Working with people’s needs is a key tenet of Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan. Chris Clarke, Energy Strategy Director, Wales & West Utilities, sets out how gas networks are delivering that.
Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan sets out how Britain’s gas networks are using their world-leading expertise to deliver hydrogen to people’s homes safely and securely - whilst making sure we're working with the needs of the people we serve.
Here are the top three things that we’re doing to deliver that.
1. Our innovation trials support your ability to choose
Innovation trials run by gas networks are testing a range of different technologies: like hydrogen boilers for home heating and hot water, and industrial burners for factories. Doing that makes sure that when it comes to replacing your gas boiler in the future, you will have as wide a choice of greener alternatives as possible, to choose the right solution for your home and your wallet. And these trials will set out a path for the decarbonisation of heavy industry like steelworks – particularly important in places like south Wales, for example.
2. They are also supporting new technologies
This also means exploring the potential of new, groundbreaking technologies that could have a major impact on reducing our carbon emissions.
At Wales & West Utilities we’ve been leading the way in testing ‘hybrid’ heating technologies, which use a gas boiler combined with an electricity powered heat pump to provide heat and hot water in people’s homes. They use renewable electricity when it’s available and green gas, like hydrogen or biomethane, when it isn’t.
3. Those technologies are finding greener, smarter ways to keep your energy bills down
Because they automatically switch between renewable electricity and green gas, depending on which is cheaper, hybrids help keep people’s energy bills down whilst reducing carbon emissions. They can also reduce how much households have to pay for running gas and electricity grids through their energy bills, because spreading the load across both grids makes better use of existing infrastructure, avoiding the need for building new electricity lines, for example, which can be expensive.
Compact hybrid systems can fit into the space usually taken by a gas boiler. They work alongside your existing central heating. We think they have a hugely exciting role to play in tackling the challenge of reducing households’ carbon emissions, and helping the UK get to net zero by 2050. Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan sets out the course to follow so we do just that.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.