What you need to know about Hydrogen boilers

You may have seen and heard a lot about banning of gas boilers and the introduction of hydrogen boilers and left wondering what exactly this means for you and home heating solutions.

Well, as boiler experts we’ve laid out answers to some of the most common questions we’re getting from customers and also want to set some healthy expectations on the financial implications involved with the switch over.

Will I have to have a hydrogen boiler?

The government has laid out a Hydrogen strategy and 10 Point Plan that makes a move to boost hydrogen production with plans for a hydrogen village, town and eventually city to aid transition to hydrogen in the UK. So in short, yes, but not for a good few years yet.

Why do we need to make the change and why Hydrogen?

When natural gas is burned it produces carbon dioxide which makes heating our homes one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the UK. Hydrogen is different in that the only by-product of burning hydrogen gas is water. There are also ways of making hydrogen gas that are very carbon efficient which makes it very promising as a low-carbon fuel. The government sees it as an essential way of reaching our goal of being net zero as a country by 2050.

Hydrogen boilers – what is the difference?

A hydrogen boiler is very similar to a natural gas boiler, the way it is constructed, and its functions work in much the same way.  Some components on the inside are slightly difference, for example the flame detector. 

Manufacturers are working on developing hydrogen boilers for a similar cost to gas boilers today. Did you know that most of the gas boilers we install today are already 20% hydrogen compatible? This  means they will take about one hour to convert from natural gas to hydrogen by changing a couple of components on the inside, which can be easily done by one of our engineers when the time is right.

When will the switch to Hydrogen happen?

Although the announcement has been made that it will happen there is no clear date for the switch although we expect to see the start of the switch over begin in 2026.

There are some parts of the UK that are trialing it already. It is still very much in a test stage.  But the introduction of the 20% hydrogen blend is happening now and means that most people will have updated to a hydrogen-ready boiler by the time the changeover happens, so adapting to the new type of gas should be fairly straightforward.

It’s important to note that the government’s plan to decarbonise the heating of UK homes is not just going to feature Hydrogen Boilers.  Heat pumps and other technologies are also part of its strategy in reaching their net zero goal and keeping everyone warm and cosy at home. You can read more about Heat Pumps here.

Will this be an expensive switch?

Good news! Manufacturers are confident that Hydrogen boilers won’t cost any more than their current boilers. As they work in a very similar way, there shouldn’t be any extra costs when it comes to installation and maintenance either.

When will Gas Boilers be banned?

There has been a lot in the press in recent months about gas boilers being banned from 2025, but that’s only targeted at new-build properties, and won’t affect existing homes and boilers.

Your current boiler or a new one you are installing this year, is forecast to use natural gas for all its working lifetime. It is only when you come to replace it again that you will be looking at Hydrogen Boilers or Heat Pumps.

We hope you have found this information helpful. Also this useful video (1minute watch) on the Worcester Bosch website is worth watching.

Photo credit Worcester Bosch.