Hydrogen Boiler: Are hydrogen ready boilers the future?

hydrogen boiler worcester bosch

A hydrogen boiler or hydrogen ready boiler is all part of the plan for a switch to a greener energy source for domestic heating.

You may have heard about the switch to hydrogen instead of gas, but this needs to be done gradually and is currently a long way off. Let’s take a look at why hydrogen boilers are the future of home central heating and hydrogen ready new boiler costs.

Hydrogen Ready Boilers UK: The big switch over to greener fuels

In order to switch over to green energy hydrogen-powered boilers, there has to be a gradual process to ensure that it will work properly and is a viable option.

It looks like this is the way that the government and the rest of the world want to go, but currently farming hydrogen is expensive and the gas network and infrastructure are not ready. Here is the plan of what is supposed to be happening over the next few decades. 

Are gas boilers being banned in 2025?

hydrogen boiler energy efficiency

No current gas boilers aren’t being banned completely. You may have heard that gas boilers are going to be banned from 2025 so people may start thinking to look for alternatives like electric boilers.

This is partly true as boilers that run solely on gas will be at some point, but most new boilers are now being made Hydrogen ready, so you are safe to buy a new one as long as it is H2 ready.

Hydrogen ready boilers for 20% hydrogen and gas mix

This only relates to new builds too, so any building company installing a new boiler will have to ensure that the boiler can run on at least 20% hydrogen mixed with natural gas. If you have just had a full gas boiler installed, don’t worry, you can keep it as long as the boiler is working, you won’t have to remove it for a while. 

Hydrogen boilers burn hydrogen for 100% clean energy

A 100% hydrogen boiler will produce zero emissions. This is because when hydrogen is burnt, the only waste product is water vapour. There are no greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide.

These are a long way off being used in domestic properties, but a Hydrogen ready boiler can run on 20% hydrogen mixed with natural gas, which means that it is using 20% less natural gas which is cutting emissions also. Hydrogen gas boilers are available now from companies such as Viessmann, Worcester bosch & Ideal.

1.Hydrogen ready boiler development

Hydrogen ready boilers (H2 ready as they are also known)  are already in production. This means two things with regards to how the boiler works:

hydrogen boiler viessmann h2 ready
  • The boiler is currently capable of running on 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas.
  • The boiler can easily be amended with certain parts to be able to run on 100% hydrogen

The fact that the boiler can run on 20% hydrogen means that they can gradually phase the new fuel in and also cut the amount of natural gas used also, which also lowers the carbon emissions too. 

2. Hydrogen mixed with gas will fuel your hydrogen ready boiler

The 20% hydrogen blend with natural gas will likely be tested at the very earliest 2028, and this is if everything goes to plan. We imagine it will take a little longer but don’t worry as there will be a contingency plan and it will have to be tested first.

There are current plans for small communities around the UK to pilot this first. There will likely be free upgrades for people in the future if it is pushed by the government as they did before with A-rated condensing gas boilers and heat pump grants.

3. 100% hydrogen gas supply switchover for full hydrogen boilers

hydrogen boiler viessmann vitodens 050-w

The 100% hydrogen boiler switch over is estimated to happen around 2045 which, by then, every old boiler will have either broken down or been replaced.

Most gas boilers last between 10 years and 15 years which would take us up to 2036 as we write in 2021. The intention is then to have found a way to effectively harness hydrogen to enable a 100% clean energy source. 

Hydrogen ready boiler cost – Are they expensive to buy?

A hydrogen boiler is expected to cost no more than a current natural gas boiler. 100% hydrogen boilers are still a long way off being ready for home use. But hydrogen-ready boilers are already on sale and are the same price as the complete natural gas boilers.

If you are looking for a hydrogen-ready boiler that can run on 20% hydrogen then you can get a price online for boilers such as the Viessmann Vitodens 050-w or the Worcester Bosch 4000.

How much do hydrogen ready boilers cost?

Hydrogen-ready boilers cost between £600 and £2,000 not including installation. If you are looking for installation expect to pay between £900 and £2,000 depending on the work required.

Hydrogen boilers cost no more than what a gas boiler installation will cost as they are the same parts and boilers, but just have hydrogen-ready capabilities and can be easily modified to run on 100% hydrogen. 

The latest new Hydrogen ready boiler prices without installation

The price of a hydrogen-ready combi boiler luckily is no more than what their natural gas counterparts were. Here is the cost of a new hydrogen-ready boiler that is capable of running on up to 20% hydrogen blend in natural gas. These do not include the installation or fitting of the boilers in your home.

Worcester Bosch 400 hydrogen ready combi boiler£900
Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000 Hydrogen ready combi£750
Ideal Logic C30 Hydrogen ready combi£800
Viessmann Vitodens 050-w Hydrogen ready combi£850

Hydrogen ready boilers’ advantages and disadvantages

As with anything, hydrogen boilers have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at why we should or maybe shouldn’t be considering these new boilers for our homes in the future. Some people say air source heat pumps are a better option but there is still a long way to go.

Advantages of a hydrogen ready boiler

Here are some of the main reasons why the government and other agencies are pushing forward with burning hydrogen gas as the main fuel source for homes in the UK.

Hydrogen has zero carbon emissions

hydrogen boiler h2 ready

As we all know fossil fuels such as natural gas when burned produce greenhouse gasses, mainly carbon dioxide. Hydrogen on the other hand when burned only produces water vapour as a bi-product. This is absolutely one of the best reasons for hydrogen as a fuel.

Hydrogen Energy Efficiency

Hydrogen heating is far more efficient when burned than natural gas. This means it takes over half the amount of hydrogen to heat up your home to the same degree. 

