Gas boiler ban: What are the alternatives?


GAS boilers should be banned from 2025 to help save the planet from climate change, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

But why are they being banned and what will replace them? Here’s all you need to know…

Boilers and gas hobs will be banned in new-build homes in just six years

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Boilers and gas hobs will be banned in new-build homes in just six yearsCredit: Alamy

Are gas boilers being banned? 

The IEA said no new fossil fuel boilers should be sold from 2025, except where they are compatible with hydrogen.

In the future, new homes will instead be required to have low-carbon alternatives, such as electric heat pumps.

The IEA warning comes after reports that gas boilers are set to be banned in all new-build homes from 2023, two years earlier than first announced.

Meanwhile, millions of homes will need to have their old gas boilers ripped out within the next eight years.

The government wants to make it mandatory for anyone replacing a gas boiler to go green, with plans to fine those that do not meet the new rules.

The Business department’s enforcement options “could include the threat of financial penalties for non-compliance”.

However sources hinted that financial incentives to switch away from gas would be used instead of hitting consumers with hefty fines.

Instead, homes will have low-carbon heat pumps and heat networks

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Instead, homes will have low-carbon heat pumps and heat networksCredit: Alamy

Are gas boilers bad for the environment? 

The problem is that when gas is made, it releases carbon emissions into the environment, which in turn contribute towards global warming.

In the UK, the Government has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050.

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But the committee slammed the Government for not doing enough to combat the issue.

It says that around 4.5million homes now overheat, even in cool summers.

Baroness Brown, chair of the committee’s adaptation committee, said: “This report confirms what we have long-suspected: UK homes are largely unprepared for climate change.

“The Government now has an opportunity to act. There must be compliance with stated building designs and standards. We need housing with low-carbon sources of heating.

“And we must finally grasp the challenge of improving our poor levels of home energy efficiency. 

“As the climate continues to change, our homes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe.”

What will replace gas boilers in 2025? 

When the government first proposed the ban, it also acknowledged practical challenges to overcome, such as a target of 300,000 new homes to build a year.

There are a number of different ways to “decarbonise” heating, although installation costs can be more than conventional boilers.

One option is scrapping gas boilers and instead using a heat network that pumps hot water and air through pipes to warm homes.

Currently, about 30,000 eco-friendly heat pumps are installed each year, but the government wants to increase this to 600,000 a year by 2028.

Another idea is to just use electricity to warm homes.

Some households are already electricity-only, using storage heaters instead of radiators to heat their property.

In 2020, Ofgem said it could also look at different ways to making homes electric, such as by using electricity to power heat pumps.

Lastly, gas boilers could be upgraded to work with decarbonised gas, such as hydrogen.

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Low-carbon heat pumps and networks could add £5,000 to the cost of a new-build, due to often involving underfloor heating and larger radiators.

While simply replacing a gas boiler could cost between £500 and £2,500.

However, replacing a gas boiler with an air source heat pump could save homeowners in a four-bed house £1,300 a year on their heating bills, according to Rated People.

In February 2020, Ofgem announced plans that mean gas boilers would have to be ditched from homes or upgraded by 2050.

Meanwhile, boiler breakdowns affect 200,000 homes each winter.

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