Are you in the market for a new boiler and curious about hydrogen-ready options and their costs? This article reviews some of the leading hydrogen-ready boilers available.
Or perhaps you’ve heard about hydrogen’s environmental benefits and are keen to explore how you can contribute?
As part of a global effort, the UK government has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
This ambitious goal necessitates significant reductions in carbon emissions across various sectors, including transportation, energy production, and domestic heating—particularly focusing on gas boilers.
An important note about hydrogen boilers:
The UK government is actively exploring the potential of hydrogen-ready boilers as part of its broader strategy to reduce carbon emissions. However, as of the current date, specific policies and regulations regarding the widespread adoption and implementation of hydrogen-ready boilers are still under review. It’s important to stay informed about the latest government guidelines and regulations in this evolving field.
Are gas boilers going to be banned?
The short answer is that no gas boilers are not going to be banned.
Certain proposals have been made to ban gas boilers in new build properties, from the year 2025 onwards, yet this has not been confirmed.
In a nutshell, that means if you buy a gas boiler today, it will likely run the course of it’s entire lifespan, e.g. around 15 years.
However, it’s likely that in the coming years we will see more and more schemes and incentives to transition away from gas boilers.
That may include incentives to adopt heat pumps, like the gas boiler upgrade scheme launching in April 1st 2022, as well as hydrogen fuel being fed into our homes via the existing grid instead of natural gas.
However, this process is likely to happen in distinct stages, phasing in over many years.
What is a hydrogen boiler?
In many ways, a hydrogen boiler is similar to the gas boilers we currently use in our homes.
It looks almost identical and uses most of the same components, including an ignition and combustion chamber.
However instead of burning natural gas as fuel, it burns hydrogen gas instead.
Therefore, there are a few key design changes, which is why many manufacturer’s have already been developing hydrogen boiler prototypes for several years.
Why is Hydrogen Better than Natural Gas?
As you may know, burning natural gas produces carbon dioxide, which is a major greenhouse gas, contributing to climate change.
This is why it’s fundamental that domestic heating in the UK is reformed to become greener and cleaner.
That is where hydrogen comes in – hydrogen gas does not produce carbon dioxide when burned, instead it has one by-product – water.
This ability to burn hydrogen without producing any carbon dioxide makes it an exciting prospect to the UK government and it’s carbon neutral goals of 2050.
Wondering which boiler manufacturers performed best? Check out our best boiler brands guide for the full rundown and if you are trying to determine who the best boiler installation company is, check out our Warmzilla and Boxt reviews.
Are Hydrogen Boilers Available?
100% Hydrogen boilers are not yet commercially available in the UK, but there are several proto-types in development by leading boiler brands like Baxi, Worcester Bosch and Viessmann.
However, hydrogen-ready boilers are currently available for purchase and install, but there is a key distinction between hydrogen and “hydrogen-ready” boilers that you should be aware of.
What is Hydrogen Ready Boiler?
A hydrogen-ready boiler or hydrogen-ready blend is a boiler designed to accept a percentage of hydrogen, blended with natural gas, not 100% hydrogen gas.
Typically, these are referred to as ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers and can accept 20% hydrogen, these are currently available from boiler manufacturers like Worcester Bosch and Viessmann.
You can typically identify these boilers as they will be marked with “hydrogen-ready” labelling, but of course you should always ask if you are unsure.
Did you know the efficiency of your boiler can impact the amount of energy it uses and ultimately impact your heating bill costs? Check out our guide to the best condensing boilers if you are interested to find out more.
You may also find our review of the best eco-friendly boilers of interest.
What is a Hydrogen Boiler?
As mentioned, technically a hydrogen boiler is a boiler designed to accept 100% hydrogen gas, or a large proportion of the gas.
This is why other names are given to boilers that can only accept a blend e.g. up to 20% hydrogen gas and natural gas.
Check out our boiler brand price guides and comparisons:
- British Gas new boiler costs.
- How much is it to fit a new boiler?
- How much does a Vaillant boiler cost?
- Baxi boiler costs.
How Much Does a Hydrogen Boiler Cost?
The short answer is that since they are not yet available, nobody knows for sure.
However, industry leading boiler manufacturers like Worcester Bosch have made it very clear that it’s their goal to make them on par with the price of current natural gas boilers.
That means that when they do become available, you hopefully won’t have to pay for any extras.
What size boiler is right for your home? If you are thinking about a combi boiler, it is largely determined by the number of radiators in your home.
Check out our complete guide to new boiler installation here if you are wondering about the best type of boiler for your home.
When Will Hydrogen Fuel Become the Norm?
As previously mentioned, the roll out of hydrogen using the current gas grid is a work in progress and there are yet to be any confirmation in terms of dates.
However, it’s largely expected that the transition to 100% hydrogen will be a step-wise transition to its full adoption.
For example, it’s assumed that most people will adopt the new generation of hydrogen-ready boilers (just starting to become available).
Next, it’s anticipated that the new hydrogen gas blend will be rolled out using the existing gas network.
Finally and perhaps in more than several decades all homes in the UK will be using 100% hydrogen and 100% hydrogen ready boilers.
However, before this can happen, there are major stumbling blocks that need to be addressed, which is why so many research projects are currently underway.
For instance, the following major road blocks currently exist:
- Hydrogen gas production is not yet 100% clean i.e. it still produces carbon dioxide.
- Hydrogen production is not yet at the level where it could provide enough for the entire country.
- Hydrogen itself is not easy to transport or store.