What is the Gas Ban 2025?
In 2018, the residential sector emitted 65.9 MtCO2, accounting for 18 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. The main source of emissions in these sectors is the use of gas for heating.
In March this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced new standards as part of the UK’s growing climate change and energy crises movement. As well as cutting carbon emissions and supporting energy conservation for small businesses, it was also announced that fossil-fuel heating systems will no longer be installed in new homes after 2025.
Although the Committee on Climate Change released a report earlier this year requesting that no new homes are attached to the gas grid at all by 2025, new builds will still be equipped with gas hobs but no gas heating outlets.
So how will new homes meet increasing UK energy-saving standards and achieve the same quality of heating in homes? What are the alternative heating fuels options for homes after 2025?
Why is gas heating being banned?
The pressure is on government bodies more than ever to do something about Climate Change. Britain, like many countries, is assessing the ways it can make changes to reduce its carbon footprint. When you look at the emissions of heating fuels such as gas, it’s not hard to see how their output is damaging to air quality.
Gas is a fossil fuel. It emits 0.185kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of heat generated. When you factor in distribution losses, this could be increased to 0.203kg/kWh. If you do all the math and look at the level of emissions gas heating pumps into the environment every year, for every home in the United Kingdom, then we’ll be looking at a big number.
If you’re wondering why gas central heating loses causes so many emissions, it’s because it works by combustion: the burning of carbon-based fuel with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and steam.
Gas heating is a powerful source for central heating but it’s also a discouraging source of heat loss and damaging emissions.
What are the heating alternatives to fossil fuels and gas?
If gas systems are going to be banned then businesses and homes need an alternative energy source to rely on. There’s no point jumping from one combustible fuel to the other—homeowners need a source of fuel that’s good for their needs and will remain compliant with governmental environment-oriented plans.
In 2009 the United Kingdom generated 25, 245 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of total renewable energy. In 2017, it generated almost four times that number from sources such as hydropower, solar power and wind energy. Gigawatt hours are a unit of energy representing one billion watt hours and is equivalent to one million kilowatt hours. A single GWh is enough to power a third of the UK’s chemical industry for an hour or a million homes for one hour.
While these renewable energy sources are fantastic for the environment and reducing carbon emissions, their energy transference has a relatively low-flow temperature when compared to a gas-fired boiler.
If you look at a radiator heating system, it requires a flow of 70–80º and direct renewable sources such as solar panels in the home or from the grid might not be able to meet the demand.
Other renewable heat sources include…
- Air-source heat pumps extract heat from the ground, air or water and use it for both space heating and hot water.
- A Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) is a unit that absorbs heat either directly or indirectly from the ground. It works by extracting and re-injecting water from an aquifer (direct) or by using a ground heat exchanger (indirect).
- Solar water heating systems use solar panels fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
These heating methods can be more expensive to purchase and install, but over their lifetime will typically work out cheaper due to the lower running costs.
But, these are just heating sources. When it comes to the system that will heat your home, it’s going to be necessary to have something installed that works with renewable heat sources and not against them.
How ARE underfloor heating systems prepared for the future?
Underfloor heating can work with much lower flow temperatures, making it the perfect solution to work alongside renewable heat sources.
UFH systems are also more effective at heating an area(s). The heating response time is slower but with the right control through a thermostat, UFH will be at the right temperature when you need it to be. Standard radiator systems tend to heat up the whole house, or at least a floor, all at once, based on a central thermostat. This often means that unused areas of the house are heated up unnecessarily and this is less efficient than heating individual zones.
With a wet underfloor heating option, heated water is circulated through a network of pipes with separate circuits for different rooms and areas. Each circuit is connected to a manifold and a thermostat. This means rooms can be heated to different temperatures and at different times, minimizing unnecessary energy use.
Central heating with radiators primarily generates rising convection currents of hot air. Underfloor heating provides a radiant heating method to create a comfortable and constant temperature between the floor and ceiling.
Energy-saving, improved control, comfortable coverage, compliance and money savings over time are among the many advantages of underfloor heating, making it the best heating method for an eco-focused future.
Installing underfloor heating at the new-build stage is the best time to incorporate it and typically ensures better heat output and a simpler installation process. Although the cost of installing UFH is initially more expensive than a radiator system, the long-term benefits far outway the short term additional expense.
This is very similar to the rewards that can be gained from installed renewable energy sources in the home.
But, why wait until 2025 to start enjoying the advantages of renewable heat sources. There are many options available for both new-build and refurbishment projects, which will all work perfectly in tandem with underfloor heating.
Ambiente’s UFH systems link perfectly with renewable technologies, so you can ensure a system that is guaranteed long life as well as saving you money on your energy bills. Why choose the system that’s going to be pushed aside in six years time?
Renewable energy is already a big part of the UK’s energy solutions and Ambiente’s UFH is designed to work with new and developing systems—meaning that installation remains easy.
Where to get your next underfloor heating system
The Gas Ban might not be happening until 2025, but Ambiente is here to help you now to get the best heating system for your property—whether it’s a new build or retrofit project.
Our underfloor heating systems have been installed into many different building types from residential dwellings to museums and commercial properties as an alternative to gas heating systems already. They are designed to meet the requirements of your project and if we don’t have a system already available, we’ll work with you to design a bespoke underfloor heating option.
Ambiente are here to support our installers and clients to help them understand the changing nature of heating and offer the best outcome with proper commissioning and quality products.
Need another reason to make the switch? Just enter a few details and when you place your first order with Ambiente you can get £50 off!
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This article was written by Robert Tuffin.
Robert is the General Manager at Ambiente and has been working in the underfloor heating industry since 2012.