One of the biggest talking points in the plumbing world lately has been the gas and oil boiler installation debate in new build properties from 2025. In order for the UK to reach its zero carbon emissions target by 2050, the government has set out a range of measures that will impact our lives in a variety of ways.
This has led to some confusion about what this means for homeowners with existing oil boilers or people who want to replace an old oil boiler in their property.
What does the move to Net Zero mean for oil boilers? Can you fit a replacement and might you be forced to exchange an oil boiler for an alternative?
New oil boiler replacement
The legislation as it stands requires all new build properties built after 2025 to be fitted with alternatives to carbon heating systems such as gas and oil. In most cases, this will mean the installation of heat pumps. The government would like to encourage more homeowners to swap their carbon boiler for a heat pump and support is in place to assist them in the process, but this is likely to take some time.
There are currently no plans to ban new oil and gas boilers in properties that were built prior to 2025. It’s likely that staged rule changes may take place over the coming years with new oil boilers gradually being phased out. Because of the huge numbers of homeowners who rely on oil and gas to heat their homes, this is unlikely to be sudden or anytime soon. Instead, the installation of new oil and gas boilers in existing buildings is likely to be introduced at some point after 2030, allowing plenty of time for people to adjust.
As the service life of a new boiler is anywhere between ten and fifteen years, installing a new oil boiler now should ensure that your boiler sees you through until it needs to be replaced by an alternative such as a heat pump. This gives you plenty of time to ensure your property is ready for the switch in terms of insulation and any other logistical concerns.
Boiler technology has improved greatly over recent years so even if you are replacing an old oil boiler with a new one you will still be improving the energy efficiency of your home. Typically, a new oil-fired boiler will have an efficiency of 92-95%, compared to 60-70% in the case of older boilers.
Oil combi boilers
An oil combi boiler can be a cost-effective and energy-efficient option for properties that aren’t connected to mains gas. It works in the same way as a gas boiler, both heating water for your taps and the hot water that heats up your radiators. Oil-fired combi boilers are energy efficient as they heat up water on demand.
If you have an existing combi boiler installing a new one is a relatively simple process. If you’re replacing a boiler that heats up your water via a tank, then this tank can be removed freeing up space in your home. For this reason, combi boilers are often a popular choice in properties where space is more limited.
Whether or not a replacement oil combi boiler is suitable for your property will depend on your hot water requirements. They are better for smaller properties or in homes where water usage is relatively low. Even if you have a large property and you need your boiler to be able to handle high flow rates, then a storage combi boiler might be suitable.
Oil system boiler
There are four million properties in the UK that aren’t connected to gas which means they have to be heated in other ways. If you have a central heating system with a hot water tank, then an oil system boiler can be one of the best ways to do this. An oil tank can be fitted on site and filled with oil as and when it’s needed. In most cases, this will be a cheaper heating solution than electric heating.
An oil system boiler can be the best choice in larger properties, or in homes where more hot water is required. If you currently have an old oil boiler in place then replacing it is relatively straightforward. If you’re switching from electricity to oil then more work will be required. Your installation team will be able to advise about the cost of installing a new oil system boiler in your property and the likely costs.
What is the future of oil boilers?
While over time oil boilers are likely to be phased out to be gradually replaced with solutions such as heat pumps this is likely to take some time. Our homes and businesses mostly run on carbon fuels such as gas and oil, and it will be a huge and lengthy logistical challenge to help them to make the shift.
The government has set a date of somewhere around the mid-2030s to begin the phase-out of new oil boiler installations. If you install a new oil boiler in the coming years it will last for anywhere up to 15 years.
Oil boiler installation
If you’d like to find out more about oil boiler installation, then Bumblebee Plumbing & Heating would be happy to advise. Our award-winning team can supply and fit an energy-efficient new oil boiler to help reduce your bills and carbon footprint.
Our large team is always on hand to sort out any problems, and we carry out the work as efficiently as possible. We do everything in our power to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible with minimal disturbance to the customer.