What is the #endgasnow campaign?
#endgasnow is the beginning of the end for fossil fuel heating. It is a positive campaign for us to take control of our climate by committing to end the installation of new gas boilers. In doing so we can seriously accelerate the use of low carbon heat.
What does pledging to #endgasnow involve?
Pledging to #endgasnow means committing to take meaningful and immediate action to end use of gas and other fossil fuels for heating. While participating organisations are ultimately free to decide how they implement their pledge, we have provided a few examples of actions that are consistent with the campaign’s ambition below as a guide:
Commit to ending the installation of all new or replacement gas heating systems.
Architect or engineer
Refuse to take on any new projects that propose installation of new gas or fossil fuel heating systems.
End adverts and articles featuring gas heating, or clearly state that gas is incompatible with a 1.5˚C pathway.
Who is #endgasnow?
You, me, all of us. It was started by a small group of people who believe that by working together we can create a powerful and rapid movement for change.
Who can sign up?
Anyone. Businesses, organisations, households. All that we ask is that you make it known you are ending use of fossil heat. Share one of our social media posts, update your email footer, shout it from the rooftops.
How can I pledge support?
Head over to the Pledge page to download a template, add your logo, and share on social media. There is also an email footer you can download and use.
We understand that pledging strong support may involve commercial risk. This is a natural and important consequence of being a leader and taking real action. We sincerely hope that you will have the courage to join this movement.
Can our organisation participate if our building or employees use gas boilers?
Yes. The campaign is primarily focused on ending the installation of new and replacement gas and fossil fuel heating systems. Participarting organisations are expected to have a decarbonisation plan in place for any buildings they own, and to strongly encourage their employees to end use of fossil fuels for heating as soon as possible.
Can we advise on retrofit projects that already use gas boilers?
Yes. The campaign is primarily focused on ending the installation of new and replacement gas and fossil fuel heating systems. Participating organisations are expected to clearly advise clients that fossil fuel heating systems should be replaced with a low carbon alternative as soon as possible.
What if local planning policies encourage connection to a district heat network?
Local planning policies may encourage connection to a district heat network. Often, these use high carbon heat sources such as gas-fired CHP and gas boilers. Existing signatories to the #endgasnow campaign have been working on projects subject to these requirements for some time and have successfully proposed alternative, fossil-fuel free, heating strategies. For projects in London, the Greater London Authority has published guidance clarifying that developments in Heat Network Priority Areas are only expected to connect to district heating networks where a decarbonisation strategy is in place and any new capacity added to the network is met by a low carbon heat source.
What happens to potential projects that are unsuitable for low carbon heating?
It is important that signatories to #endgasnow accept there is a risk they may have to turn down some projects if a potential client insists on installing a new fossil fuel heating system, or in rare cases, if the building is completely unsuitable for low carbon heating technology. This is necessary for the campaign to remain meaningful and aligned with the Climate Change Committee's advice that fossil fuel based heating of buildings must effectively end.
In practice, feedback from existing signatories has been that rejecting projects has been an infrequent yet important occurance, which has naturally led them away from projects using fossil fuels and towards those using low carbon heat. This is the purpose of the campaign.
Can heat pumps work in existing buildings?
Yes. Heat pumps are suitable for the vast majority of existing buildings, as shown in the BEIS funded Electrification of Heat project, which has installed 750 heat pumps in all types of UK housing.
"Conclusions from Electrification of Heat installation phase show that there is no property type or architectural era that is unsuitable for a heat pump, from From 1930s terraces to new builds."
Insulating many buildings may not even be necessary prior to installing a heat pump, but reducing heat loss offers many benefits such as: allowing installation of a smaller less expensive heat pump, reducing the required area of heat emitters, allowing use of a lower more efficient flow temperature, and reducing electricity consumption of the heat pump.
Are heat pumps efficient/effective in the UK's climate?
Yes, as long as they are properly designed, installed and commissioned. Some of the coldest countries in Europe have the highest rates of heat pump deployment. The latest air and ground source heat pumps can operate with seasonal efficiencies comfortably above 300%, and yes, they still work when it is cold outside! Their performance has been proven in both field trials and energy monitoring data of individual systems.
The key to efficient operation is setting the flow temperature of the heat emitters as low as possible. Most new heat pumps do this automatically by using weather compensation, which is a control logic that varies the flow temperature as the outside temperature changes. This function must be correctly set up based on bespoke heat loss calculations for the building, so must be done by a competent installer.
What about heat pump embodied carbon and refrigerants?
Several large manufacturers of heat pumps have recently released CIBSE TM65 embodied carbon assessments of their products. These indicate that properly sized heat pumps are likely to have relatively modest levels of embodied carbon, relative to the lifecycle emissions of alternative heating systems.
Refrigerants are regulated under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which is a legally binding international agreement to phase down the use of gases with high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Where as older heat pumps often used refrigerants such as R410a (GWP of 2,088), most heat pump manufacturers now offer models with R32 (GWP of 675) and increasingly also R290. More commonly known as Propane, R290 has a GWP of just 3 and appears to represent a long-term low GWP solution.
How much does a heat pump cost to install in a home?
Air-to-air heat pumps typically cost £500-£1,500 plus installation costs of £500-£1,000 depending on system complexity. They are often paired with an electrically heated hot water tank, which costs another £500-£800 plus installation and can be charged using off-peak or solar electricity. Air-to-air heat pumps are not yet common in the UK, but very popular in Europe.
Air-to-water heat pumps typically cost £4,000-£6,500 plus installation, depending on heat pump capacity and system complexity.
Ground-to-water heat pumps typically cost £1,250-£1,750 per kW of heating capacity fully installed if using a horizontal ground array, or £1,750 – £3,000 per kW if using a borehole, depending on ground conditions. More guidance is available from the GSHPA.
Costs vary with heat pump capacity, so it is important to right-size rather than over-size. This also means that costs are typically lower for new buildings, where heat loss is lower and costs are offset against alternative heating systems. Companies such as Octopus Energy are offering fully installed heat pumps for £4,000-£5,000 including the government's Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant. Costs are expected to fall as more installers become available.