The UK’s largest boiler manufacturers have announced plans for a new price promise which means a hydrogen-ready boiler will cost no more than its natural gas equivalent.
Manufacturers Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, Baxi and Ideal have agreed to the joint initiative, which it says could save consumers up to £2.3bn in costs. The agreement has been formed to help the UK transition away from natural gas to the less CO2-emitting hydrogen form of heating.
According to the four manufacturers, any hydrogen boiler will be designed to work initially off natural gas, with a maximum of one hour’s labour to convert it to hydrogen use.
Mike Foster, chief executive of the boiler industry’s trade association, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), which brokered the deal, said that the price promise is a major boost to consumers and the fight against climate change.
“Our own research tells us that consumers want to do their bit to reduce the impact of their homes and help deliver a greener future, but are concerned about the cost of some low-carbon technologies.
“This price promise from the Big Four ensures that consumers will be able to access an affordable low-carbon heat and hot water solution.”
The price promise was delivered in a letter to business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
Mr Foster added: “The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government, assumed that a hydrogen-ready boiler would cost £100 more than a natural gas boiler and that the total cost to consumers of decarbonising their homes would be £2.3bn. The price promise is a great deal for consumers.”
The EUA’s recent report, Too Close to Home, revealed that tackling climate change is regarded as a priority for consumers but the majority are unwilling to pay more than the cost of a new boiler.
Hydrogen-ready boilers can be installed to run on natural gas but easily switched to hydrogen, and have been successfully tested by the Health and Safety Executive, which published its findings earlier this month.
Mr Foster said that British manufacturing ingenuity lies behind the price promise.
“This is another example of British companies leading the way on net zero. The manufacturers have been very clever in using existing components and technologies to keep the price of hydrogen-ready boilers down. What’s more, hydrogen-ready boilers will work in the same way as natural gas boilers with no changes required to pipework, radiators or the installation of a water tank,” he said.
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