British Gas to keep gas boilers despite phase out hopes

British Gas has confirmed that it will continue to sell and advertise gas boilers despite government hopes to start phasing them out.

The firm, which is the UK’s largest energy supplier has argued that it needs to “upskill” its engineers and develop alternative technology before it can offer greener alternatives to its gas boiler range.

Competitors such as Ovo, which took over SSE this year, will also continue to promote the boilers.

The UK Government wants homeowners to replace gas boilers with ground and air source pumps that use the heat from the environment to warm homes rather than the burning of fossil fuels. The pumps can be powered by electricity from renewable sources.

Government officials have progressed plans requiring all new homes to have a heat pump installed from 2025 to 2023. This is to help meet its legally binding target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

However, if homeowners install new gas boilers now, they may be reluctant to replace them for more than a decade. A typical gas boiler can last 15 years.

Scott Byrom, chief executive of price comparison website, said: “To support our transition to a greener future, we need to see more proactive promotion of air and ground-source heat pumps from the UK’s leading energy suppliers.

“The more these leading suppliers can do now to educate consumers of their benefits, the quicker that crucial transition will be.”

Home energy use accounts for 15% of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions. Existing homeowners do not have to replace their old boilers, but there is speculation that they may be required to do so in future.

British Gas said that while it was developing heat pump technology, it was better for a household to have a more energy efficient gas boiler.

A spokesman said: “We are running a hybrid heat pump trial to find a low-carbon heat solution for UK homes.”

Ovo added: “The reality for most households today is that gas boilers remain the cheaper and easier option. Government and industry need to work together to unlock the investment in electric heating systems to bring down the costs for consumers.”

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