Future Gas: Part 3- Consumers and the Future of Heat: consultation response

Published: 15 March 2019

Introduction

Energy Systems Catapult has responded to the Carbon Connect call for evidence on Part 3 of its Future Gas series: Consumers and the Future of Heat.

This inquiry will explore consumers attitudes towards heat, the acceptability of different decarbonisation methods, how open consumers might be to accepting changes to their homes and places of work, as well as ethical and safety considerations, particularly concerning perceptions around the use of hydrogen as a source of heat and how vulnerable customers can be protected during a transition. The inquiry will also investigate the economic and technical implications of converting or replacing appliances to use low carbon gas, how a large-scale transition might be delivered and how this might be paid for.

This inquiry is being co-chaired by a cross-party group of MPs: Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Southampton Test, Alan Brown MP, SNP Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, and James Heappey MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for Wells.

The consultation outlines a series of questions relating to low carbon gas and low carbon heat in general.

Energy Systems Catapult is on the Steering Group of the inquiry. The inquiry sponsors are:

  • Baxi
  • Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA)
  • Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM)

Key points

Energy Systems Catapult’s response to the consultation, includes:

  • Low-carbon gases can play an important role in decarbonisation but they are not a ‘silver bullet’.
  • Understanding and meeting consumer requirements for low-carbon heating alternatives is vital.
  • Ensuring public consent for a transition to low carbon heat will require innovative solutions to meet their needs.
  • Local Area Energy Planning can help to provide the necessary framework to inform the decision on low carbon heat.
  • The costs of the low carbon transition using low carbon gas will be significantly higher than some other options.