Changes in Boiler Legislation - Renewables, Reusables, and Restrictions

Published: 03 Aug 2022 ・ Read time: 8 mins
With the challenging goal of reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050, the UK government has announced sweeping legislation to encourage the usage of renewable heat sources in UK homes.
Currently, 95% of UK homes have central heating systems, and around 80% of these systems are gas powered. Whilst gas boilers are highly effective, their CO2 output has raised increasing concern over the past decade - not to mention that the fossil fuels powering them won’t be around forever. With this in mind, the push for renewable alternatives has never been more encouraged.
As a plumber, it’s important to keep up to speed with the current rules and regulations, so let’s take a look at how you can prepare going forward.

The Push for Eco-Friendly Heating Solutions

Parliamentary discussions within the past few years have brought forward the idea of restricting the installation of gas boilers in new build homes from 2025 onwards. This was originally proposed in 2019, and more recent discussions have reinforced this idea as part of the ‘Future Homes Standard’.
This means that past 2025, any new build projects will use alternative central heating systems, such as electric boilers or heat pumps for example.
As it stands, there are no restrictions on the horizon for existing gas boilers – so the 80% of people who currently use gas boilers won’t have to worry about replacing them in the near future. That being said, new boilers are incredibly efficient, so customers may be looking to upgrade if their boiler is very old.
City Plumbing Boilers

Why are Energy Efficient Heating Solutions being Encouraged?

The Clean Air Strategy of 2019 explained how the government planned to tackle carbon emissions of all kinds in order to protect the environment, whilst enabling clean growth and innovation. Not an easy task by any means, but one that’s already underway.
One of the major keystones of this plan is reducing carbon emissions from homes and businesses. As heating makes up around 30% of total household and business emissions, the government saw an opportunity for huge carbon cuts here.
The idea is to encourage the transition to clean energy, which does leave plumbers with ample opportunities - as those who can install renewable technologies and renewable-compatible heating systems (such as electric boilers) will naturally have a head start when it comes to plumbing for new builds and renovation projects.

How Can Installers Adapt?

Despite the upcoming restrictions on gas boilers in new homes, your customers probably won’t be rushing to replace the gas boilers in their existing properties. This is especially true if they have recently had a new gas boiler installed, as it will still run efficiently and do an excellent job for years and years to come. This means that gas boiler maintenance will still be a valued service for the next few decades, at the very least.
Suppose the majority of your work is contracting for new builds or plumbing for renovations. In that case, it’s seriously worth learning the ins and outs of electric boilers, heat pumps, and other low-emission heating systems.
It may also be worth educating customers about the latest upgrade schemes, such as the boiler upgrade scheme. This is a government-funded grant that helps customers cover the upfront cost of a clean energy heating system, such as an air sourcecheat pump or a ground source heat pump.
The government wants to lower the economic burden of switching to cleaner energy, so it’s always worth checking the latest funding initiatives your customers may be able to take advantage of.
City Plumbing - Installer working on fitting heating systems
Whilst gas boilers certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, their gradual phase-out from new build properties further incentivises plumbers to start learning how to install, maintain, and repair new, low-emission alternatives.
When it comes to stocking these systems, professionals need a supplier they can trust. Sign up for a City Plumbing trade account to get consistently low trade prices on plumbing supplies including boilers, heat pumps, and much, much more – with free delivery and on-hand support.

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