Loophole may allow new gas boilers after ban in 2035
“The vast majority of households will never have hydrogen, and it will be very expensive,” said Ed Matthew of the climate think tank E3G, who wrote to Secretary of Commerce Kwasi Kwarteng to call for a rethink.
“This will make people feel like they are doing the right thing and people will get a nasty shock.”
Supporters of hydrogen, which is vital to the government’s 10-point environmental plan, say it is an ideal replacement for natural gas and allows the use of existing infrastructure, although there are safety concerns as it is more flammable.
Hydrogen is being tested in test houses and Centrica, which owns British Gas, predicts it will take over a decade to become available for domestic use. There are no hydrogen-ready boilers on the market yet, but the upfront cost is estimated to be only slightly higher than the cost of gas. There will be an additional cost of around £ 250 for the switch.
That would make them cheaper than heat pumps, which can cost £ 10,000, though retailers predict they can cut costs in half within two years, and grants of around £ 4,000 are due. However, there are also concerns about the cost of hydrogen in households. The lowest estimates suggest that it will be about three times higher than current natural gas prices.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy said: “We will encourage people to switch to low carbon alternatives as the boilers are replaced in a fair, affordable and practical way. We continue to test hydrogen as a low carbon heat source, but we won’t force people to remove working boilers. ”