What Will Replace Gas Boilers in 2025? The Future of Heating

 

The UK has relied on gas and oil based central heating since the 1930’s. Nowadays, tackling climate change is a national priority, which means the way we warm our homes has to change. In 2025, gas boilers will be replaced by renewable heating systems in all new-build homes. This is part of a government effort to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. But what does this mean for you, and what are the alternatives to a traditional central heating system?

 

List of contents

What is the “boiler ban”?

What are the alternatives to gas central heating?

Heat Pumps

Heat Networks

Hydrogen Boilers

Electric Radiators

What is the “boiler ban”?

 

In 2019, the CCC (Committee on Climate Change) announced that a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from carbon-heavy heating systems. And with an estimated 85% of UK households still using gas and oil boilers, the government have decided to act. The ‘Future Home Standard’ will take effect in 2025, requiring all new-build homes to adopt lower-carbon heating alternatives.

Whether you are planning on buying a new home or not, it is still worth considering opting for a more renewable heating solution. Not only will this contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK, but, in the long run, you could save money on your heating bills.

Whether you’re planning on buying a new home or not, it’s still worth considering opting for a greener heating solution. Not only will it help the planet but save you money on your heating bills too.

 

What are the alternatives to gas central heating 

As the government are encouraging everyone to go greener, moving from a conventional central heating system to an eco-friendly alternative has never been easier. There are many options to choose from, such as: Heat Pumps, Heat Networks, Hydrogen Boilers and Electric Radiators. Some, however, are more viable than others.

 

Heat Pumps Heat Networks Hydrogen Boilers Electric Radiators

 

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps absorb natural heat to warm your homes and water. There are three main types of heat pumps: ground-source, air-to-water and air-to-air. A ground source heat pump absorbs warmth from the ground using pipes fitted beneath your garden. An air-to-water pump distributes warmth through your central heating system, whilst the air-to-air pumps require a warm circulation system i.e., ducts, vents and grills.

Pros Cons

Can be fitted in many different types of buildings

Need an entire network of pipes

Uses renewable energy

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme closed to new applicants

Have a long lifespan

Expensive installation fees

 

Provides lower heat temperatures than normal central heating

 

Can be less efficient in extreme weather

 

Air-to-air pumps don’t heat water

 

Best suited for: Homeowners who prefer a slow release of heat, have a fully functioning air circulation system (air-to-water) or a large garden (ground source) 

Verdict: Heat pumps are an option for those who have the funds to install them. As of 31 March 2022, government initiatives like the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) have closed to new domestic applicants. Without such schemes and grants properly in place, the likelihood of heat pumps dominating the renewable heating space is relatively low. Besides this, heat pumps are complicated to install, which could raise logistical problems, depending on where you live and the size of your garden.

 

Heat Networks

Heat networks supply heat from a central source, such as a combined heat and power plant, and distribute it in the form of hot water or steam through underground pipes. The more the networks grow and connect to each other, the more efficient they become. If you’re looking to cut down on your heating bills, heat networks will need to be fitted on a larger scale in order to be the most effective.

 

Pros Cons

Could reduce heating bills if built on a larger scale

A new technology, meaning they are still at a ‘trial and error’ stage

Has already been successfully implemented in Denmark and some areas of the UK

The fan and compressor could create noise

You will save space because you don’t need a boiler

Can only work in urban spaces

 

Heat can be easily lost to the ground

 

Best suited for: Homeowners living in suitable urban areas, near heat networks installed in dedicated facilities and water sources.

Verdict:Whilst the government have already invested £320 million into heat networks, plenty more years of research is still required before it becomes widespread. As they’re only effective in urban areas, this heating system excludes a large portion of the UK. Because of these factors, the feasibility of heat networks being used widely by 2025 is yet to be known.

 

Hydrogen Boilers

Hydrogen boilers look almost identical to gas boilers and are installed in nearly the same way. When gas distribution networks have been converted, the boiler will be connected to the mains and be fed hydrogen or natural gas to heat your home. The familiarity of a hydrogen boiler will likely make the transition easier for many homeowners and wouldn’t be too costly to install, but hydrogen itself hosts certain challenges.

