Gas Boiler Ban UK – Should You Replace Yours By 2025?

Last updated: May 21, 2024

The UK government introduced the gas boiler ban to decarbonise the UK housing stock and achieve net zero by 2050. If you’re wondering what this means for you and your home, read on to find out.

The UK has millions of gas boilers heating the oldest housing stock in Europe.

In 2022, the residential sector accounted for 17% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. Natural gas used for cooking and heating is the main source of these emissions.

Finding alternatives to fossil fuels like gas and phasing out boilers powered by natural gas is a big part of tackling emissions from homes and businesses.

If you’re one of the millions of households already running on a gas boiler, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about the gas boiler ban.

This guide explores everything you need to know about the gas boiler ban, including what it means, when and why gas boilers will be phased out, how it will affect you, and alternatives you can use to replace your gas boiler.

Worcester Bosch boiler not affected by gas boiler ban
Image by Worcester Bosch

Quick Takeaways:

  • New homes built after 2025 will have alternative heating systems instead of gas boilers.
  • There are no plans to phase out efficiently working gas boilers in existing homes, and no one will be forced to remove their existing boilers.
  • Banning gas boilers aims to reduce carbon emissions by swapping gas boilers with zero-emission, low-energy alternatives.
  • Low-carbon alternatives to gas boilers include heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, infrared panels, district heating systems and biomass boilers.

Will Gas Boilers Be Banned Soon?

The Heat and Buildings Strategy released by the UK government in October 2021 outlines changes that will make UK buildings more eco-friendly.

The strategy of banning gas boilers involves two phases:

1st Phase: 2025

The strategy aims to make all new buildings in England net zero-ready by 2025 and proposes ending new connections to the gas grid.

Gas boilers will be banned from all new builds, meaning all new homes built after 2025 will have an alternative heating system.

However, the plans are still in the early days, meaning the rule isn’t 100% cemented.

2nd Phase: 2035

The strategy also aims to phase out the installation of natural gas boilers beyond 2035, meaning if your gas boiler breaks down after 2035, you’ll need to install a low-carbon alternative instead of a new gas boiler.

Want to learn how to use your boiler better? Read our complete guide on boiler flow temperature, how to optimise your boiler settings, and find out how much gas a boiler uses here.

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Check out our video on how to vet boiler brands/models in the UK:

How Will You Be Affected By The Gas Boiler Ban? Will You Need To Replace Your Gas Boiler?

You’ll not be affected by the gas boiler ban just yet. No legislation requires scraping or replacing your gas boiler before or after 2025.

The ban doesn’t mean you’ll be shut off from all gas from 2025 if you’re already using a gas boiler or plan to buy one soon.

The gas boiler ban only means that new homes built after 2025 will not have gas boilers. Instead, they will use alternative heating systems like heat pumps.

There are no plans for phasing out gas boilers for existing homes, and no one will be forced to remove their existing boilers.

Instead, the government will grow the market for alternative heating methods like heat pumps through incentives and grants, market-based regulations on manufacturers, and phasing out the installation of gas boilers in new buildings.

In our guide, learn all about the different types of boilers, including condensing boilers, LPG boilers, oil boilers, and Opentherm boilers, and calculate boiler size.

Want to learn about all the factors that contribute to a boiler quote? Check out our boiler cost calculator to understand the latest deals and what is factored into a gas boiler replacement estimate.

Why Is There A Gas Boiler Ban?

Decarbonising the energy used in buildings is a key part of the UK’s clean growth strategy, and it underpins the plan for a green industrial revolution.

Research by the National Housing Federation (NHF) shows that homes in England produce more carbon emissions than all the cars in the country.

Data from the research shows England’s 25 million homes produce 58.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

It attributes this to a combination of gas central heating and poor insulation where homes easily lose heat and require even more gas to keep them warm.

The UK government made it a legal requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the country’s carbon emissions is to use alternatives to fossil fuels for heating, energy and transport.

Banning gas boilers is one strategy to reduce carbon emissions and change how we heat our buildings by swapping gas and oil boilers with zero-emission, low-energy alternatives like heat pumps and electric storage heaters.

