Wales & West Utilities has published new analysis and recommendations to ensure that all customers – including those in vulnerable situations – are supported through the transition.
The report, Inclusive Innovation – Safeguarding the Switch to Domestic Hydrogen, will now be shared with the other UK gas networks and organisations interested in converting homes to decarbonised heating, to help inform their customer engagement strategies. It will also inform the customer engagement strategy for the Redcar Hydrogen Community, where Wales & West Utilities is partnering with Northern Gas Networks (NGN), to deliver a detailed proposal for up to 2,000 homes and businesses in Redcar to be heated by locally produced hydrogen.
This study helped to shine a light on some of the challenges that consumers in a variety of vulnerable situations could face, if the UK choses to convert some regions to hydrogen. Furthermore, it provides a useful foundation for the measures that could be deployed to ensure the wellbeing of those with additional support needs and should prove to be a valuable resource for the forthcoming Hydrogen Village Trials.
Wales & West Utilities is the company that look after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to heat the homes and power businesses of 7.5m people across Wales and south west England. They operate the gas emergency service, connect new homes and businesses, and upgrade the gas network so it’s safe today and fit for the future.
Matt Hindle, Wales & West Utilities Head of Net Zero & Sustainability, said, “While repurposing the gas network to supply hydrogen will avoid the need for more disruptive changes to homes and businesses, it is important to understand the needs of customers throughout that process.”
Rebecca Sweeney, Energy Systems Catapult’s Home Decarbonisation Business Lead, said, “The move away from fossil fuel-based systems will mean a variety of alternatives will have to be considered, including electric heat pumps, district heating, domestic energy storage and hydrogen.”