 

Pros Cons

Little difference between gas and hydrogen boilers

100% hydrogen-ready boilers are not available yet

Newer gas boilers could stay in use, cutting the price of installation costs

Cost of hydrogen production is high

Doesn’t produce carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide

More flammable than gas

 

Difficult to store and transport

 

Best suited for:Homeowners with newer gas boilers (known as 20% hydrogen-ready/combi boilers) or new-build properties, only when the government are ready to introduce this alternative.

* See pros and cons for more info

Verdict: Research projects are currently being run by the government, such as HyDeploy and Hy4Heat, to prepare for a community trial. Depending on how the trial goes, hydrogen heating could be an option for many by 2025. However, limitations caused by storage and transportation systems should not be underestimated. However, hydrogen is more flammable than gas and its flames are impossible to see with the naked eye, so certain safety and maintenance protocols will need to be put in place. Due to its low volume, it can be easily lost to the atmosphere – it must be stored in high-pressure tanks and transported via pipelines and specialised lorries. These challenges will need to be addressed before hydrogen boilers make it to the mainstream.  

 

Electric Radiators 

 

Electric radiators generate heat through a combination of convection and radiation. This means that they heat the surrounding air as well as people and surfaces directly, providing fast, effective and lasting warmth. They’re also 100% efficient at point of use as every watt of energy taken from the wall is converted into usable heat, making them an ideal alternative to gas central heating.

 

Pros Cons

100% efficient at point of use.

Electricity rates are slightly more expensive than gas rates.

Heats through convection and radiation, providing long-lasting warmth.

You may need to put in some measures to prevent overloading your system.

Can be paired with a renewable energy source for 100% carbon-free heating

 

 

Most radiators can be fitted DIY style, so you won’t need to spend on installation costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low maintenance. They don’t require any annual checks.

Many are fitted with precise digital thermostats for accurate temperature control.

Available with a range of energy-saving features, such as weekly programming, adaptive start and open window detection.

Some electric radiators come with intuitive smart control, like WiFi, Bluetooth and voice control. Increased controllability and temperature management.

Can be controlled on an individual basis, so you can set up a different temperature and heating schedule for every room in the house.

 

Best suited for: Homeowners who want to quickly heat up a room but also give off long-lasting heat. Especially perfect for those who don’t want to spend a lot on time-consuming and expensive installation fees. 

Verdict: With 2.2 million homes already using electric heating in the UK, this renewable alternative is likely to dominate the heating space in years to come. Incredibly versatile, electric radiators are suitable for any home and many of them are DIY-friendly, so you can avoid expensive installation costs. Advanced features like smart control, weekly programming and precise temperature management mean electric radiators offer a more efficient way to control your heating, ultimately reducing running costs and energy bills.

When it comes to the future of heating, electric radiators continue to lead the way as the most popular, ideal alternative to gas central heating. So why wait until 2025? Make the switch today with Electric Radiators Direct.

 

 

Key Takeaways

  • From 2025, gas boilers will be replaced by renewable heating systems in new-build homes to help the UK reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Heat pumps can be placed in many different property types but are complicated and expensive to install.
  • Heat networks are a new technology that still need plenty of research – they only work in urban spaces so many homeowners will be excluded.
  • Hydrogen boilers look and are installed similar to gas boilers but are expensive to run and host a variety of safety and logistical concerns.
  • Electric radiators provide efficient, long-lasting heat and come with energy-saving features as standard. They don’t require expensive or disruptive installation as many are DIY-friendly, making them the most convenient heating alternative available.

Sources:

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Infographic-The-future-of-heating-in-UK-buildings-Committee-on-Climate-Change.pdf

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/5CB-Infographic-FINAL-.pdf

https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/boilers/uk-gas-boiler-ban

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/696273/HNIP_What_is_a_heat_network.pdf

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