Wales & West Utilities and UK Power Networks team up to trial hybrid heating

The companies believe low carbon hybrid heating systems could play a big part in helping the UK meet its net zero target

Big Zero Report 2023

A new trial that will see the installation of low carbon hybrid heating systems in seven homes in the UK has been launched.

Wales & West Utilities and UK Power Networks have teamed up for the ‘HyCompact’ project to demonstrate how low carbon heating systems that combine gas and electricity can be easily retrofitted and help reduce carbon emissions from homes and businesses.

The single unit hybrid heating systems, which contain a gas boiler and an electric air source heat pump alongside smart control software, will be installed in customers’ homes in Wales, London and the South and East of England to supply their heating through both electricity and natural gas.

The system can flexibly switch between using renewable electricity when it is available and green gas at other times.

The companies believe low carbon hybrid heating systems could play a big part in helping the UK meet its net zero target.

Ian Cameron, Head of Customer Services and Innovation at UK Power Networks said: “We are excited to partner with Wales & West Utilities on this cross vector project. The challenge of achieving net zero is only going to be met through true whole system trials and collaborations.

“Our goal is to enable the transition to net zero smoothly and at the lowest cost to our energy customers. This project will supply electricity networks with learning of the network impact and the best possible customer proposition for a hybrid transition.”

The project follows on the success of Wales & West Utilities’ Freedom project, which trialled the use of hybrid heating systems with a standalone gas boiler and an external air source heat pump.

Chris Clarke, Wales & West Utilities’ Energy Strategy Director added: “Decarbonising heat is one of the biggest challenges we face in the energy sector. As the independent Pathways report showed, repurposing our existing safe and reliable gas network to transport green gases like biomethane and hydrogen helps us get to net zero quicker, saving £13 billion a year compared to electrification alone. Smart hybrid systems like HyCompact can make that green gas go further, faster.

“This trial will help us further understand the impact on gas and electricity networks of smart hybrid systems and gather more customer views on what living with a smart hybrid heating system is like.”

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