James Elston

Published April 9, 2024

There are many ways to heat your home without gas, such as with heat pumps, electric boilers, or wood stoves.

While gas heating has been the norm – with 74% of English and Welsh homes relying on the gas network – now is the time to make the switch to alternate home heating options.

At Eco Happy, we understand the complexities of navigating the world of alternative heating and are here to guide you every (sustainable) step of the way!

Switching to gasless living isn’t just good for the planet by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels; it’s cost-effective and aligns with the UK’s Net Zero Strategy.

Opting for innovative heating technology like heat pumps, biomass boilers, or installing solar thermal panels is your secret weapon in fighting climate change and ensuring a greener tomorrow for generations to come.

Let’s explore these exciting possibilities and discover the perfect gas-free solution for your home.

6 Ways To Heat A Home Without Gas

To reach the UK Government’s ambitious plan of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, our gas heating systems need an upgrade.

Here’s our list of six of the best gas-free home heating alternatives:

1. Heat pumps

Heat pumps are the most carbon-friendly heating system around. They’re heating devices used to heat and cool buildings by transferring heat instead of generating it. These systems move heat from one area (e.g. outside air) to another (e.g. indoors) using a compressor and gas refrigerant – similar to our domestic refrigerators.

Heat pumps need a stable electricity supply, making them slightly more expensive to run when compared to gas boilers. However, a heat pump is 300% – 400% energy efficient, meaning it generates three to four times more heat per single unit of energy.

As a comparison, “A” Energy Performance Certified (EPC) gas boilers have a 90% efficiency rating, turning 90p into warmth from every £1 spent. Heat pumps can be integrated with solar power, to further reduce heating bills.

There are two main types of heat pumps:

  1. Air source heat pumps (ASHPs):
    • An air source heat pump is suitable for moderate-temperature climates but operates well in temperatures as low as -10°C!
    • Air-source heat pumps do not provide hot water and are mainly used to heat or cool buildings.
    • They take up less space on your property than ground-source heat pumps.
    • Installation costs = £8,000 – £18,000
  2. Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs):
    • Ground source heat pumps, also called geothermal heat pumps, rely on consistent subsurface temperatures.
    • These heating systems can be connected to central heating and provide hot water.
    • A ground source heat pump is more energy efficient compared to an ASHP but requires a fair amount of space for underground loop networks.
    • They are favoured in extreme weather countries and can operate in climates as low as -40°C!
    • Installation costs = £17,000 – £45,000

Bonus tip: Read our heat pump running costs article.

2. Wood-fired stoves

A wood-burning stove is 85.6% energy efficient and emits 90% less particulates than open flame fires. Typically, it’s not connected to central heating or used to provide hot water but rather provides warmth in designated rooms in your home.

Wood-burning stoves need a chimney to remove byproduct gases from living areas safely. These heating systems burn wood (i.e. logs) to generate heat, hence the name. They are cost-effective and budget-friendly renewable heating systems for UK homeowners to consider.

A wood-burning stove unit costs between £4,000 and £8,000, with installation ranging between £500 and £1,500.

3. Biomass boilers

Not to be confused with wood stoves, a biomass boiler burns wood chips or pellets to generate heat. However, the difference between these two lies in their functionality.

Biomass boilers are designed to provide central heating and hot water for an entire building and are suitable for homes, commercial properties, or industrial facilities. Wood stoves, on the other hand, generally only heat one room at a time.

These boilers are more energy efficient than wood stoves but have higher installation costs.

Biomass boilers are carbon-neutral heating systems and their fuel price is more stable than natural gas or oil. They can save up to £880 per year on your utility bills in comparison to an electric boiler (which we’ll discuss below). They also require very little maintenance; however, annual services are still recommended.

Estimate installation costs:

  • Automatically fed biomass boilers = £10,000 – £20,000
  • Manually fed biomass boilers = £4,000 – £10,000

Top tip: Eligible property owners can receive up to £5,000 off biomass boiler installations through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).

4. Radiant underflooring heating

If you currently have underfloor heating connected to your gas central heating, it’s time to flip the switch. Professional heating technicians can convert gas systems to electric ones for around £2,000 to £3,350.

When opting for eco-savvy underfloor heating, there are two main fuel types to consider:

  1. Electric underfloor heating:
    • Uses electrical cables or mats embedded underneath the floor and does not require a boiler to function.
    • Offers precise temperature control and quick heat-up times.
    • Electric underfloor heating is cheaper to maintain when compared to oil or gas systems.
    • Electric systems have higher running costs when compared to gas flooring as electricity is more expensive per unit when compared to gas prices.
    • Installation costs = £2,300
    • Energy panels are a worthwhile investment for eco-conscious households looking to go gas-free. Investing in solar panels contributes towards a greener tomorrow and your investment in our planet!

There are different types of solar thermal systems, but monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are the most common in the UK.

But how do solar panels work?

Solar panels convert sunlight (solar energy) into direct current (DC) electricity through the photovoltaic (PV) process. Inverters are needed to convert the DC supply into alternating current (AC) to power appliances in our homes.

To make the most of your solar heating system, combine panels with a battery storage unit. These batteries store excess sun rays for later use – which is particularly helpful during power outages or at night.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates, that a typical household with a 3.5 kW-peak system can shave off between £160 and £420 a year off energy bills when using solar!

A 3.5 kW solar heating system costs about £7,000. But you can reduce the installation cost when opting for solar initiatives like ECO 4.

Now that we’ve explored six alternative heating methods, let’s see why gas-free living is so important.

