Almost a million gas boilers a year will have to be replaced with low-carbon forms of heating to meet the UK’s climate targets but the public is unprepared for the change, a report says, as published in The Times by Ben Webster, Environment Editor.
Ministers are considering setting a date when the sale of conventional gas boilers will be banned but the Social Market Foundation (SMF) said they risked a backlash unless they launched an education campaign to explain why it was necessary.
The gas industry is keen on the idea of switching to burning hydrogen because this would ensure continued use of its supply network.
Hydrogen produces only water when burnt but at present most of it used in the UK is made from natural gas, meaning it still contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. However, it can be produced by electrolysers powered by wind and solar farms.
Boiler manufacturers have developed “hydrogen ready” models which burn natural gas but can easily be converted to burning hydrogen if and when it becomes available via the gas grid.
Worcester Bosch, which showed its model to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, on his visit to its factory near Worcester in July, said that it would be £50 to £100 more expensive than existing boilers, which typically cost about £900.
Ben Webster, Environment Editor, The Times.