Hydrogen future of heating

Working towards a greener future

The future of home heating has been a hot topic in the news recently, with a lot of speculation about the future of gas boilers. As a leading manufacturer of heating and hot water systems for homes in the UK, we’re continuing to invest in the technologies of the future so that when the time comes to change your heating system, you can rest assured that Worcester Bosch will be there to provide all of the heating and hot water requirements for your home.

We’ve developed a short video that explains the future of home heating in the UK that you can watch below, we hope you find this useful, and should you wish to find out more about the future of home heating in the UK, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below for you.   

 

Gas boilers will not be banned from 2025. It is likely however, that in the future we are likely to see a combination of both heat pumps and hydrogen boilers in homes over the coming years to achieve the governments carbon reduction targets.

  

Future of heating

Understand what the government targets really mean and the affect this will have on the future of gas boilers.

FAQs

Hydrogen

Hydrogen ready boilers, or Hydrogen Boilers would work similarly to gas boilers and could be the answer to the future of heating

FAQs

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are very common in Europe and are a potential future heating source for UK homes. 

FAQs

hydrogen ready boiler

Are you looking to replace your current gas boiler?

Our current range of highly efficient Greenstar gas boilers are able to run on a 20% hydrogen blend, so once you purchase a new Worcester Bosch boiler, you can be confident your boiler will run on gas for its lifetime.

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hydrogen boiler

Hydrogen Boilers

A hydrogen-ready boiler is a gas-fired heating boiler which is capable of burning either natural gas or pure (100%) hydrogen.

heat pumps

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is a relatively new technology in the UK although they are widely used in Scandinavia and many parts of Europe where there is an abundance of renewably sourced electricity.

Hybrid systems

Hybrid Systems

A hybrid heating and hot water system is a combination of two or more technologies generating heat to provide heating and hot water to the home or building.

Future of Heating FAQs

No, Gas boilers will not be banned from 2025. It is likely however, that new build properties from 2025 will not achieve the 75% - 80% carbon reduction targets they have been given with a gas-fired boiler. Consequently, it is likely that new build properties will be heated with a renewable heating technology such as a heat pump.

Net zero 2050 refers to the country producing net zero carbon emissions by that year.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘no’ carbon will be produced and released into the atmosphere. Instead, technology, and in some cases, nature will be utilised to ensure that the carbon released into the atmosphere is ‘offset’ elsewhere.

Yes you can replace your existing gas-fired boiler and no, you don’t have to do this before 2025. There is talk that only gas-fired boilers that can be connected to a hydrogen gas supply can be purchased in the future, there is yet though no legislation or policy changes in place.

If it becomes the case that only hydrogen-ready boilers can be placed onto the market in the future then rest assured, Worcester Bosch will have a full range of hydrogen ready boilers available.

The Government are banning natural gas in new build homes in an effort to reduce carbon emissions in the UK. Low to no carbon alternatives such as hydrogen gas are still being trialled and may become a viable alternative in the future.

There are a number of different alternatives options to a natural gas boiler. These include electric heat pumps, renewable technology, hybrid heating systems and potentially hydrogen-ready boilers.

There are many factors to consider when considering replacing a gas boiler with an electric one. For example, you should consider the size of your home, as an electric boiler has limitation on outputs. Also, consider cost, as they can be expensive to run with gas being up to 4 times cheaper than electricity according to some sources.

Heat Pump FAQs

Government research conducted in 2020 stated the average cost of an air source heat pump to be between £8,900 and £14,500, depending on the extent of the home alterations, and around £20,000 - £25,000 for a Ground Source heat pump.

House alterations are also something to consider. Your property’s specifications for example. For a ground source heat pump, you’ll need a substantial outdoor space (around 2x the size of the dwelling) which can be dug up to lay the ground loop containing the heat fluid.

If you don’t have this space or don’t want to dig up your garden, you can drill one or more bore holes to install the collector pipework however this can be quite expensive. If you don’t wish to do either of these, then an air source heat pump may be more suitable, as it doesn’t require a ground collection system.

Your property’s level of insulation will also determine the cost and efficiency of the heat pump you opt for. New build properties are ideal for heat pump installation, as they are fitted to high energy efficiency standards. Older properties can be insulated to these levels, however, it can be quite disruptive.

You may also consider your current heating system – if you have a gas or an oil-fired boiler then you are likely to find the existing radiators and pipework are not large enough for the lower temperature heat that a heat pump operates at.

Heat pumps can deliver a number of benefits. They can lower your fuel bills, lower your home’s carbon emissions, they do not require fuel deliveries, and there is little maintenance required. Plus, a ground or air source heat pump is eligible for various grants and incentives.

Heat pumps are a great way to heat your home in an environmentally friendly way while saving money in the long term.

You can. These are called hybrid systems and offer great benefits including reduced alterations needed to an existing heating and hot water system or the property itself. Hybrid systems also mean that a heat pump can heat the home efficiently during the summer months and has the back-up of a boiler for colder times if the heat pump is unable to heat the home fully on its own.

Hydrogen FAQs

There are numerous trials taking place across the UK into hydrogen gas and its uses in the home, many of which we at Worcester Bosch are involved in.

These include ‘HyStreet’, a test site in Northumberland where over 200 tests have been completed to research the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen.

There is also a two-home Hy4Heat trial in Gateshead where two homes have been built specifically to showcase the gas in operation. Such as boilers, cookers, and fires all running on hydrogen.

These trials will prove that hydrogen is a safe alternative to natural gas, from then hydrogen-ready boilers will become more of a reality.

Nearly all gas appliances that are in use today, including our boilers, are able to run on a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas. This is called a blend and sees 20% of the fuel source powering the appliance being hydrogen gas, with the remaining 80% being natural, which is where the term 20% Hydrogen ready comes from.

Additional research is being undertaken at Keele University, where around 150 boilers were running on up to a 20% hydrogen blend for around 18 months. There have been no issues with either heating systems or cooking appliances.

There is also a 300-home trial in Fife, which will see a switch from natural gas to hydrogen by 2022.

Finally, there is HyNet in the Northwest of England, which although not specific to boilers, does include heating homes as one of its key focuses. This is alongside hydrogen production, transportation, and manufacturing.

All trials are working towards one goal: gathering and building evidence, as well as confirming what we know already, to help increase confidence in hydrogen as a technology.

Many existing homes, despite energy efficiency improvements, still have relatively poor insulation and high rates of air exchange with the outdoors.

A hydrogen-ready boiler is capable of accommodating an existing high temperature heating system in a hard-to-heat building. Where costs are highly constrained, the boiler (and conversion of the local gas network) provides an accessible way to deeply decarbonise heat.

From a customer point of view, a hydrogen-ready boiler does not require any behaviour change and will provide the same delivery of comfort as an existing appliance.

10 point plan

The Government’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ 10 Point Plan

We’ve answered a series of commonly asked questions to support you with Government’s recent announcement. We provide insight into how it affects natural gas boilers today, as well as future technologies over the coming years.

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