Deadlines for homes to ditch gas boilers and drivers to go electric explained

Government deadlines are looming to ban sales of new gas boilers or cars that run on fossil fuels, with Brits encouraged to take up greener alternatives instead

Petrol is being phased out

Time is running out for Brits with gas boilers and cars that run on petrol or diesel, as the government has deadlines in mind to swap these for greener alternatives.

A government ban on gas boilers was due by 2025 under plans to tackle climate change and help the world achieve its zero-emissions target.

The ban is the idea of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said no new fossil fuel boilers should be sold from 2025, except where they are compatible with hydrogen.

But in the UK this could now be delayed to 2040 due to backlash over the soaring cost of ‘net zero’ on households ahead of the COP26 climate conference this year.

This delay would allow firms extra time to develop more affordable alternatives to traditional gas boilers.

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The current alternatives are heat pumps, which can be expensive to fit, or experimental hydrogen systems.

Standard boilers cost around £1,000, but heat pumps can cost £5,000 to £14,000.

What does the gas boiler ban mean?

Any ban would apply to new boilers fitted in new build homes first, with a total ban on new boilers to follow for all property types.

However, replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump could save homeowners in a four-bed house £1,300 a year on their heating bills, according to figures from Rated People.

The days of gas boilers could be numbered


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The government has no plans to penalise homeowners for not making the switch.

Instead it is favouring the carrot approach, rather than the stick.

Households will be able to upgrade their boilers for thousands of pounds less than the current price under measures being introduced to make homes more eco-friendly. The grant will launch next year and will apply in the firm of a trade in.

Petrol and diesel cars phased out

A ban on new petrol and diesel cars will be brought forward to 2030.

Past that point drivers will only be able to buy fossil fuel-powered car if they are second-hand. The only new vehicles allowed will have to be electric or powered by green energy of some sort.

Boris Johnson confirmed the ban in November last year.

The ban is part of the prime minister’s ‘Ten Point Plan’ for a green industrial revolution.

He hopes the proposals will boost moves to meet Britain’s pledge for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The future is electric


AFP via Getty Images)

The PM announced £1.3billion to speed up the installation of electric vehicle charging points in homes, streets and motorways.

He also pledged £582million in grants for zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper and encourage take-up.

Other promises were for nearly £500million over four years to develop and mass produce electric vehicle batteries.

Other measures include creating Britain’s first town heated entirely by hydrogen, developing small and advanced nuclear reactors, and making homes, schools and hospitals “greener, warmer and more energy efficient”.

The Government set a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, and Mr Johnson repeated a Conservative Party conference pledge to build enough offshore wind turbines to power every home.

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