“Hydrogen ready” boilers can provide a loophole for continuing to use fossil fuel gas.
That’s according to more than 40 organisations who have submitted a letter – organised by the E3G thinktank – to ministers calling for this loophole to be closed.
The loophole in question would see new homes have “hydrogen ready” boilers built in – but given these are not too different from standard gas boilers in the way they function, the group has said they will provide the option of continuing to use gas.
They cite the cost of hydrogen and technical difficulties of implementation as reasons that would see many turn away from using the green gas to heat their homes and return to fossil fuels.
Heat pumps should be considered instead, the campaigners stress – if the UK’s 2050 net zero target is to remain in sight.
The letter reads: “100% hydrogen for heating is not yet a tried and tested technology and unlikely to be available for decades – and even then unlikely to be economic as a nationwide solution for domestic heat decarbonisation.”
The loophole is within the future homes standard, which is set to be debated by ministers next month and come into effect in two years’ time.
Juliet Phillips from E3G said: “Experts have repeatedly concluded that hydrogen will not provide a nationwide solution for heat decarbonisation. Hydrogen ready boilers could act as a wolf in sheep’s clothing; allowing new homes to be connected to the gas grid, with little chance they will be supplied with green hydrogen anytime soon.
“We encourage the government to instead firmly double down on readily available clean tech solutions such as heat pumps.”