Hydrogen Homes – Northern Gas Networks
Low Thornley, near Gateshead is the location of the UK’s first homes to demonstrate 100% hydrogen appliances.
Hydrogen produces no carbon when used and at Northern Gas Networks we are looking to repurpose the gas network to carry hydrogen in the future. Most people don’t realise, but the gas eight out of ten of us use to heat our homes creates over a third of the UK’s carbon emissions. With the UK government targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the way we heat our homes needs to change.
We believe a hydrogen gas supply offers the most cost effective and least evasive route to zero carbon home heating for the majority of UK homes. Hydrogen appliances have already been developed and will be showcased in the homes. We have boilers from leading manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch alongside fires, hobs, cookers and even a barbecue!
Local residents will have the chance to visit the semi-detached properties and interact with the hydrogen appliances of the future. The appliances look and feel just like the natural gas versions we all use today. We want to educate the public and break down any barriers or concerns they may have about a future change in the nature of gas they could use. Appliances in the homes will be rotated and visitors will provide vital feedback to aid the future development and refinement of the products.
In addition, the houses will be made available for group visits from the North East’s 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. Educational visitors will also be made aware of potential careers in the emerging green economy and in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
Hydrogen Home is a vitally important project and the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and our fellow gas distribution network company Cadent have partnered with us to bring this flagship hydrogen project to the North East. When the announcement of the construction of the homes was made it gained extensive national and regional media coverage and the news even spread as far as Australia. It also featured on the local television news. We have national broadcast media planning to visit as soon as the homes are complete so they can showcase this innovative, unique project.
With a thriving coal industry, the North East was at the forefront of fuelling the nation with fossil fuels, now the area is the first to experience a clean, green gas for the future.
We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.
Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found.
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