Gas central heating will be removed from every home by 2050 under new government plans - here’s why

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 12:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 12:11 pm
Does your home have a gas boiler? (Photo: Shutterstock)

If your home is fitted with gas central heating, you may soon be forced to have it removed or replaced under new government plans.

Ofgem, the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in the UK, plans to rip out or upgrade all gas boilers from homes by 2050.

Cutting energy use

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new action plan comes in a bid to meet government plans to cut the amount of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere.

Ofgem has warned that households face a huge shake-up of how they use energy and cars over the next 30 years, with parliament promising to slash the UK’s emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050.

At the moment, only five per cent of energy used to heat homes is from low carbon sources, and only 230,000 of cars in the UK are electric.

As part of the effort to cut carbon emissions released into the environment, the government revealed last year that gas boilers and hobs will be banned in all new-build homes from 2025.

The government plans to get around 10 million electric cars on UK roads by 2030 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Making homes electric?

Ofgem is exploring a number of methods to help cut carbon emissions from homes, with one option being to scrap gas boilers in favour of a heat network that pumps hot water and air through pipes - a method that is currently used in some areas of London. Another option is to remove gas boilers and instead use electricity to warm homes.

Some households are already electricity-only, making use of storage heaters in place of radiators to generate warmth. However, Ofgem has said it could look at different ways of making homes electric, such as by using electricity to power heat pumps.

Gas boilers could also be upgraded to run with decarbonised gas, such as hydrogen, in an effort to cut emissions. But Ofgem says it is too early to know how such a roll out would work and whether there would be a cost to households.

Changes to transport

Changes to transport also lay ahead thanks to plans to get around 10 million electric cars on UK roads by 2030.

A total of 39 million electric cars will need to be on the roads by 2050 in order to meet the government’s emission targets, Ofgem has said. To meet such targets, no new petrol and diesel vehicles will be sold after 2040.

In preparation for such an increase in demand, the Committee on Climate Change estimated that around 3,5000 chargers will be needed near motorways, and 210,000 chargers in towns and cities. That is in addition to the 30,000 public chargers currently installed.

Motorists could also be offered incentives to make the switch to an electric car, such as by earning money selling back excess electricity to the National Grid.