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UK government backs plan to ban gas and ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers

hydrogen boiler ban

The U.K. government has thrown its weight behind a controversial plan to ban the installation of gas and “hydrogen-ready” boilers in new homes built in England from 2025. The measure, announced in a long-awaited consultation on low-carbon building requirements, marks a big step toward the country’s ambitious net-zero emissions target of 2050- LONDON

The proposed ban on gas boilers in new homes across England is intended to pave the way for heat pumps to become the primary heating technology in these homes. This is consistent with the government’s goal of having all new homes “net zero ready” by 2025, which means they will emit very low levels of carbon.

The consultation clearly bans housebuilders from using any fossil fuel heating systems. This includes not just conventional gas boilers, but also hybrid heat pumps (which mix gas and electricity) and boilers labeled as “hydrogen-ready.”

The government’s logic is straightforward: there is “no practical way” to enable fossil fuel boilers while significantly reducing carbon emissions.

These net-zero requirements are regarded as critical to achieving the United Kingdom’s legally binding net-zero goal. However, the consultation process has been delayed, raising questions about the government’s ties to the housing industry. Originally scheduled for March 2023, the consultation was moved back to the summer, and then to the end of the year, with final plans due in March 2025.

Environmentalists contend that these delays have been costly. They believe the government has successfully saved housebuilders billions of dollars by deferring the new regulations, which are expected to raise construction costs.

2023 analysis indicated that property developers and construction sector figures contributed at least 10% of the Conservative Party’s donations since 2010, totalling approximately £40 million.

Despite the debate, the proposed ban on gas boilers has received support from the renewable energy sector.

David Cowdrey, director of the MCS Foundation, which accredits home energy installers, applauded the decision. He believes that making heat pumps the default heating source and banning gas and hydrogen boilesr is the “right step” for climate action and home energy expenses.

According to Cowdrey, allowing fossil fuel or hydrogen boilers heating would have trapped households into expensive bills and pollution for decades.

Juliet Phillips, a senior policy advisor at climate research group E3G, shared this sentiment. She described the choice to require highly efficient, low-carbon heating in new homes as “perhaps the most popular and common sense of climate policies.”

This step, she believes, will assist both homebuyers by reducing long-term energy costs and the UK’s clean-tech economy by giving much-needed policy stability for investment in skills and supply networks.

The movement toward net-zero houses is not entirely new. In 2006, similar suggestions were proposed for “zero carbon” buildings to generate their electricity by 2016. However, those plans were cancelled in 2015. This has resulted in an estimated 1.5 million homes built since then without these low-carbon characteristics. Retrofitting these houses is projected to cost between £30 and £45 billion.

The gas boiler ban UK for new buildings in England represents a big step toward a more sustainable future for households. While there are still obstacles and issues, particularly about cost and implementation, this strategy advances the government’s commitment to net-zero energy.


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