Energy POLL: Will YOU ditch your gas boiler after PM's £19m green heating investment?


The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has granted the funding to towards setting up five new heat networks: two in Bristol, and three across Liverpool, London and Worthing. The £19.1million funding comes from the Government’s £320million Heat Networks Investment Project, which supports the development of energy networks across England and Wales.

The Government claims heat networks are an essential technology for cutting carbon emissions in a cost-effective way while reducing bills and tackling fuel poverty. Heat networks supply heat from a central source to consumers, like a giant central heating system serving many buildings.

The heat can be produced by large rivers and heat from sewers via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water to homes and businesses.

The £19million funding will be distributed to the following locations:

  • £1.1million will go to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to develop a new zero carbon heat network which will use air source heat pumps to provide heat to 826 existing homes and several public buildings and business units.
  • Worthing Borough Council has been awarded over £5.3 million toward the replacement of gas boilers in 27 buildings with a heat network that will use a centralised heat pump to take heat from the sewer underneath the town.
  • Bristol City Council has been granted over £6.4 million to support the development of two new low carbon heat networks to deliver heat to over 6,000 residences through the use of ground and water source heat pumps and waste heat.
  • £6.2 million will enable Mersey Heat to provide low carbon heat and hot water to up to 9,000 homes in Liverpool through a heat pump solution.

The new developments come as part of the Government’s plan to grow the heat networks sector, which provides roughly two percent of UK heat demand.

But it could meet around a fifth of heat demand by 2050 as the Government pushes for more Britons to go green.

Discussing the new funding, Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said: ”Almost a third of all UK carbon emissions come from heating our homes and addressing this is a vital part of tackling pollution, driving down bills and reducing our reliance on costly fossil fuels.  

“This [funding] will allow thousands of households and businesses to feel the benefits of projects that are breaking new ground and making our villages, towns and cities cleaner places to live and work.”

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But some heating experts feel the Government needs to go further in its commitment to green heating solutions across the UK.

Viessmann’s Marketing Director Darren McMahon said: “Appliances such as hydrogen boilers, hybrid heating systems and fuel cells – which offer a wider, faster and more inclusive energy transition for much of the UK’s housing stock – are still not explicitly supported by Government policy.

“We need a multifaceted approach to achieve our climate goals, incorporating hydrogen, heat networks, hybrid systems, connected appliances and heat pumps.

“The heating industry has been doing great things to make current condensing boilers extremely efficient.

“Initiatives such as Boiler Plus, which the government is expected to extend in the future, are already greatly contributing to lowering emissions.

“Think of the impact that could be made if every non-condensing boiler was replaced with a modern gas condensing boiler.”

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The Daily Express has teamed up with heating manufacturer Viessmann to provide expert advice for the Save the Boiler campaign, as many Britons fear the potentially expensive costs of switching to greener energy.

Viessmann says that plenty can be done to ensure your boiler delivers long and energy-efficient service, in a way that is consistent with reducing energy usage and emissions, before moving to a low carbon alternative. The experts advise:

  • Getting a quality heating professional to regularly service your boiler.
  • Adding weather composition controls via a sensor for a small cost to cut gas consumption by around 15 percent in the average home.
  • Setting up a smart boiler control on your phone your smartphone to ensure your property is only heated when you need it.
  • Adding solar thermal to a boiler-led heating system to provide free energy for hot water which could lower your total energy consumption by over a third.
  • Undergoing hydraulic balancing to ensure that all radiators in the system are supplied with exactly the same amount of heat at the same time. This can increase your energy efficiency by up to 15 percent.
  • Performing system flushing and cleaning to get rid of particulate debris and sludge which builds up over time, to improve the heat transfer of the system, reducing running time and energy wastage.

Will you be trying to keep your boiler running for as long as possible before moving to a greener alternative? Have your say in the comments section below.

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