Hydrogen can be supplied through the current gas network

Being able to be supplied by the current gas network is what makes hydrogen such a viable option for the future. Most of the UK is part of the gas network so there will be no changes in pipework or infrastructure, just minor changes to your hydrogen ready boiler.

Disadvantages of hydrogen ready boilers

There are some downsides currently to hydrogen and there is some speculation that it may not be the right choice, but as time goes by these disadvantages may be possible to overcome. Here are some of the current disadvantages:

Hydrogen is expensive to produce

Producing hydrogen is currently expensive and uses a lot of energy from fossil fuels to harness. This makes it currently not as clean as it sounds.

To produce hydrogen which can be used for fuel electrolysis is required which separates hydrogen molecules in water or reacting methane with steam to separate. Both these methods create greenhouse gases one way or another and as the process hasn’t been streamlined yet, it is very costly. 

Hydrogen storage is difficult

hydrogen boiler internal

Hydrogen storage is difficult as it can’t be stored properly as gas as it is too light. Hydrogen would have to be stored as a liquid at low temperatures, which in turn would mean using energy from another source, likely to be a fossil fuel. 

Hydrogen is highly flammable

No surprises here to find out that hydrogen is flammable, but the difference is that hydrogen is even more flammable than gas and doesn’t smell, so you wouldn’t know if you had a hydrogen leak unless you had a detector.

Whilst mixed with gas in hydrogen-ready boilers, you will still be able to smell the natural gas if there is a leak. 

Hydrogen may require changes to infrastructure

Although we have already said there shouldn’t be any changes to the current pipelines and gas network, there is the possibility that things may need to be changed. With how volatile hydrogen is, there is likely to be some amendments and more maintenance than before due to the nature of H2.

Best hydrogen ready combi boilers – which combi boilers are hydrogen ready?

hydrogen boiler viessmann logo

Hydrogen combi boilers that are capable of running on 20% hydrogen are currently being sold on the UK market as we speak. There are many options to choose from already in different outputs from all the top manufacturers. Check out some of the latest hydrogen ready boilers on the market right now:

Best Hydrogen ready combi boilers for sale in the UK right now

Here is a shortlist of some of the best hydrogen combi boilers available in the UK. All these combi boilers can be installed in your home right away. You can even get a quote online now with Boiler Central in under 20 seconds on any of these best hydrogen-ready combi boilers by clicking get a quote. 

Viessmann Hydrogen Boilers – Viessmann Vitodens 050-w combi boiler

We believe the Viessmann Vitodens 050-w combi boiler is the best hydrogen-ready combi boiler on the market at the moment.

This takes into consideration the price, value, boiler warranty, and performance and of course, being capable of running on 20% hydrogen. Available in outputs of 25kw and 30kw, Viessmann has ensured that the Vitodens 050-w is suitable for most small to medium homes in the UK.

hydrogen boiler vitodens 050-w

Worcester Bosch Hydrogen Boilers – Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000 combi boiler

Worcester Bosch is one of the leading hydrogen ready combi boiler manufacturers on the market, and the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 4000 combi boiler is one of their best sellers. It is the replacement for the best-selling Greenstar i range and is now hydrogen ready.

This combi boiler is available in 25kw and 30kw outputs which means that it is perfect for most homes in the UK. All Worcester Bosch boilers are Hydrogen ready, here is a list of their hydrogen ready boiler range:

hydrogen boiler worcester 4000

Ideal Hydrogen Boilers – Ideal Logic Combi boilers

Ideal hydrogen ready boilers are the choice of new builds across the UK. The Ideal logic hydrogen ready combi boiler is the most installed combi boiler in the UK due to its excellent energy efficiency and reliability. 

Available in a range of outputs from 24kw to 35kw, this combi boiler is suitable for small to medium-sized homes in the UK

hydrogen boiler ideal logic

Hydrogen ready boilers v heat pumps – which is best?

hydrogen boiler v solar panels

Hydrogen and heat pumps are very prominent in the news right now. Heat pumps have also been touted as the best way to heat homes in the future, but they also have their downsides.

Air source heat pumps require very large units outside homes that go deep into the ground, this is impossible for a lot of smaller properties in the UK. You would also require 2 radiators in each room to get anywhere near the temperature a hydrogen boiler could.

Until there is improvement in both heating systems, then they are both still in the development stage.

Hydrogen ready boiler v solar power

The same applies to hydrogen boilers and solar power. Solar power is a very green way of producing energy, but until solar panels can harness far more energy per panel then there is no way they could provide even enough energy to keep a home warm in the daytime when it is very sunny and make enough to store in a battery for when it is night time. Until this is improved upon this is not a viable option.

Is a Hydrogen Boiler for central heating the future?

hydrogen boiler installation by gas safe engineer

It is looking very likely that hydrogen boilers will be used for central heating in the future. The fact that the main manufacturers have built hydrogen-ready boilers means that they’re quietly confident and there are big trials going on in Scotland to test the water.

There is also a huge race to make the process of producing hydrogen easier across the world, and if the recent technological advances of things such as mobile phones, computers, and other developments are anything to go by, it won’t be long until someone does.

Get a hydrogen ready boiler quote including installation now

If you need a new boiler installed and want a hydrogen-ready boiler then you can get a quote online now. You can pick your hydrogen boiler quote and choose an installation date for a Gas Safe registered engineer fit your new boiler.

All hydrogen ready boilers on Boiler Central will be labeled up so you can be sure you are getting a boiler that’s ready for the future, now.

Get a Quote in 20 SecondsClick here >