PM urged to ensure all new boilers are 'hydrogen-ready' by 2025
Every new boiler installed in UK homes must be “hydrogen-ready” from 2025, a coalition of manufacturers and grid operators has told prime minister Boris Johnson.
In a recent letter to the PM, gas boiler manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch, along with all five of Britain's gas grid operators, call for hydrogen-ready boilers to be mandated in four years’ time.
They argue that this is necessary to ensure people have a choice of different types of low-carbon heating appliances, something that 94% of 2020 Climate Assembly UK members “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with.
The letter highlights how household carbon emissions need to drop by 95% between now and 2050, and that offering people hydrogen-ready boilers, heat pumps or innovative hybrid technologies is necessary to maintain public support for emission cuts.
“Hydrogen has an important role to play in the net-zero challenge and can offer consumers a relatively low disruption option for decarbonising heat,” said Karen Boswell OBE, managing director for UK and Ireland at Baxi Heating.
“A mandate for hydrogen-ready boilers represents an effective pragmatic step which would help to prepare households, simplifying a future changeover.”
The letter comes after the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on the UK government to ban the installation of conventional gas boilers in homes from 2025 earlier this year.
Heat is the largest single source of the country's carbon emissions, accounting for over one-third, with half of this coming from domestic buildings, the majority of which are heated by natural gas boilers.
Alternatives such as heat pumps, hybrid systems, and hydrogen-ready boilers should instead be installed to ensure the UK is on track to meet net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the CBI.
It also warned that all heating installations will need to be zero-carbon by 2035, with only compatible technologies like air source or ground source heat pumps, hydrogen boilers or heat networks deployed.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, president of the CBI and chair of its Heat Commission, said that the UK's zero-emissions target is “doomed to fail” unless urgent action is taken to decarbonise heat from homes and buildings.
“The commission’s recommendations offer a roadmap to accelerate progress, ensure our nation stays on a path to sustainable recovery and ensures the UK remains a global leader in meeting climate commitments,” he added.
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM