Gas boilers

The Which? guide “11 ways to save on your heating bills this winter, October 2022”

Almost all these steps deal with the efficient use of your gas boiler and are easy to follow, well explained. If you have a combi boiler you may be a few minutes away from substantial savings.

The future of the boiler

Gas boilerFrom 2025 (only three years away!) gas boilers will no longer be fitted to new builds. This is part of the government’s goal to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to phase out fossil fuels in favour of renewable sources of energy. The most viable alternative to gas for home heating being heat pumps as conventional national electric heaters are very much more expensive to run than gas or heat pumps.

When a heat pump is not viable, and you need to renew a boiler, then a gas boiler may be the only solution at the moment. However modern boilers are much more efficient, especially condensing boilers that can reuse some of the heat that would otherwise go up the flue.

Boiler efficiency

One thing that many people (householders and some installers) are not aware of is that, like heat pumps, boilers are less efficient at higher temperatures. In fact condensing boilers do not actually condense at temperatures above 56º.

Before the current energy crisis, or before there was so much awareness of climate change, people often weren’t too concerned about energy consumption and many fitters would set the temperature at 65º or even 70º to get nice hot radiators for their customers. Also, hot radiators make easier to create a well balanced system with even temperatures throughout. So even if you are replacing a boiler with a boiler, it is worth considering (as with heat pumps) getting some larger or more radiators in order to be able to run at maximum efficiency.

Energy Saving Trust Efficient boilers


You may have heard about plans to replace fossil gas (“natural” gas) with hydrogen. Already there are boilers being made that will run on a (20%) blend of hydrogen and natural gas in readiness for the possibility of the UK infrastructure to deliver this. The gas and boiler industry has an  ultimate aim will to manufacture boilers that can run on 100% hydrogen, and an infrastructure that can deliver 100% hydrogen into homes.

Whether this is practical remains to be seen, and although hydrogen is touted as a carbon free energy carrier, a lot of carbon is produced in its manufacture. The only way to make the hydrogen manufacturing process carbon neutral is to use carbon capture storage. This is probably not going to work well in the long run as the vast amount of storage capacity itself needs energy to maintain. Plus it may be better to use that storage for other processes which have no alternative.

We believe it makes a lot more sense to invest instead in renewable free energy such as solar, wind and tide.

All we can say at the moment is that if you do need to replace you boiler, then it is worth looking for the most efficient and you may decide on one that is ready for hydrogen blend but we advise to bear the above in mind. As with any form of energy, reducing consumption of gas will be of great benefit to the environment and your pocket so it is still very much worth considering how to make your house as efficient as possible in regard to insulation and draft exclusion.

Southampton Climate Commission – Position Statement – Solent Cluster and Hydrogen Production

Just Have a Think Youtube channel:

Different types of hydrogen World Economic Forum

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