Reducing heating emissions
in Whitby, Ellesmere Port

The UK is on an important journey to make heating more environmentally-friendly.

Bringing low-carbon hydrogen to heat homes and businesses is the next exciting milestone.

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In 2025, the first UK village will swap from natural gas to hydrogen. This exciting programme will demonstrate how the rest of the UK can become more environmentally-friendly when it comes to heating and cooking with gas.

What's a Hydrogen Village?

Heating homes. Boiling water. Cooking food. It all needs energy. It’s time to make that energy cleaner – and it starts with a village.

Most UK homes and businesses rely on natural gas, a fossil fuel, for heating and cooking. This accounts for about 23% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Moving to cleaner hydrogen gas for heating and cooking, is one of the ways to help solve this issue.

Hydrogen gas can be produced in the UK, and projects have already shown how it can be used for heating and cooking. To demonstrate this more widely it now needs to be rolled out further.

That’s why the Government has announced a target for a village-sized gas grid to be converted to hydrogen, by 2025,

Whitby: a cleaner heating hub

Situated within Ellesmere Port – an area recognised for its strong manufacturing, industrial and scientific history – an area in Whitby has been identified as an ideal place where a Hydrogen Village could be based.

That’s due to its closeness to HyNet, a facility at the nearby Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, where hydrogen is set to be produced from the mid-202os.

Want to know more? Visit the FAQs page.

Why hydrogen?

Hydrogen offers a low-hassle way for homeowners, tenants and businesses to switch to a greener lifestyle.

Only limited changes are needed to gas pipes and homes, for hydrogen to be used for heating, hot water and cooking.

In fact, using hydrogen in the gas network isn’t a totally new concept; hydrogen used to run through the nation’s pipes as part of town gas, before the 1960s.

There’s a couple of ways hydrogen can be made available for the cleaner version of the fuel we’d need today. Projects are already getting started to create hydrogen, in ways that keep carbon dioxide emissions to a minimum.

Watch this video to learn more about hydrogen and the Whitby Hydrogen Village.

The benefits
  • Home grown energy

    Low-carbon hydrogen is set to be made in the UK from the mid 2020s.

  • Removing carbon emissions from heating

    When hydrogen’s burned as a fuel, it doesn’t produce harmful CO2 emissions. This would save around 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per annum, in the average UK home.

  • Job creation

    Building the UK’s hydrogen economy has the potential for 75,000 jobs, according to the Hydrogen Taskforce’s 2020 Economic Impact Assessment.

  • Repurposed infrastucture

    Lots of work has already been underway to make the North West’s gas pipes hydrogen-ready. Around £800m more will be invested in the regional gas network, over the next five years.

  • A simple change

    85% of the UK's homes already use gas boilers. These can be easily replaced with versions that run on hydrogen.

Want to know how it's been done before? Take a look at the UK's first homes with appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen.

This is a really exciting project where local gas pipes and homes would be able to reduce their emissions – while continuing to build the North West’s reputation as a leader in the hydrogen economy.

Councillor Matt Bryan
Cheshire West and Chester Council

Next steps

Hydrogen could be used within an area of Whitby from 2025, but there’s a few things to do first...

In Spring 2022, Cadent and British Gas wrote to every address in Whitby to confirm which properties are located within the proposed ‘Village’ boundary.

Cadent and British Gas have now started speaking in more detail with Whitby residents, landlords and businesses to answer questions, complete surveys and create a strong community programme.

As part of these surveys, every property in the proposed ‘Hydrogen Village’ area – around 2,000 homes in an area within Whitby – will receive a free heating assessment.

In 2023 Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, will confirm which location the full programme will go ahead in (the area within Whitby in Ellesmere Port, or another area, in the North East of England).

Properties in the confirmed ‘Hydrogen Village’ will be provided with a free ‘hydrogen-ready’ gas boiler upgrade, and hydrogen will be supplied from 2025 for the duration of the programme – currently expected to last around two years.

More details will be announced soon but if you’d like to speak to someone now, please get in touch.

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