In November 2020, the government announced a 'Green Industrial Revolution' which stated that the gas boiler ban in new-build homes would be brought forward from 2025 to 2023. However, the announcement caused uproar in the heating industry and confusion amongst homeowners, leading to the government retracting the plans.
As of November 2023, the latest government plans are still aligned with the October 2021 government announcement. That is, the installation of new gas boilers will stop by 2035. Instead, low-carbon heating systems (such as heat pumps) will take their place.
Despite this, it’s worth noting that this is only a proposal and nothing is set in stone. Furthermore, the government has recently emphasised that you still won’t be forced to get rid of your boiler until it actually needs to be replaced, even after 2035.
Having said that, it’s still worth considering how a gas boiler ban would affect the 80% of UK homes currently using natural gas boilers, what the low carbon heating systems of the future are, what this means for new-builds, and what do homeowners need to know about the future of boilers in the UK?
Even if you are not yet ready to make the transition to heat pumps, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your gas boiler is up-to-date, working safely and efficiently. However, finding the time to research and hire a heating engineer on top of everything else on your to-do list can be a struggle.
Thankfully, Boiler Guide can take this task off your plate. We can easily and quickly connect you with up to 3 Gas Safe registered engineers in your area, saving you hours of your time. Click the button below to get your free, non-binding quotes now.
On 18th November 2020, Boris Johnson revealed a new 10-point 'Green Industrial Revolution' plan. It is believed that part of this plan will bring the ban on gas boilers in new builds forward to 2025. However, this has not been officially confirmed and no detail has been provided as the industry has not been consulted.
The 10-point plan states: “Homes built to Future Homes Standard will be 'zero carbon ready' and have 70-80% lower carbon emissions than those built to current standards.”
Referring to the originally announced deadline of 2023, a Downing Street spokesperson told the BBC there had been a "mix-up", and that no fixed date is attached to the plan: "The government wants to implement the measures under the Future Homes Standard in the shortest possible timeline. "We've consulted on introducing this by 2025 and will set out further details in due course."
While much of the media has jumped on the phrase 'gas boiler ban', it is important that homeowners understand exactly what has – and has not – been announced by the government.
There has been a lot of gas boiler ban news online and we’ve separated the fact from fiction in The Gas Boiler Ban: Myth Busting.
The government's Future Home Standard was announced in October 2019 and proposed that gas boilers would be banned from new builds from 2025. This is part of a wider strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
On 18th October 2021, the government published its long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy. Within this strategy is the proposed plan to stop the installation of gas boilers by 2035, in favour of a ‘heat pump first’ strategy. Gas boilers are expected to be replaced by low-carbon heating systems, such as air source heat pumps.
Now, heat pumps are more expensive than gas boilers. So, to help homeowners cover those upfront costs, the government introduced the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in April 2022.
September and October 2023
Rishi Sunak announced that the government will give people more time to make the transition to heat pumps. He also emphasised that the government will never force people to change their existing boiler to a heat pump: “you’ll only ever have to make the switch when you’re replacing your boiler anyway - and even then, not until 2035.”
Furthermore, as of the 23rd October 2023, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant has been increased to £7,500 for both air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps. This will help homeowners with the upfront costs.
Are gas boilers going to be banned?
The proposed legislation, if confirmed, would ban gas boilers from being installed in new homes which are built from 2025. In terms of gas boiler installations in existing homes, the government has proposed putting an end to this by 2035.
There is no need for existing homes with gas boilers to get rid of them, and when your existing gas boiler needs replacing, you can replace it with a new gas boiler.
If plans to stop new gas boiler installations from 2035 were to happen, you could go on heating your home with a gas boiler beyond this date until it needs to be replaced. Be aware that the ban’s start date may be extended.
How will new-builds be heated?
From 2025, new-build homes would be built with low-carbon alternatives, such as air source heat pumps. In 2022, only 55,000 heat pumps were installed in the UK. The government wants to increase the number of heat pumps being installed to 600,000 per year by 2028.
Air source and ground source heat pumps are highly energy efficient and less polluting. This is because they extract and compress heat from the air or ground outside and use it to heat water in a hot water cylinder. This water can then supply taps and showers.
Why are people talking about hydrogen?
Another element of the government's Green Industrial Revolution is to introduce hydrogen into the gas network and eventually produce enough hydrogen to feed the entire network. Unlike natural gas, hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions when burnt.
The timeline for hydrogen boilers is subject to change, but the first stage would be to blend hydrogen into the gas grid, as modern gas boilers are able to accommodate an 80:20 blend of natural gas and hydrogen with no modifications. So, in stage one, homeowners would not notice any difference in the way their homes are heated and there would be no expense to the homeowner.
The next stage would be to ensure that all new boilers installed after a certain date are 'hydrogen ready', which means that they would use natural gas initially, but would only need minor modifications in order to work with 100% hydrogen.
So, at some point in the future when you need to replace your gas boiler, you may need to install one that is hydrogen-ready, but it will operate in exactly the same way as a traditional gas boiler.
Finally, when the hydrogen network is ready, all natural gas boilers in the UK would need to be modified to work with 100% hydrogen, but this is unlikely to happen in the next decade and would have to be rolled out gradually.
The government, energy, and heating industries have plenty of research, training, and work to do before a domestic hydrogen network becomes a reality. Prototypes of hydrogen-ready boilers and 100% hydrogen boilers are being developed.
Can I still get a new gas boiler?
In fact, replacing an old gas boiler with a modern energy efficient model is a great way to cut your heating cost, reduce your carbon footprint, and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Many UK homes are currently not suitable for heat pumps as they are poorly insulated and do not have large enough radiators. Use our boiler comparison tool to help you find the right one for your needs.
If your boiler is over 8 years old, expensive to run or breaks down regularly, we’d recommend getting a new boiler.
However, we know that getting a new boiler is easier (and faster!) said than done. Because after deciding on what boiler you want, you still need to spend several hours calling up several local heating engineers to ask for quotes.
Luckily for you, Boiler Guide has simplified the process so that all you need to do is answer some short questions on our form once, and then wait for up to 3 heating engineers to contact you- not the other way around. To get started, just click the button below.
Are gas boilers going to be banned?
The gas boiler ban means that gas boilers will no longer be installed in new homes from 2025. However, this does not mean that all gas boilers will be banned. If you already have a gas boiler in your home or want to replace it with a new one, you can continue doing so after 2025.
Will I still be able to buy a gas boiler after 2025?
Yes, you will still be able to buy a new gas boiler and install them in existing homes after 2025. The gas boiler ban timeline may be different for you depending on your home.
Will gas boilers be banned in 2035?
It was announced by Rishi Sunak in September 2023 that the timeline for the gas boiler ban has now been extended to 2035.
What will replace gas boilers in 2030? Low-carbon alternatives, such as heat pumps, are likely to replace gas boilers in 2030. The government has also been investigating the possibility of replacing natural gas with hydrogen.