The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) has expressed concern over the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendation for no new homes to be connected to the gas grid from 2025.
John Thompson APHC CEO: “We have legitimate concerns over the recommendation to not connect new homes to the gas network from 2025 and instead rely on low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps and heat networks. Firstly, this will place greater reliance and put extra strain on the electricity network, and secondly it ignores the opportunity to cook with and heat new homes with hydrogen which can be delivered via upgrades to the current gas network.
“This is especially surprising as the CCC published the report, ‘Hydrogen in a low-carbon economy’ on 22 November 2018 which assessed the potential role of hydrogen in the UK’s low-carbon economy and concluded that hydrogen is a credible option to help decarbonise the UK energy system.
“Whilst we accept that adopting the use of hydrogen in homes is a longer term strategy which won’t assist with achieving the Climate Change Act 2008 target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 24% by 2030 form 1990 levels, the 2030 target is just a stepping stone towards the 2050 target of an 80% reduction on 1990 levels, which we believe hydrogen will need to play a significant part in achieving.
“The H21 North of England report outlines how over 3.7 million homes and 40,000 businesses in the north of England that are heated by natural gas could be converted to hydrogen by 2034. The project proposes a six-phase UK rollout which could see a further 12 million homes across the rest of the country converted to hydrogen by 2050. The report also details how the UK-wide rollout could achieve the 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.
“Not connecting new homes to the gas grid from 2025 will potentially mean that hundreds of thousands if not millions of homes won’t have access to an infrastructure to enable them to adopt hydrogen which the CCC has previously concluded is a credible option to help decarbonise the UK energy system.
The government needs to reject this proposal and take a longer term view past 2025, and they need to ensure that the UK will have the necessary infrastructure to enable new and existing homes to use hydrogen as an alternative to gas.”