Benefits Of Going Gasless 

Switching to “no-gas living” isn’t just a feel-good choice; it’s a powerful step toward a more sustainable future. Here’s why ditching gas is a win-win for you and the planet:

Sustainability 

  • Lower carbon footprint: You significantly shrink greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change when choosing gasless home heating systems.
  • Conserve resources: Gas is a fossil fuel, but renewable heating like heat pumps or solar power helps preserve precious resources for future generations.
  • Energy independence: You reduce your gas grid reliance when investing in green alternatives like solar panels, biomass boilers, or heat pumps.
  • Improved air quality: Burning fossil fuels like gas releases harmful air pollutants into our environment. Combat and eliminate this issue when embracing gas-free living.

Fun fact: The UK has shown a 48.7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over three decades thanks to alternative heating options for homes!

Cost savings 

  • Long-term cost benefit: While some gasless systems have higher upfront costs, their running costs are significantly lower, allowing you to heat your home cheaply. For instance, heat pumps can reduce heating bills by 30% – 40% compared to natural gas boilers.
  • Stable pricing: Unlike gas prices, which constantly fluctuate, many renewable energy sources offer stability which allows for better budgeting.
  • Less maintenance: Certain gas-free heating options for homes – like electric boilers – generally require less maintenance. This is because they have fewer components when compared to gas models.

UK Government compliance

  • Alignment with the Net Zero Strategy: The UK Government has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Embracing eco-friendly heating options for homes is crucial for decarbonisation.
  • Heating scheme availability: Several heating initiatives, like the ECO 4, Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and Warmer Homes Scotland programmes, offer grants and funding for eligible households to upgrade their home heating system with eco-friendly alternatives.

By choosing different options for gas heating, you’re not only benefitting financially but also making a tangible difference for our planet.

The Importance Of Professional Services

We understand navigating the complexities of a gasless future can seem overwhelming. There’s where professional services like Eco Happy come in: to ensure your transition is as smooth as possible.

We offer a comprehensive suite of services to guide you every step of the way:

  • Expert advice
  • Seamless installation, repair and maintenance services
  • Ongoing support
  • Grant and heating scheme assistance
  • Insurance claims
  • Free estimates

Our team of plumbing and heating professionals hold all the necessary qualifications, adhere to strict industry standards and guarantee safe, reliable and efficient work across the UK.

Chat with Eco Happy

Whether you’re interested in thermal energy home heating solutions or want to switch your gas central heating system to electric, we’re the team to call!

  • Chat with our team
    • Monday to Thursday: 8:00 – 19:00
    • Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
    • Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00

Why Alternate Heating Methods Are Important For UK Homes

As the UK forges towards the zero carbon target, all new gas boiler installations for new builds will be banned from 2025; with new oil boiler installations being pushed back to 2035. The ambitious plan to move away from fossil fuels is really starting to sink in and gas-free heating options haven’t been more crucial.

The energy-efficient era is important for UK homes because:

Improved environmental impact

The majority of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced as a result of energy consumption. This consumption includes consumer usage, fuel used for electricity generation and losses during energy transfer.

Based on an Office Of National Statistics (ONS) report, the UK has reduced its carbon footprint emissions by over 50% in 10 years (2010 – 2020)!

  • Reducing our reliance on the gas network contributes to less greenhouse emissions, helping to combat climate change.
  • Mitigate concerns about fluctuating energy price instability by opting for more stable and predictable renewable energy sources (e.g. solar thermal energy).

Enhanced comfort and public health

Gas boilers contribute to air pollution, especially in urban areas like London and Edinburgh. Gas-free alternative heating methods enhance air quality, benefitting both our health and the health of our environment. This is particularly beneficial to those suffering from allergies or chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Are you ready to embrace a greener future and enjoy the benefits of gas-free heating?

FAQs

Is the UK getting rid of gas?

The UK Government wants to decarbonise the country by 2050 by phasing out gas and oil heating systems. The transition to net zero carbon emissions is ambitious but they’re confident we can achieve this with the help of eco-friendly heating options. The next phase of the plan is to ban new oil and gas boiler installations (in new builds) from as early as 2025.

What is a popular green energy home heating alternative?

Heat pump technology is becoming increasingly popular in UK homes as they are 300% – 400% energy efficient.

What is an infrared heating panel?

Infrared heating panels are a modern way of heating a space that transfers electricity in waves of heat. These ‘heat waves’ radiate out into a space and are easily absorbed by surrounding objects. Infrared heating panels are a cost-effective way to heat your home without gas.

How much do electric storage heaters cost to run per hour?

The average cost to run various-sized electric storage heaters is:

  • 800 w = £0,23 per hour
  • 1,100 w = £0,32 per hour
  • 1,400 w = £0,41 per hour

How efficient is a gas boiler?

A-rated gas boilers are about 89% – 95% efficient, whereas modern electric boilers have 99% efficiency.

Final Thoughts 

Investing in gas-free heating is an investment in the future.

Not only will you enjoy long-term cost savings and environmental benefits, but you’ll also be future-proofing your home. By following the suggestions in the guide, you’re better equipped on how to heat your home without gas and on the road to a greener tomorrow.

Whether you opt for heat pumps, biomass boilers, or renewable electricity like solar power, chat with the Eco Happy team. Our professionals will give you peace of mind, knowing you’ve invested in the right heating solutions for your home.

As the UK embraces sustainability to reach net zero emissions by 2050, be ahead of the curve with Eco Happy by your side. Together, let’s build a home that’s comfortable, sustainable, and ready for the (green) future.

James Elston

Boiler Expert


James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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