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Hydrogen, it’s a go, says Government

The Government has committed to hydrogen heating for UK homes in a landmark speech by one of the key ministers responsible for energy strategy. In a debate on the potential for hydrogen and a new HyNet Hydrogen Village trial at Whitby near Ellesmere Port, which is running alongside the Hy4Heat

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PRICE CAP REACTION FROM ENERGY EXPERT

Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, says: “Now we know the impact of the global energy crisis upon the average consumer, a price cap increase of £693 to £1971 a year. Millions more households will now be thrown into fuel poverty, through no fault of their own

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Red Wall backs hydrogen heating saving the UK £35 billion

Exclusive opinion poll finds key political background seats backing hydrogen heating as a means of hitting Net Zero targets, avoiding unaffordable, upfront costs of the alternatives, saving the UK £35 billion. The YouGov poll was commissioned by not-for-profit trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), to examine a range of

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EUA Points to Grid Decarbonisation as Way Forward

When looking at the primary challenges and solutions associated with the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets for transport and heat, the EUA has highlighted what it considers to be the primary step forward in solving the problem – decarbonising the gas grid, it argues. Most specifically, the 2009 EU Renewable

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

EUA

Hydrogen, it’s a go, says Government

The Government has committed to hydrogen heating for UK homes in a landmark speech by one of the key ministers responsible for energy strategy. In a debate on the potential for hydrogen and a new HyNet Hydrogen Village trial at Whitby near Ellesmere Port, which is running alongside the Hy4Heat programme, the Rt Hon George Freeman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, welcomed the trials as a vital first step towards gathering the necessary evidence for a wider roll-out. “We want to make sure that the trials lay the foundation for a wider nationwide roll-out.” He continued: “The BEIS-funded Hy4Heat programme has shown that the use of 100% hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas when used for heating and cooking in the types of houses that were studied.” “[The trials] are designed to provide the Government with the necessary evidence to take big strategic decisions on heating within a matter of two or three years. I know the ambition that colleagues have shared today to go further and faster is shared by the Secretary of State, The Minister for Energy and the Prime Minister. It is not lack of political will that is holding us back.” Responding to the Minister’s comments, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), commented: “The government’s endorsement of a hydrogen future using our world-class gas distribution network is a tribute to the hard work of the heating industry in developing hydrogen technologies.” Mr Foster also praised the commitment of boiler manufacturers to provide hydrogen boilers at no greater cost than current technologies – a commitment that was brokered by the EUA.  “The Big Four boiler manufacturers price promise was noted by BEIS and has proven to be a decisive factor in the government’s commitment to a hydrogen future. The benefits for the climate, consumers and the heating industry have been made very clear and the government has responded.” He continued: “This is also very good news for the UK’s installer base, whose knowledge and expertise will be needed to roll-out the installation of hydrogen boilers across the UK. I am glad that the EUA’s representations to government about the importance of having a ready-made workforce, skilled in the installation of gas technologies, has won the argument.” Building Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction & Property News

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UK PUBLIC SAY TAKE BACK CONTROL OF ENERGY: “The country is crying out for help with energy bills”

Across the UK, the overwhelming majority people are crying out for help with their energy bills, claims Mike Foster, CEO of the not-for-profit trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA). Faced with a Price Cap increase on 54 per cent from 1st April. with many people finding their direct debits rocketing by even more, the issue of energy bills is now at the top of the political agenda. Research commissioned by EUA last week of 2000 UK consumers showed the sheer scale of concern around rising energy bills. Nearly nine in ten (89 per cent) of people think it is important that the Government tackles rising energy bills; 91 per cent believe the Government needs to introduce new measures to support consumers if the Price Cap increases again in October. A measure promised following Brexit yet not implemented by Government, 86 per cent of respondents also want to see VAT on energy bills scrapped, a figure up 10 points since the same survey in June 2021. Mike Foster said: “The outcry over energy bills is now deafening. It is top of the agenda for people now struggling to pay their way. And the issue is not going away. With the expectation that the Price Cap will increase again in October, ahead of the winter heating season, the Chancellor will have to find a way of supporting consumers. If he doesn’t, given these poll findings, he and hundreds of his colleagues better start brushing up their CVs.” “The Spring Statement, which cut VAT on water turbines for your mill house, failed to help the vast majority. Even more than ever, charging VAT on energy bills is deeply unpopular. At a stroke, the Chancellor could shave £100 off the average energy bill, something nearly nine in ten people want to see. With numbers like that, not only would it be the right thing to do, it would be politically popular too.” “Short-term measures are clearly needed to help ease the current pain, but the Government must also address the longer term energy security of supply concerns that are the root cause of the problem. We need to break away from reliance on fossil gas and switch our gas networks to green hydrogen. Keeping gas boilers but changing the gas they use will help us reach our Net Zero targets, keep costs and disruption to a minimum for consumers and keep Putin’s gas in the ground.”

