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Is the UK to See Phase-Out of Fossil-Fuelled Boilers?

30 July 2020 10003 Views

Boilers as we know them are set to vastly change in the next few decades. While fossil-fuelled boilers are the norm in most homes, there has been a real shift away from this trend in recent years, with low-carbon alternatives being introduced instead.

But what does this mean for homes that use a fossil-fuelled version? And what are the planned changes?

All change

Former chancellor, Philip Hammond, had already made a move towards introducing low-carbon alternatives to new build homes. He announced in 2019 that the change would come into force from 2025, adding to house prices but ultimately helping the environment in the long run.

Just over a year on, and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the group that advises the government on emissions targets and reducing greenhouse gases, has recommended phasing out the installation of new gas boilers by 2035. This is designed to help the UK reach its net-zero targets.

What is net-zero?

Before looking at what other recommendations have been made, it’s worth understanding what net-zero is. In knowing this, we can work out where these suggestions from the CCC have come from.

The idea of net-zero is to reach a balance between the number of emissions produced and the number of emissions taken out of the atmosphere. Therefore, by reducing the use of fossil fuels, we’re more likely to reach this even split.

What were the recommendations?

As housing is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions, heat and our heating systems were the main focus of the CCC’s report. The way we heat our homes is set to change as all 29 million properties, from homes to commercial buildings, will need to swap their fossil-fuelled boilers with carbon-friendly alternatives. 

Are we ready?

To make these low-carbon updates, the CCC has advised that we invest in our existing hydrogen alternatives, along with carbon capture and storage infrastructure. However, funding will be needed to support these plans, which raises questions around how this will be approached.

In addition to the issue of funding, we will also need to use the time up to the 2035 cut-off wisely. CCC recommends we spend the next few years running trials and tests to work out how low-carbon alternatives will work and to plan out how quickly they can be rolled out across the UK.

Advisors at the CCC are aware of the issues we face. Baroness Brown of Cambridge, chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, believes that the country isn’t prepared for what’s to come: “We have warned repeatedly that the UK is poorly prepared for the very serious impacts of climate change, including flooding, overheating and water shortages. Now is the moment to get our house in order…”

With this in mind, we have a lot to do in order to tackle the climate crisis.

Where are we now?

In the meantime, it’s crucial that we ensure our boilers are well-maintained. Faulty or broken boilers can be a hassle and add to unnecessary energy emissions. By keeping on top of repairs and getting it checked regularly, you’re more likely to save energy by only using it when you need to rather than having to switch it on for a while and waiting for everything to warm up, for example.

To avoid the stress that comes with a faulty boiler, it’s worth taking out cover. Specialists such as Warrantywise will be able to offer you protection.

2035 is a while away. This means that for many of us, it will be some time before we can look to swapping out our current boiler for a low-carbon alternative. Looking after our main source of heating and hot water is going to be important in the coming years.

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