Future of Heating Your Home
Recently, many UK households are considering ways to lower their gas bills, minimize their carbon footprint, or are concerned about the lifespan of their existing gas boiler. Let's investigate the future of home heating and how it could impact you today.
Hydrogen, Hydrogen Blend, Hybrid or Heat Pump?
As we all work towards a more sustainable future, we assure you that when the time comes to upgrade your heating system, R.W.Thomas can provide you with the necessary advice to make informed decisions about eco-friendly heating options that best suit your needs.
Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our dedication to delivering sustainable heating solutions that are both efficient and cost-effective. By choosing R.W.Thomas, you can rest assured that not only will you be contributing to a more sustainable future, but you will also be able to enjoy significant savings on your energy bills in the long run.
It's important to clear up a few misconceptions about the future of gas fuelled boilers. Worcester Bosch have created a video to reassure customers who are considering a boiler upgrade soon and worry about being 'future proof'.
But why choose green heating?
The UK government aims to eliminate greenhouse gases by 2050. Our gas boilers are not going to be banned, and there is no immediate plan to prohibit their use. However, from 2025, the installation of gas boilers in new homes will no longer be allowed, as part of the government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote the adoption of greener heating alternatives.
As the government shifts toward a greener gas grid in the future, modern Worcester Bosch boilers run on hydrogen blends and will continue to operate normally. Moreover, forthcoming boilers will be 100% hydrogen-ready to take advantage of more readily available hydrogen fuel supplies. As the Hydrogen infrastructure expands, R.W. Thomas can be brought in to convert your hydrogen blend boiler to operate on hydrogen for the remainder of its lifespan.
'Hydrogen Ready' Boilers
A hydrogen-ready boiler is designed to be adaptable for use with either natural gas or 100% pure hydrogen as a fuel source.
The main benefit of a hydrogen-ready boiler is its potential to support the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. As the world moves towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is increasing interest in using hydrogen as a fuel for heating. Hydrogen-ready boilers offer a positive solution that can help to decarbonise heating without requiring significant changes to the UK gas supply network.
'Hydrogen Blend Ready' Boilers
Modern gas appliances, including Worcester Bosch boilers, are designed to operate with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. This means that 20% of the fuel source powering the appliance can be hydrogen gas, while the remaining 80% is natural gas.
This blend capability ensures that these appliances can run smoothly even as the UK gas grid starts incorporating more “green gases”. This means that customers can be assured that their gas boilers will continue to operate for their lifetime without requiring significant changes, such as switching to an electric boiler.
Worcester Bosch’s hybrid heating and hot water systems offer a low-carbon alternative for home heating by combining two or more technologies to generate heat. These systems typically consist of a gas or oil boiler and an air-to-water heat pump.
The heat pump is designed to generate heat for the majority of the time, typically around 70-80%, and during colder months, the boiler acts as a supplementary heat source, providing year-round warmth. Standalone heat pumps may not be suitable for many homes in the UK, particularly older properties with poor insulation and glazing. However, hybrid heat pump systems are more flexible and can be adapted to accommodate a wider range of property types, including older and period properties.
Heat pumps are a relatively new technology in the UK, although they have been widely used in Scandinavia and many parts of Europe where renewable electricity sources are abundant. A heat pump extracts energy from the outside environment and transfers it into heat, which can then be circulated around a heating and hot water system. To function, a heat pump requires electricity to power the components, including a fan, compressor, and circulating pumps, which transfer energy from the heat source to the heating system or heat sink.
In general, heat pumps are most effective in properties with good insulation and low heat loss, so they require less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
RW Thomas is committed to supporting Hydrogen & other carbon reducing home heating solutions.
FINANCE NOW AVAILABLE ON WORCESTER BOSCH HYDROGEN BLEND READY BOILER INSTALLATIONS*
'Hydrogen Ready' Boilers
While gas boilers will not be banned from 2025, it is expected that they will not be able to meet the 75% – 80% carbon reduction targets set for new build properties from that year. As a result, it is anticipated that renewable heating technologies such as heat pumps will be used to provide heating for new build properties instead.
