Date

5th June 2020

Audience

Local place makers, National policy shapers, Industry

Engagement

200+

OBJECTIVES

At present, we have no established evidence for how customers will respond to the prospect of a 100% hydrogen conversion and its possible effect on cooking and heating.

Therefore, the need to understand public perception of hydrogen is vital for it to be accepted into everyday life. Research by Leeds Beckett University on behalf of the H21 project aims to understand public perceptions of 100% hydrogen conversion, including possible barriers and perceived risks to safety.

Your comments & our responses

68%

of the population are indifferent or undecided about a hydrogen conversion and so it is essential that communication about a potential conversion is clear and addresses people’s concerns as the wrong messages could mean this large proportion of the public reject hydrogen as a domestic fuel based on misperceptions or unfounded fears.

People assume that if their supply is converted to hydrogen then it will have been robustly tested and found to be safe

Indeed, they appreciate the safety benefit that hydrogen carries no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There were more concerns about the safety of stored carbon dioxide than the safety of hydrogen in the home.

Results show that with clear information, even those indifferent groups make an informed choice to accept a potential conversion.

They are able to grasp complex technical information about the hydrogen conversion which they can convey to others in a simple and easy-to understand way. Some remain sceptical about the contribution a UK hydrogen conversion can make to global carbon emissions, although others are enthused by the UK taking a leading role in developing hydrogen technologies.

People accept that their gas bill is likely to rise, and find the anticipated 7% acceptable but they are concerned about the cost of purchasing new appliances.

Our participants wanted a decision about a hydrogen conversion to be made and acted upon quickly, and if it is to go ahead, to receive sufficient notice so that they can avoid purchasing expensive appliances that soon become obsolete.

We found that it is important to help people to understand key concepts such as carbon capture and storage

With this understanding, they are able to tolerate the current  uncertainties over the timescale of a conversion and the technical challenges of producing sustainable hydrogen at scale.

Visit the link to download the Social Sciences research report

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