Mike Foster, chief executive, Energy and Utilities Alliance.
Mr Foster continued: “In 2019 the UK saw a record number of gas boilers being sold; 1.67 million, an increase of 1.8 per cent on 2018 figures. The number of homes with central heating is also increasing. Today around 22 million homes in the UK have gas central heating, compared to 20 years ago when it was around 17 million homes.
“The sheer scale demands that we use these systems to decarbonise, not plan to scrap them. Nearly nine out of 10 households will not welcome the idea of ripping out their heating when it serves them well. So, any decarbonisation of heat should focus on using our gas boilers and radiators.
“Clean gases such as biomethane and hydrogen offer the solution to decarbonisation of UK heat demand. Our industry has developed hydrogen-ready appliances, which can still be used with natural gas, ready for the government to give the go ahead.
“Hydrogen gas will use the existing underground gas pipes already installed in the UK, offering minimum disruption and expense compared to other low carbon alternatives. In addition, homeowners won’t be required to buy new appliances, merely convert those they already own, similar to the switch from town gas in the 1960s, meaning we can decarbonise heat relatively simply, and without relying on homeowners to take action. The digital TV switch-over recently completed shows the roadmap to make decarbonised heat a reality.”