Over the next decade, plumbing and heating services are going to change somewhat as old gas boilers are set to be replaced by modern, greener alternatives.

With the government planning on a future without fossil fuel boilers, one of the most popular alternative heating systems will use hydrogen instead.

Hydrogen boilers work in a similar way to a natural gas boiler, as the hydrogen is burned to heat up water. What makes it highly desirable is that hydrogen can be extracted without using fossil fuels are contributing to carbon dioxide emissions, and the only byproduct of burning hydrogen is water.

Whilst other heating systems such as heat pumps, district heating and solar thermal have been considered as well, hydrogen boilers have the distinct advantage that they can use the existing pipes and appliances in your home.

Without the need for drastic adaptations, hydrogen boilers can simply be installed by an expert without major working needing to be undertaken on every home. There is even a chance that early hydrogen boilers will also be able to use natural gas or LPG.

The primary concern at the moment with the widespread adoption of hydrogen is in its production. Whilst there are carbon-neutral ways to produce hydrogen such as electrolysis, most hydrogen produced currently is made by reforming natural gas.

This “blue hydrogen” requires fossil fuels and undermines the point of moving away from fossil fuels in the first place, although research into alternative methods is ongoing.

Previously, the goal was to start banning gas boilers from being fitted in homes by 2023 but this deadline has been removed from the government’s green policy publications.