What Are The Alternatives To Gas Boilers?

The government aims to phase out installing natural gas boilers beyond 2035.

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It aims to make low-carbon heating methods more common and affordable for homeowners in the next few years.

The strategy notes that the move will involve a gradual transition to making low-carbon heating a mainstream consumer option instead of a niche product.

How old is your boiler? Should you consider repairing the boiler or looking at the latest boiler prices? It’s no secret that boiler efficiency deteriorates over time.

Some alternatives to gas boilers in the UK include:

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work like a reverse fridge and can use an air or ground source.

Air-source heat pumps extract air from outside and compress it to reach high temperatures. They can power your home’s hot water and heating systems, while ground-source heat pumps absorb warmth from the ground.

These systems don’t rely on fossil fuels, making them better for the environment than gas or oil boilers. However, heat pumps can have high upfront costs compared to gas boilers.

Depending on the type of heat pump, purchase and installation costs can range from around £14,000 to £34,000.

To encourage the switch to heat pumps, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, a government-funded initiative for renewable heating systems, offers up to £7,500 to assist with the cost and installation of heat pumps.

Wondering how much a new boiler costs? Check out our guide on options available if you need a new boiler but can’t afford it, as well as boilers on finance and government boiler grants here.

Who offers the best boilers deals in the UK? Check out our review of online boiler installation companies, boiler brands, and the best UK boilers that have topped our list concerning new boilers in the current year.

We also covered the boiler brands to avoid and the most reliable boilers currently available.

Hydrogen Boilers

The government aims to make major strategic decisions on the role of hydrogen in decarbonising heat by 2026.

Hydrogen boilers are similar to gas boilers, except they burn cleaner fuel that is better for the environment.

Trials are exploring a 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas mix compatible with current networks, in-home heat sources, and appliances.

Manufacturers have been encouraged to design hydrogen-ready boilers to make the transition easy and cheaper for consumers.

Although not commercially available, hydrogen boilers may cost roughly the same as similar gas boilers.

Infrared Panels

Infrared panels are still new to the heating scene in the UK but have a promising future. They can be fitted to ceilings or walls, providing near-instant, invisible heat to individual rooms.

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Infrared panels are highly controllable and heat like the warm sun on a cold day instead of relying on convection currents to carry warm air around the room.

Depending on the installation, they can use around four times less energy than a standard electric radiator.

However, to fully replace a boiler’s functionality, you must pair infrared panels with an air-source hot water cylinder.

An infrared panel system for a three-bedroom house can cost around £2,000–£2,500, but this can increase depending on the number of rooms.

District Heating Systems

District heating systems involve underground networks of insulated pipes that take heat from one source and deliver it to different buildings in a particular area.

These systems can supply whole streets, developments, and communities with hot water, making them suitable for densely populated areas or campuses.

Heat sources vary, but the pipe network is usually similar across different systems.

Some facilities like combined heat and power plants can provide a dedicated supply to the heat network, while others recover waste heat from urban and industrial infrastructure.

An example is the Bunhill 2 District Heating Network system in North London, where heat from the London Underground transit system heats homes in Islington.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers can heat an entire house as a viable alternative to gas and oil boilers. 

They generate energy by burning organic materials or previously living organisms, like logs and wood pellets. Burning biomass can generate energy either indirectly or directly:

  • The direct process involves burning biomass to generate heat or electricity, such as using a log-burning stove. 
  • The indirect approach involves processing biofuel and burning it to generate heat or electricity. Domestic biomass boilers generally use this method. 

Biomass boilers are especially appealing for larger properties, costing around £4,000 to £10,000 to install.

They’re also the best alternative for properties where heat pumps may not be suitable.

New boiler cost guides:

Gas Boiler Ban Final Thoughts

The UK gas boiler ban will not affect you yet, but it’s a step in the right direction as we move into a new era where fossil fuels die out and renewables increase.

Although you may continue using your gas boiler, you’ll likely need to replace it with a low-carbon alternative after it dies out.

Sources and References