We have been using gas to heat our homes for many years but concerns about climate change mean that fuel-burning gas boilers are now in the firing line.
Does this mean we could soon see the end of gas central heating?
Whilst we’re not expecting the demand for gas boilers to plummet any time soon, the heating industry is beginning to move towards more environmentally-friendly heating solutions.
Are gas boilers being phased out?
Whilst gas boilers are still the most popular option today, there is likely to be a greater emphasis on more environmentally friendly heating systems in the future.
The UK is under pressure to reduce the number of gas boilers in use to meet its climate goals, with the aim to achieve a zero-carbon country by 2050.
According to an article in the Guardian, heating is the largest single source of carbon emissions in the UK, and to meet the UK’s net zero climate target the government plan to ban gas boilers in newly built homes from 2025.
According to the Committee on Climate Change: ‘From 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid. They should be heated using low-carbon energy sources, have ultra-high levels of energy efficiency alongside appropriate ventilation, and be timber-framed where possible.
This would mean new build houses would need to be heated using an environmentally-friendly source such as:
- Heat pumps
- Hybrid boiler
- Hydrogen boiler
- Solar thermal panels
At this point, there are no plans to phase out existing boilers, so there’s no need to worry about ditching your gas boiler!
It’s worth bearing in mind where the industry is headed though and to consider your own carbon footprint. If you need help or advice with choosing an efficient and environmentally heating system for your home, then our team here at Range Heating are happy to help.
What is electric heating?
One such low-carbon heating solution is electric heating.
Instead of gas central heating, some properties use electricity to generate heat and hot water.
Rather than having a central heating system like with gas, heat and hot water are usually generated separately when using electricity, with heat coming from electric radiators and heaters, and hot water from an electric boiler.
Gas central heating systems use a centrally located boiler to burn gas and generate heat and hot water. The heat and hot water are then circulated around the house through pipework.
Electric heating systems are not as standardised and can take a variety of forms, with each room usually being heated by a separate appliance.
Different types of electric heating and hot water appliances include:
- Fan heaters
- Bar heaters
- Storage heaters
- Electric boilers
- Electric showers
- Electric underfloor heaters
- Electric radiators
The pros and cons of electric heating
The primary reason that most people opt for electric heating is its low impact on the environment.
Key benefits of electric heating include:
Less environmental impact
Electric heating doesn’t directly use any fossil fuels, making it much better for the environment and reducing your carbon footprint.
However, it’s worth noting that gas is still used to generate about 40% of our electricity, so electric heating isn’t usually completely carbon-free.
All the electricity used is turned into heat and there is no wastage, unlike with gas systems where even the most efficient systems waste bout 10% of their energy.
Low cost electric appliances available – It is possible to pick up electric heating appliances very cheaply. However, in the long-term it may be more cost-effective to invest in more expensive storage heaters that run using cheaper, off-peak electricity.
Heating for those living outside the main gas network
If you live in a rural location off the gas-grid, then electric heating can offer a convenient way to heat your property
Which option is cheaper – gas or electric?
Electric heating can be significantly more expensive to run than gas central heating.
It is estimated to cost, on average, around £304 a year to heat a small 1-2 bedroom house with gas, but the same house would cost £1,152 to heat with electricity.
A solution that would help to make electric heating a more affordable option would be to combine it with solar panels or wind energy.
Find out more by speaking to Range Heating.
Here at Range Heating, we design and install a wide range of different heating and hot water systems and can advise you on the best system for your property and requirements.