Hydrogen-ready boilers considered by over half of Britons in new poll

Martin Lewis explains the boiler challenge

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The UK Government is considering requiring all new domestic boilers in the UK to be “hydrogen-ready” by 2026 to help achieve net zero emission targets by 2050. A ban is already in place on the installation of gas boilers in newbuild homes from 2025, and existing properties by 2035, meaning Britons will need to install alternative heating systems in the near future. Over half of Express.co.uk readers would install a hydrogen-ready boiler in their home, a recent poll has found.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched £102million in funding for the development of hydrogen and nuclear technologies last month, alongside launching a consultation on the capabilities of hydrogen boilers.

Hydrogen-ready boilers are installed to burn fossil gas and can be modified by an engineer to operate on hydrogen, but there is no guarantee that boilers will ultimately be converted.

The Government argues that the strategy will reduce “the costs associated with scrapping natural gas-only boilers before the end of their useful life”.

Mike Foster, the head of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, said: “Mandating hydrogen-ready boilers is an important step towards decarbonising homes. The Government are absolutely right to support this no-regrets option.”

In a poll that ran from 3pm on Friday, December 30, to 1.30pm on Tuesday, January 10, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Would you install a hydrogen-ready boiler in your home?”

In total, 3,652 people responded with the overall result, with 55 percent of votes cast (2,017 people), being “yes” in support of installing a hydrogen-ready boiler.

Whereas 40 percent (1,451 people) said “no” they would not install one in their home, and a furth five percent (184 people) said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on hydrogen-ready boilers.

Many readers said they would consider installing a hydrogen-ready boiler, with username uncivilservant writing: “In principle yes, provided that such a boiler is not significantly more expensive than current options.”

Another, username citizen51, said: “A hydrogen boiler is a must.”

Some readers argued they would rather have a hydrogen boiler over a heat pump in their homes, like username south coast man said: “It makes sense to have hydrogen in the existing gas system rather than electric heat pumps.”

And username billy middle england wrote: “Well I certainly would not waste time and money on a heat pump so a hydrogen-ready boiler would be the only option.”

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Yet other readers thought hydrogen was not a viable option for heating, with username iwho commenting that “hydrogen has no place in the home”.

Username Biwlsman said: “No, because the technology hasn’t been developed.”

Likewise, username skepticscott said: “If the Government is serious about converting the country to run on hydrogen then it ought to build a national infrastructure.”

However, some readers said they would rather keep their current heating system, with username truebreed remarking: “Hell no to hydrogen, I’m happy my with existing heating.”

Experts have warned that hydrogen may not be the most viable option for heating UK homes in the future. Jan Rosenow, director of European Programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project, claimed that many hydrogen-ready boilers will continue to use 100 percent fossil fuels, compromising emission targets.

He tweeted: “The danger is that rather than rolling out low carbon heating tech and energy efficiency measures available today, the UK adopts a wait-and-see approach, compromising its ability to meet the net zero carbon emission targets.”

MPs on the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee also argue that hydrogen will have a limited role in the future due to practical and infrastructural challenges.

Chair of the committee, Greg Clark, said: “Hydrogen can play an important role in decarbonising the UK’s economy, but it is not a panacea.”

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