In 2019 former chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that from 2025 no newly built homes in the UK could be connected to the gas network as the government made moves to reduce carbon emissions. Instead, new build homes will be fitted with devices such as electric heat pumps to supply the heating and hot water.
Residential heat and hot water contribute 14% of UK carbon emissions and the country will not meet its current climate target of net zero emissions by 2050 without taking steps like this to substantially reduce that number. But the Future Homes Standard only tackles how new build homes would be powered; what about the 85% of UK households that are currently connected to the gas grid? How would those homes be decarbonised? This debate around how our homes would be warmed in the future has been going on for years, and it’s a topic that has been heating up over the past 12 months.
There are two main contenders that provide a greener alternative: an electric heat pump or a hydrogen boiler. Boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch has been investigating how the existing gas grid could use a low carbon gas to power homes since 2017. And the UK company believes hydrogen is the answer. It also means the 136,000 miles of pipe work under the ground zig zagging all over the country, the gas grid, is retained.
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