It’s September 2023, and Prime Minister Rish Sunak has just announced an extension to the ban on gas boilers in the UK. It’s met with a mixed response from opposition parties and the green community, but what does it mean for homeowners and landlords?
Read on to find out more about the 2035 gas boiler ban.
Will existing gas boilers be banned?
The gas boiler ban refers to the sale of new gas boilers. There are no plans to ban existing gas boilers. Mr Sunak was keen to point this out in his update:
“We will never force anyone to rip out their existing boiler and replace it with 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.”
He also made clear in the update that some homes would be entirely exempt from the ban. Around 5 million homes will be exempt from switching to a low-carbon heating alternative because it would cost too much.
Details on the exemptions are still to be released, but it’s likely to affect those who get their gas off the grid.
When is the gas boiler ban?
The plan to phase out gas boilers by 2030 has been pushed back five years to 2035. The aim is for an 80% phase-out rather than a 100% ban.
Homeowners won’t have to get rid of their boiler until it’s ready to be replaced. From 2035, broken boilers must be replaced with a low-carbon alternative, such as a heat pump or a biomass boiler.
A grant scheme is available to cover some of the cost of replacing old boilers.
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a government grant scheme aimed at helping homeowners cover the cost of replacing their old gas boiler with a low-carbon alternative.
In 2023’s update to the government’s green policies, the Prime Minister announced a 50% increase to the grant amount. Homeowners can now get a grant of £7,500 towards the cost of a heat pump or biomass boiler.
PM Rishi Sunak added that no one will be asked to repay the “no strings” attached grant. The money is paid directly to the installer, who claims the money from the government on behalf of the homeowner.
To be eligible for the grant, you must:
- Own the property (whether it’s rented, a second home, or a business property)
- Be replacing a fossil fuel system, i.e. gas, electric, or oil.
You’re still eligible even if you’ve previously received funding to improve your property’s energy efficiency, for example, through insulation improvements.
Your property must also have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with no outstanding recommendations.
Read the eligibility criteria in full on the government website.
What will replace gas boilers in the future?
Heat pumps and biomass boilers are the front runners to take over from gas boilers. These low-carbon alternatives are covered under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
Heat pumps work by taking heat from the ground or the air outside and using it to heat the water that goes into your radiators, taps, and shower. There are two kinds of heat pumps – an air-source and a ground-source heat pump.
You can read more about the advantages and drawbacks of heat pumps in our post on the future of home heating.
A biomass boiler is a type of heating system that uses organic materials as fuel to produce heat. This comes in the form of wood pellets, wood chips, or other renewable biomass sources,
The carbon dioxide (CO2) released during biomass combustion is roughly equal to the CO2 absorbed by the plants during their growth, making them carbon neutral when managed correctly.
Is it worth buying a new gas boiler?
The ban on the sale of new gas boilers is still over a decade away, so what should you do if your boiler needs replacing in the meantime?
The government has confirmed that it won’t ask homeowners to rip out their existing boilers, so if you replace your old boiler with a new one today, you can keep it until it breaks!
New boilers are more energy efficient than their older counterparts, costing less to run and producing fewer emissions. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that if you live in a detached house, you could save up to £580 by switching from a G-rated to an A-rated boiler, based on calculations made in April 2022.
Outside of the financial considerations, there is also the issue of space. If you’re thinking of switching to a heat pump, speak to an installer first to ensure you’ve got enough space and enough insulation.
Properties without the correct insulation won’t benefit from the efficiency savings of installing a heat pump.
Your questions on the gas boiler ban
Get answers to your burning questions in our frequently asked questions section.
Can I replace my gas boiler after 2035?
From 2035, you won’t be able to buy a new gas boiler to replace your existing one. Instead, you’ll have to replace it with a low-carbon alternative, such as a biomass boiler or a heat pump.
There will be some exemptions to this rule, but the details are yet to be announced.
Will gas boilers be available after 2025?
You’ll still be able to buy a new gas boiler after 2025 for a further ten years. In 2035, the ban on selling new gas boilers will come into effect.
How does the ban affect landlords?
All properties, including rented properties, are affected by the ban on new gas boilers (2035).
As part of the change to the government’s green policies, PM Rishi Sunak has scrapped plans to fine landlords who fail to have the correct level of insulation.
Do oil boilers have to be replaced?
The previously stated ban on oil boilers has been pushed back to 2035. Homeowners who want to replace their existing oil boiler with a low-carbon alternative can claim up to £7,500 off the cost of installing a heat pump or biomass boiler.