The way ahead

Fossil fuel-free future

There’s no question that fossil fuels are bad news. That we need to reduce our dependency on gas and oil as soon as possible is without question, but guidance from the government is not exactly crystal. Go for hydrogen? Heat pumps? District heating? Really? Now? Currently heat pumps is the only feasible heating technology on the market, providing your home’s insulation is tip top which, for the majority of UK homes, is not the case. District heating doesn’t appear to be a viable option unless or until the infrastructure is in place. Hydrogen is undoubtedly a strong contender for the switch from natural gas when that infrastructure is in place but, until then, the most climate-friendly option is to replace an inefficient boiler with an ultra-efficient condensing boiler, which will cut carbon emissions immediately. This may appear counter intuitive but, given that 85% of homes use gas for heating, this makes logical, practical sense right now. For new build and well insulated properties, then a hybrid system is a good move and, if the pump is powered by a renewable energy source, like solar PV, even better. The condensing boiler is back-up for the heat pump when the temperatures drop, making the hybrid a worry-free investment. Intergas is actively involved in developing both hybrid and all-electric solutions that will  be brought to market in the next few years and we are also trialling home heating solutions using boilers running on green gas and hydrogen. But right here, right now, if your home’s insulation needs work and you can afford it, upgrade and go hybrid, otherwise a high-efficiency condensing boiler is the only viable alternative.