You might have seen in the news how the International Energy Agency (IEA) have stated that by 2025, gas boilers should be banned as part of a plan to help save the planet from climate change.
According to this intergovernmental organisation, this plan to get rid of gas boilers is one of the 400 steps that are necessary in order for the world to meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
How do gas boilers contribute to global warming?
Gas is just one of the fossil fuels that are used for power and heating. When gas is made, it releases carbon emissions into the environment, hence contributing to global warming.
Statements from the IEA say that from 2025, no new fossil fuel boilers should be sold, unless they are hydrogen compatible.
When new homes are built, the requirement will be to have low-carbon alternative heating installed, for example, electric heat pumps.
The plan to cut emissions to ‘net-zero’ by 2050 is required to prevent a dangerous rise in temperature, and although the plan to get there is narrow, the IEA insists it is achievable.
A global rise in temperature of just 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels means the world will be exposed to higher sea levels and more extreme weather.
The IEA’s executive director has said “The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal made this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.”
What is being done in the UK to reach this goal?
Sources from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have said the quality of housing is being improved across the country.
New haves will have to adhere to strict energy efficiency standards. The Future Homes Standard will:
- Help to improve energy efficiency
- Help to keep energy bills down
- Ensure homes are warmer
- Help us to meet our target of net-zero emissions by 2050
Will a gas boiler ban affect me?
From 2023, 2 years earlier than originally planned, gas boilers will be banned in all new-build homes.
Within the next 8 years, the IEA wants millions of homes to have had their old gas boilers replaced. However, the UK government haven’t yet confirmed whether they will be following this recommendation.
If the UK does follow this trajectory, and your boiler breaks down after 2025, you might need to replace it with an alternative to gas.
What are the alternatives to gas boilers?
There are a couple of alternatives to gas boilers in the pipeline (pardon the pun). These currently are:
- Using electricity to provide homes with heating. Some homes already use storage heaters instead of radiators.
- Ofgem are looking at ways in which they could make homes electric, such as using electricity to power heat pumps.
- Upgrading gas boilers so that they can work with decarbonised gas, such as hydrogen.
- Using a heat pump to pump hot water and air through pipes in a heat network around the home. There are about 30,000 heat pumps installed per year currently, whereas the government would like to see this figure rise to 600,000 a year by 2028.
In monetary terms, it will add on about £5000 to the cost of a new build home to install low-carbon heat pumps and networks. This is because they often involve larger radiators and underfloor heating. In comparison, a boiler replacement could be between £500 and £2,500.
According to a report, if you own a 4- bed home and replace your gas boiler with an air source heat pump, you could save up to £1,300 a year on heating bills.
Will I have to replace my gas boiler?
If you currently have a gas boiler that is in good working order, then there is no imminent need to replace it with an alternative.
If your gas boiler was to break down in the next few years, then you may need to think about replacing it with an alternative to gas. Your boiler provider will be able to talk you through the different options available.
It’s definitely not something you need to panic about just yet!