Heating industry expert Ian Henderson is calling on the government to adopt a pragmatic approach to achieving its net zero target following a report calling for a 2025 ban on all domestic gas boilers.
The UK has already ruled that no new homes built after 2025 can be fitted with a gas boiler, but he said latest proposals would extend the ban to all properties.
A report by the CBI and University of Birmingham proposed homes should instead be warmed by low carbon hybrid or hydrogen-ready systems. By 2035 it suggested only net-zero compatible technologies like air source or ground source heat pumps, hydrogen burning boilers or heat networks should be deployed if the UK is to hit its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.
Ian said: “Simply drawing a line in the sand and saying that from 2025 all gas boilers should be banned will not magically create a viable and practical alternative.
“While modern gas boilers are highly efficient, they will be phased out as part of the transition to a zero-carbon future, but alternative sources of heating may not be ready by 2035, let alone 2025.”
He said that while there are many benefits to heat pumps, which take energy from the ground, air or water, installation costs can range from £8,000 to £45,000, while biomass and solar thermal are also expensive to install and are not suitable for every home.
“If the UK is to move away from gas boilers to home heating technologies such as air source heat pumps which rely on electricity to power them, then the government needs to ensure that over 90% of our energy comes from renewable sources and the cost per KW of electricity in the home is greatly reduced.”