By 2026, natural gas-only boilers could be banned

According to government consultation, the transition to hydrogen-ready models could be accelerated.

Under net zero proposals to the grid to use hydrogen instead, new natural gas-only boilers will be banned within four years.

According to the plan, all boilers that are installed after 2026 will have to be hydrogen-ready. The Government made this announcement in a Tuesday consultation.

This proposed change would mean that many existing boiler models on market would be obsolete.

In 2035, a ban on the sale of gas-only boilers was scheduled. This consultation proposes moving this forward by nine years.

According to industry sources, the heating industry supports the idea as an alternative to installing heat pump units. These can run on renewable electricity and cost as much as £15,000 per unit.

The boilers that were installed after 2026 will still be able to burn natural gas but can be modified to make hydrogen using a few minor tweaks by engineers.

This means that boilers can be quickly converted to hydrogen when Britain’s low-pressure gas network, which supplies homes and offices, switches to carrying hydrogen.

Although electric heat pumps can be used to heat new houses, they should be combined with insulation and extra radiators.

A lot of the UK’s housing stock is very low in insulation. This makes hydrogen an attractive option. According to the industry, boilers will not be more expensive than those made from natural gas.

When work is completed around 2030, the gas network will be upgraded to plastic piping that should allow pure hydrogen to flow.

The challenge in the interim is to make hydrogen a greener gas. The use of heat pumps has been promoted as a way to decarbonise since the electricity grid that supplies them is becoming greener every year due to the closing of coal power stations.

The majority of hydrogen today is produced from natural gas, which is split from methane to make hydrogen atoms. This leaves carbon dioxide behind and does not contribute to decarbonisation.

Hydrogen must be produced from wind, nuclear, or other zero-carbon sources in order to offer a low-carbon solution.

Mike Foster, chief executive of the Energy and Utilities Alliance and The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council said that “Mandating hydrogen-ready boilers is an important step towards decarbonizing homes.”

“Boilermakers have already fulfilled their price promise so that a new hydrogen-ready boiler will be the same cost as a natural gas appliance. This means that 1.7 million homes per year will be ready to go for net zero, at no additional cost to consumers. This is helping us reach our 2050 goal.

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