- The UK’s first homes with appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen have been officially opened by Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan
- The homes demonstrate the potential of hydrogen energy to help achieve the government’s ambitions to tackle climate change by achieving Net Zero emissions 2050
- The homes provide the public with a glimpse into a potential emission free home of the future
The UK’s first homes with household gas appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen have been officially opened today (Thursday 15th July) by the Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan at Northern Gas Networks’ innovation site in Low Thornley, Gateshead.
The two semi-detached homes have been built in a partnership between gas distributors Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Cadent and the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to provide the public with the opportunity to experience a zero-emission gas-fuelled home of the future.
Unlike natural gas, which is responsible for over 30% of carbon emissions, hydrogen produces no carbon at the point of use. For the first time, the hydrogen house will give members of the public a glimpse into a hydrogen-fuelled future, enabling them to interact with a range of hydrogen-fed appliances including boilers, hobs, cookers, fires and a barbecue.
The appliances will be rotated so that different manufacturers will be able to showcase their innovations and seek feedback from users. Hydrogen boilers have already been developed by leading manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch and prototypes of fires, cookers and hobs are also available form partners working with BEIS on Hy4Heat projects.
The hydrogen homes will be made available for group visits from schools, colleges and universities with the aim of educating children and young adults about the energy requirements of houses and how these will be met in the future. The houses will also make educational visitors aware of potential careers in the emerging green economy and in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
The hydrogen house project is aligned with a larger scheme detailed in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan which also includes establishing a Hydrogen Neighbourhood, and to the development of plans for a potential Hydrogen Town before the end of this decade.
Energy & Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“Heating in buildings forms a significant part of the UK’s carbon footprint. In order to tackle climate change, changing the way people power their homes, from cooking, heating and running a bath, while making sure consumers pay a fair price, is critical so that the UK moves away from using fossil fuels and cuts its emissions.
“It was a privilege to officially open these new homes in Gateshead. While they look like any other house, this innovative project offers an opportunity for the public to experience hydrogen technology in a real-world setting, opening a window to what the future could hold as we build back greener.”
Mark Horsley, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Gas Networks said:
“We’re excited to be giving energy customers the opportunity to experience hydrogen technology in the home for the very first time.
“Hydrogen can heat homes in exactly the same way as natural gas, meaning minimal change for customers in terms of how they use gas for heating or cooking. The houses bring to life the potential of this green gas for keeping UK homes warm, while minimising impact on the environment.
“We know that informing customers about the options for keeping their homes warm, while minimising impact on the environment is essential for the successful adoption of hydrogen. The homes give people the opportunity to interact with green technologies and demonstrate to customers that they can have a choice about how they heat their homes sustainably in the future.”
Steve Fraser, Chief Executive Officer at Cadent said:
“We are proud to be able to show customers what their future gas appliances will look like. Hobs, boilers and gas fires that are familiar but with one difference, they are powered by hydrogen.
“The Hydrogen Home enables us to demonstrate to our customers how net zero can be achieved.”
Today’s announcement comes ahead of government plans to publish its Hydrogen Strategy later this year, which will outline plans to build a UK hydrogen economy.
- The hydrogen homes will have a three-year lifespan, but potential longer, up to 10 years. They are not intended to be inhabited, but to showcase the use of hydrogen fuelled applications in a real-world domestic setting.
- The innovative hydrogen appliances have been produced with support from the government’s Hy4heat innovation programme.
- Hydrogen could play a vital role in achieving the government’s commitment of eliminating the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, with the industry creating up to 8,000 jobs across Britain’s industrial heartlands and beyond by 2030, potentially unlocking up to 100,000 jobs by 2050.
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