It is possible to replace your current gas-fired boiler, and there is no need to do so before 2025. While there has been talk of restricting the sale of gas boilers in the future to only those that can use hydrogen gas, there are currently no policies or laws in place to enforce this.
Hydrogen is currently undergoing numerous safety trials in the UK, including the ‘HyStreet’ and ‘Hy4Heat’ projects involving gas networks, homes and appliances, indicating that it is a potentially safe alternative to natural gas.
'Hydrogen Blend Ready' Boilers FAQs
Modern gas appliances, including Worcester Bosch boilers, can run on a hydrogen and natural gas blend. The blend, known as 20% hydrogen ready, involves 20% of the fuel source being hydrogen gas, while the remaining 80% is natural gas. This allows for a smooth transition towards a more environmentally friendly gas network, where the amount of hydrogen can be gradually increased over time.
The Government is implementing a ban on natural gas in new build homes from 2025 as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the UK. Alternative, low to no carbon options, such as hydrogen gas, are currently being tested and may emerge as viable alternatives in the future.
Several factors should be taken into account when deciding to replace a gas boiler with an electric one. Among these is the size of your property, as electric boilers may have limitations on their outputs. Additionally, cost is a key consideration since electric boilers can be expensive to operate, with gas reportedly being up to four times less expensive than electricity, according to certain sources.
Existing gas or oil-fired heating systems have radiators sized for water temperatures of around 75ºC and intermittent boiler operation, resulting in discomfort when using low-temperature air-source heat pumps. However, in moments when outside air temperature is higher, a heat pump’s lower flow temperatures can achieve desired room temperatures without reducing efficiency. To completely substitute a gas or oil-fired boiler with a heat pump, alterations to the house’s fabric and pipework are needed, making hybrid systems a better option. They allow external heat pump installation without requiring significant changes to the existing heating and hot water system or property. The boiler heats the house during colder periods, while a combi provides hot water and the heat pump warms the property in less cold weather.
as boilers are not set to be banned from 2025, contrary to rumors. If you purchase a gas boiler now, you can use it until the end of its useful life. Gas boilers may continue to be sold after 2025, but with the possibility of running on hydrogen. Worcester Bosch boilers can already operate on hydrogen and natural gas blends, making them sustainable, and our hybrid heat pump system can provide efficient heating for your home.
Factors affecting the cost of a hybrid heat pump installation include: installation type, distance between the heat pump and the boiler, and the type of air to water heat pump required. Hybrid heat pumps are generally more expensive than gas boilers, but cheaper than sole heat pumps. Retrofitting a hybrid heat pump can be cheaper than installing a new system, with costs only around double the cost of a natural gas boiler installation.
According to 2020 government research, the average cost of an air source heat pump ranges from £8,900 to £14,500, while a ground source heat pump costs around £20,000 to £25,000. House alterations and property specifications such as outdoor space and insulation levels should also be considered. Ground source heat pumps require a large outdoor space for ground loop installation, and drilling boreholes can be expensive. An air source heat pump may be more suitable if outdoor space is limited. Existing gas or oil-fired boilers may require updates to accommodate heat pumps’ lower operating temperatures.
Heat pumps offer numerous advantages, such as reducing energy costs, minimising carbon emissions, eliminating the need for fuel deliveries, and requiring minimal upkeep. Additionally, ground or air source heat pumps qualify for different incentives and grants. By utilizing a heat pump, you can heat your home in an eco-friendly manner while also saving money in the long run.
Yes, you can. Such systems are referred to as hybrid systems and provide several advantages, including reduced adjustments required for an existing heating and hot water system or property. Hybrid systems also mean that a heat pump can efficiently heat the home during the summer months and has the support of a boiler for colder times if the heat pump is unable to fully heat the home on its own.