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PRICE CAP REACTION FROM ENERGY EXPERT

Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, says: “Now we know the impact of the global energy crisis upon the average consumer, a price cap increase of £693 to £1971 a year. Millions more households will now be thrown into fuel poverty, through no fault of their own and that unenviable choice, between heating and eating will become the reality for more in our communities. “It would be churlish to ignore the Government’s response, any help is better than none. But using council tax to rebate bill increases seems a very blunt instrument, which fails to take into account actual household incomes but does reflect 1991 house values. I fear the distribution of this rebate will not be fair and many winners will not be the low paid. “The proposed loan to energy companies to keep bills £200 lower now, but to be paid back later, is a stunt designed to appear to help. It is a heat now, pay later scheme that simply delays the pain not reduce it. “But the fundamental root cause of the problem has not been addressed in today’s announcement. How does the UK shift away from global fossil fuel prices? We now need a firm commitment from the Government to wean us off natural gas and onto hydrogen, which we can produce ourselves, and convert our world-class gas network to run on hydrogen. That way, Putin will not hold us hostage, with his fingers turning the gas taps off, jacking up prices and forcing UK households to choose between heating and eating.”

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Red Wall backs hydrogen heating saving the UK £35 billion

Exclusive opinion poll finds key political background seats backing hydrogen heating as a means of hitting Net Zero targets, avoiding unaffordable, upfront costs of the alternatives, saving the UK £35 billion. The YouGov poll was commissioned by not-for-profit trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), to examine a range of questions about the UK’s energy future. Excluding ‘Don’t Knows’, 85 per cent of the 1600 residents across 18 Red Wall seats in the north of England back Government plans to allow hydrogen to be blended with natural gas to reduce carbon emissions in the home, from 2023. This figure rises to 92 per cent of Labour voters. These findings support the recent publication by the Energy Networks Association of their “Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan” launched last week. Hydrogen can be safely blended into the natural gas network at levels up to 20 per cent without any changes required to gas boilers, cookers or fires, meaning consumers can reduce their carbon footprint automatically. Across the UK, this offers the potential of a 6 million tonnes a year carbon saving. Commenting on these findings, Mike Foster, CEO of EUA said: “We have always believed the great British public want to do their bit on reducing carbon but are worried about the costs and don’t trust some new technologies. Blending hydrogen into the gas network has been given a huge thumbs up from voters.” “They can continue to use their gas boilers, cookers and fires as they do now, and their carbon emissions will be cut, with them doing nothing. It’s a real win-win situation that is recognised by voters, already struggling with energy bills and having no spare cash for expensive alternatives to gas boilers.” “And the impact is huge. Across the UK’s 23 million homes, it amounts to 6 million tonnes a year saved – the same as taking 2.5 million cars off our roads. Instead of switching 3.5[1] million homes from gas to heat pumps, to save the same amount of carbon, at a cost of £35 billion[2], consumers can simply keep warm knowing that the switch to hydrogen is helping to save the planet.” For more information, visit www.eua.org.uk [1] A gas boiler typically emits 1.58 tonnes of carbon dioxide more than an Air Source Heat Pump. [2] The Prime Minister and BEIS calculate the cost of buying and installing a heat pump is £10,000 per household.

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EUA Points to Grid Decarbonisation as Way Forward

When looking at the primary challenges and solutions associated with the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets for transport and heat, the EUA has highlighted what it considers to be the primary step forward in solving the problem – decarbonising the gas grid, it argues. Most specifically, the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set out the goal for 15% of energy consumption in the UK to be found from renewable sources by 2020. To hit this target, the government has subdivided areas of focus to try and see 30% of electricity, 10% of transport and 12% of heat to be found from renewable sources individually – this then allowing for progress to be made more easily, as well as ensuring progress is still made across all areas. Thus far, progress has been praised as being very positive on the electricity front, yet there are worries that transport and heat targets may not actually be achievable for us to hit by 2020. As such, the EUA, as explained by Head of External Affairs, Isaac Occhipinti, believes that the 2020 target for renewable energy target is not one appropriate for the overarching goal of lowering UK carbon emissions as a whole. Urging the Energy & Climate Change Committee to take a step away from “arbitrary and ineffective” targets for 2020, the EUA instead wishes to pin focus upon decarbonisation of the grid as a way of making progress. Isaac Occhipinti went on to say: “The only sensible, cost effective and deliverable solution to decarbonising hear it by ‘greening’ our gas. It can be done, it can be delivered effectively, and it is already being done on a small scale across the country.” He also went on to highlight that in “The Future of Gas”, written by National Grid, it could be seen that circa 50% of heat energy may be able to see supply from biogases by 2050, thus providing a renewable source of heat to residential homes across the grid without any action needed by the homeowner. As such, this is being regarded as a potential for where focus should instead be laid, looking to aim for achievable and meaningful targets.

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