The customer is key to “Clean Gas” success.

21st Oct 2019

 

EUA was delighted to support Carbon Connect, alongside others in the industry, to produce the third and final report in their “Future Gas Series.” It was focused on the downstream end – with appliances in the home primarily. And it urged Government and policymakers to put consumers front and centre of the debate around the decarbonisation of UK homes.

That’s right both in principle and fact. This was acknowledged by the new Minister Lord Duncan in his address at the launch event. That’s also why I railed against some of the media reporting of the report because it potentially misled consumers about the impact on their lives. 

When headlines scream “banning boilers” but what is actually meant, is switching them from burning methane to a low carbon gas, then that’s misleading. When in the 1960s, “Town Gas” was replaced with “Natural Gas”, the media did not suggest gas fires and cookers were being banned or scrapped, but “switched over”. The same applies to TVs with the analogue to digital switch. So I suggest we need to go on the offensive a bit more. When we read reporting like this, we call it out. Pointing to the facts is never a bad approach. 

At the same time, gas networks are being put under pressure by the regulatory regime to engage customers more in the future of gas, including hydrogen. Government is wary of this; as are networks themselves. So let’s make this easier. 

The old blend of methane and hydrogen was called “Town Gas”; we currently burn methane, with its additives, and call it “Natural Gas”. Well, the future is going to be low carbon gas, probably hydrogen as the bulk component. So let’s start now calling it as it is, “Clean Gas”. 

That phrase passes the marketing test; it’s technically accurate being low or zero carbon (and low pollutant too), so unless you can give me something better to use, Clean Gas is what it should be.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO