fuel.

However, the government stated in its Heat & Buildings Strategy that it will consult on whether it is “appropriate” to restrict new homes in England from being linked to the gas grid starting in 2025.

The potential restriction on gas boilers has yet to be established in the Future Homes Standard guidance.

Why Is a Gas Boiler Ban Necessary?

The prohibition of fossil fuel sales is an unavoidable step toward net zero emissions. According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the government planned a gas boiler ban in 2019 to enhance the energy efficiency of the UK’s 29 million homes, just one million of which employ low-carbon heating systems.

According to the National Housing Federation, natural gas boilers produce 58.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, compared to 27 million cars emitting 56 million tonnes.

This makes homes a greater hazard to the environment than automobiles, and heat loss in homes is frequently attributed to poor insulation and gas central heating systems. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as any leftover emissions offsets, would significantly reduce climate change’s impact.

What are the Alternatives to a Gas Boiler?

Heat pumps and hydrogen boilers are two significant heating solutions being developed by the government for the future of house heating in the UK.

Heat pumps

Heat pumps are a more environmentally friendly heating solution than natural gas boilers, but they are currently a costly technology to install, with the cost of installing an air source heat pump or a ground source heat pump ranging from £6,000 to £18,000.

Beginning in April 2022, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme will make new subsidies of £5,000 and £6,000 available to homes that install heat pumps. In other circumstances, such as the installation of an air source heat pump, the cost of installation could be comparable to that of a new gas boiler.

While the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is only intended to last three years, the Heat & Buildings Strategy also states that the government would work with industry to reduce the cost of heat pumps, with the goal of making them as affordable to buy and operate as gas boilers by 2030. This includes a £60 million Heat Pump Ready innovation fund aimed at making heat pumps smaller and more cost-effective, as well as pledges to lower the cost of electricity over the next decade, so moving the burden of levies from electricity to gas.

Hydrogen boilers

The government is also looking into hydrogen heating as a way to decarbonize home heating. However, according to the strategy, a decision on the future of hydrogen in the energy mix will not be made until 2026, based on the outcomes of the Hydrogen Village pilot programme.

The government’s Hydrogen Strategy, released in August, highlighted the government’s plans to hold a consultation later this year on the case for making new natural gas boilers easily convertable to hydrogen by 2026.

While the long-term operating expenses of a hydrogen-ready boiler are unknown, experts predict that installation costs will vary between £1,500 and $5,000.

Despite the great breakthroughs of 100% hydrogen boilers in the UK from Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch, hydrogen boilers are not currently available.

Will my energy costs rise?

The Heat and Buildings Strategy proposes switching levies from electricity to gas to save heat pump operating costs. Although it is unclear how this will work, it does imply that gas prices may rise.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, heat pumps are three to four times more efficient than traditional boilers, and a typical air source heat pump installed in an average-sized, four-bedroom detached house would cost between £395 and £425 less to run per year than an old “G-rated” gas boiler.

What Was the Gas Boiler Scrappage Scheme?

The government introduced the Gas Boiler Scrappage Scheme in 2009 to help 125,000 homeowners upgrade from a G-rated boiler to a new condensing boiler. This was created to assist them in lowering their energy costs and carbon emissions.

Due to financing issues, the voucher scheme was phased down in 2010, but you can still get help with the expense of replacing an old boiler:

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a programme that helps low-income and vulnerable households improve their heating by insulating their homes, installing heating controls, and replacing inefficient and damaged boilers.
Some private lenders will finance your new boiler in monthly instalments over three, five, seven, or ten years.