Heating with hydrogen could double consumer bills, report warns

(EurActiv, 6 Sep 2022) Burning hydrogen instead of gas to heat homes and water could double consumer energy bills, at a time when consumers are already facing record-high gas prices, a new report has warned.

As cheap fossil gas becomes scarce, some hope that hydrogen fuel will one day step in to fill the gap with a clean-burning alternative. Proponents of hydrogen heating, argue that existing gas boilers can be repurposed at low cost and reduce the financial burden of the transition to low-carbon heating.

Yet, with energy prices going sky-high, switching to hydrogen-based heating risks doubling consumer bills, warns a new report commissioned by Global Witness, an international NGO.

Even by 2050, households could spend an estimated average of 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hours (kWh) while average gas prices at the end of 2021 were but 6.7 cents per kWh, according to the report produced by the energy market consultancy Element Energy.

“The last thing that the tens of millions of people across Europe who will face energy poverty this winter need to hear is that their bills are going to go up again,” said Jonathan Noronha-Gant, senior gas campaigner at Global Witness, on Tuesday (6 September).

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EurActiv, 6 Sep 2022: Heating with hydrogen could double consumer bills, report warns