Three-quarters of Brits want low carbon alternative to gas

Given the cost of heat pump installations, many back hydrogen as the way to decarbonise their homes

Big Zero Report 2022

Domestic generation of low carbon alternatives to replace natural gas imported from countries such as Russia or Qatar would be supported by 77.7% of Brits.

That’s according to a new study by the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), gauging the thoughts of 2000 UK consumers.

The study also revealed that 73.8% support low carbon boilers, as a replacement for regular boilers, however only 6.2% would be willing to pay the average of £8,500 it costs to install a heat pump.

Cost was considered a key barrier to these green changes, rather than public opinion, with 82% of Brits saying the government should focus more on making renewable technologies for the heating of homes cheaper.

Hydrogen has been touted by the respondents as the answer to ending natural gas reliance. Given the expense that heat pump installations incur, many believed hydrogen heating was the only realistic way to decarbonise their homes.

This led to 71% of consumers stating they believed the government needs to make a clear statement that all gas supplied to UK homes through the grid in the future is low or zero-carbon.

EUA CEO Mike Foster said: “It is clear that Brits back action on climate change however, with the cost-of-living crisis causing concern for pretty much everyone, the government have got to commit to a more affordable route.

“The vast majority of UK residents cannot afford the price tag for a heat pump, nor do they want to switch away from some kind of low carbon gas.

Mr Kwarteng and the Prime Minister have a decision to make with this energy crisis.

“Either they continue with an electrification of heat, imposing large bills on the public and pushing more people into fuel poverty – or they can start prioritising the financial wellbeing of the British public and listen to their demands when they say they want an alternative to natural gas, which can be found in hydrogen.”

A government spokesperson said: “Our new energy security strategy sets out how we will shift away from expensive fossil fuels and deliver a more independent and secure energy system.

“Low carbon hydrogen is a source of clean energy which we can produce domestically using British skills, experience and natural resources and we have just today set out a £375 million investment package to support it.

“We are currently investigating the use of hydrogen in the grid through a testing programme which will see a neighbourhood and village trial by 2025.”

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