The UK Government has backed up their target of net zero emissions by 2050 by announcing a ban on all gas boilers. The ban, scheduled to start as early as 2025, is a major step towards the target.
This comes as a major change to how most of the UK population uses energy with 95% of UK households using central heating. 40% of the UK emissions come from households, according to the Committee on Climate Change; so it makes sense that the Government would address this problem in a bid to hit the net-zero target.
How will I be affected?
Government plans are for new build properties. There are currently no plans to replace boilers using gas in older homes. So, if you’ve recently purchased a new boiler, you’re safe.
Much of the debate is around what the Government is doing to improve the energy efficiency of an existing home. This argument does make sense on the surface and would see the UK make much bigger gains against the net-zero target but would cost much more to implement.
A report issued by the Committee on Climate Change said that it would cost a staggering £26,300 to replace old central heating systems with low-carbon heating in comparison to just £4,800 in new builds.
Homeowners and buyers will not be affected in any major way by the government's move towards heat pumps as nobody is required to change heating systems in their current homes. However, homeowners purchasing a new home will need to make sure they’re on the right home energy tariff when they move into their new home.
Increasing Your Homes Value
Despite the gas boiler ban only becoming mandatory for new-build homes, the phasing out of gas boilers creates an excellent opportunity for current homeowners. Investing in a low-carbon central heating system will future-proof your home and create a positive uplift in your home's perceived value.
Jonathan Christie, Director at The Property Buying Company, comments: “Everyone is progressively becoming more eco-conscious in every aspect of life, including their home. Making additions to your property that improve your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills will have a positive impact on a property's value, you only have to look as far as solar panels, which increase house prices on average by over 4%.
Not to mention, being an early adopter of the new low carbon heating systems is a unique selling point that may help a potential buyer choose your home over another.”
What does this mean for new build energy bills?
With a few alternatives available, each new-build developer may opt for different types of heating systems.
The current proposal indicates that new homes in the UK will run on low-carbon heat pumps, and the scheme expects to install 2.5 million heat pumps by 2030. The new heat pumps will use hydrogen to keep homes warm, and this will provide a huge step in the right direction for climate change. An added benefit to the homeowner is that heat pumps are also much cheaper to run and will save you a lot of money on your energy bills.
Can you install a heat pump in an existing home?
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and are attracted to lower energy bills, installing a heat pump into your existing home is seen as a great alternative. Despite no plans to do so, the UK Government are aggressively targeting the net-zero target and many suspect that they will eventually create plans to phase out gas boiler altogether.
This issue that arises with installing heat pumps into existing homes is price. You can expect to pay anywhere from a staggering £11,000 up to £15,000. One silver lining is that the Government does have the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive allowing homeowners to spread installation costs over 7 years. But it’s a steep price to pay to save around £500 on your energy bills per year.
What about electric radiators?
There’s some confusion between electric heaters and electric radiators. Electric heaters carry high operating costs, whereas most modern electric radiators are great for energy efficiency.
However, ss electricity is more expensive per kWh than gas, so UK households must be much smarter when switching electricity suppliers. This may mean exploring new tariffs such as Economy 7 (especially if you can program your storage heater).
What can I do now to reduce my carbon footprint?
Some independent energy suppliers have entered the market only supplying renewable energy tariffs. Some of the top UK green energy suppliers include Octopus Energy, Ebico and Bulb.
Switching to a green energy tariff doesn’t necessarily mean you will be paying more for your home energy. Our energy comparison engine includes a wide selection of tariff options, including green energy tariffs. Some of the best deals on the market are green energy tariffs.