The Government plans to phase out gas boilers in new build homes, because it is easier to accommodate other forms of heating at the point of construction. However, in the retrofit market (that is, existing housing stock) where this is more difficult, switching to gas central heating is a relatively simple and effective way to have a positive impact on both energy bills and the energy efficiency rating of your property (contractors on the project only install A-rated Worcester Bosch boilers). Where possible, they will also insulate homes to maximize the benefit of switching to gas central heating. As an example, in one real world case, the scheme was able to improve an EPC E rated property to a C rated property. This reduced their £1,099 annual energy bill to £542 (saving them around £600 per year) and resulted in a carbon emissions reduction from approximately 3.1 tonnes down to 1.9 tonnes of CO2 per year (that’s a reduction of about 40%).
We realise that installing gas central heating does not immediately appear to align with our goals to reduce emissions, but we must also consider the effects of fuel poverty on the vulnerable members of our society, and identify ways in which people can live safe, healthy lives. The recent Green Homes Grant scheme also aims to help homes reduce their carbon footprint, but the cost to the average home owner may still be too high for them to benefit or be able to afford the cost of the work. The Warm Homes Hub scheme potentially offers fully funded heating for those who meet the eligibility criteria and so it remains an important alternative for many households.