Homes may have gas cut off if they refuse to take part in hydrogen trial

Homeowners who refuse to take part in a hydrogen energy trial will be forcibly cut off by gas network operators, under Government plans to test green heating alternatives.

Residents in one village will begin the pilot scheme by 2025 to help the Government assess whether hydrogen gas can be used as a low-carbon alternative for heating homes across the country.

Ministers insisted the powers to enter people’s homes and switch off their gas would only be used as a “last resort” if the homeowners had refused to engage with any other options.

A consultation, which ended this week, suggests the Government will seek powers to allow gas distribution networks to enter homes if their owners do not wish to take part in the trial, in order to safely switch them off from the gas grid.

Current powers enable network operators to enter premises for a variety of purposes, including for suspected gas leaks or inspecting pipes and fittings.


This report highlights a very real problem. When whole towns are switched over to hydrogen, it will obviously be very dangerous if some houses are not converted. Hence the draconian powers needed.

But the article includes one noteworthy comment:

It will cost around £22 billion to make the gas distribution network hydrogen-ready, according to 2018 analysis by the business department, and the costs of hydrogen are expected to be around three times that of natural gas.

As I have often pointed out, hydrogen costs an awful lot more than gas. The three times comment is probably based on mainly steam reforming, which itself emits almost as much carbon dioxide as burning natural gas in the first place.

And “three times” will mean heating bills rising by about £1000 a year.

As usual, the commenters are virtually all critical. But why do these issues always get reported by the dopeu Emma Gatten, who has Environmental Editor should be writing about trees and rivers, not energy matters.

If they were covered by the Political Staff, they might a more critical coverage.


October 3, 2021 at 05:00AM

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