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Reference Number NIA_CAD0074
Title FI-0002 Hydrogen Village Consumer Research
Status Completed
Energy Categories HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Hydrogen) 20%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 40%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Demographics) 40%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 70%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 30%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Cadent Central
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 June 2021
End Date 31 December 2021
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £419,000
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Central (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Wales and West Utilities (0.001%)
Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent Central (99.996%)
Project Contact , SGN - Scotland (0.001%)
Project Contact , SGN - Southern England (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Cadent Gas (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_CAD0074
Objectives Cadent will be the lead GDN for the project and will be collaborating with Wales and West Utilities, Northern Gas Networks and SGN. The project team are experienced in conducting consumer research and engagement and have accumulated experience on hydrogen projects such as HyDeploy and HyDeploy2. Britain Thinks and Savanta are expert consumer research and engagement partners who have been appointed to deliver the different stages of research.The project will follow a rigorous project management framework to ensure that the project remains on track, its outputs are of a sufficient standard, the material and planning for the projects next stage is undertaken and is fully aligned with RIIO-GD2 funding mechanisms.The project will be undertaken in 3 distinct stages. This is to ensure that the findings from each stage help to frame the next stage and that work is not duplicated. • Stage 1 (Inform) will include a comprehensive and detailed study, consolidating existing research; identifying any research gaps that need to be considered.• Stage 2 (Qualitative) seeks to understand the consumer perspective to understand what people think of the transition to hydrogen as an energy solution and why. • Stage 3 (Quantitative) will test at scale the output of the inform stage along with the themes and findings of the qualitative research.The Measurement Quality Statement and Data Quality Statement include the fact that there will be expert consumer engagement partners and one network licensee involved in the project who will constantly measure the quality output of the project. Expert engagement partners will be required to have their own quality assurance process in place. This will also be reinforced and further scrutinised by the project management board, which will compromise of a number of experienced gas industry professionals and engagement specialists who will regularly monitor the output of the project. There is also expected to be a regular interface with the BEIS hydrogen trials team, through the HyNet Homes (Technical Research) project, who will have full access to the documents available and will be able to provide comment.Any consumer data gathered throughout this project will be anonymised and will be compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act. Any compliant data can be made available for review upon request.The project is rated low in the common assessment framework detailed in the ENIP document after assessing the total project value, the progression through the TRL levels, the number of project delivery partners and the low level of data assumptions.No additional peer review is required for this project. This project is an important step to creating the consumer information needed to enable a successful hydrogen village trial and understand how domestic consumers and businesses are likely to respond to converting to hydrogen. This project is fundamental in understanding how we best engage with consumers and how we can maximise the adoption of hydrogen by residents in a trial area.This project will understand consumer attitudes, behaviours and perceptions towards the use of hydrogen as a solution for heating, cooking and the impact of conversion including meter replacement. This research will be vital to the success of the village conversion and presents a unique opportunity where consumer choice will be limited to converting to hydrogen or electrification. Without this research is itlikely that the overall hydrogen village trial would be unsuccessful in understanding consumer needs and gaining the support of the communities connected to the gas network.The research is critical in establishing the full evidence base required to enable Government to decide about the role of hydrogen and the gas network, in a low carbon heating future in the UK.The consumer research will be carried out in three stages:Inform (Stage 1) The purpose of this stage is to consolidate existing research, including but not limited to research from the UK, Europe and Australia. This stage will include a comprehensive and detailed study of existing data, previous research, literature, academic studies, trials including HyDeploy, HyNet, H100, H21 and industry expertise. This stage will also identify any research gaps that need to be considered in the qualitative (Stage 2) research.Qualitative (Stage 2) This stage of the research will seek to understand the domestic consumer and business perspective through qualitative methods to understand what people think of the transition to hydrogen as an energy solution and why.It is important that consideration is given to the following:• Use of online or remote methods: Covid-19 has meant that many engagement methods have moved from face to face to online. We are proposing that the majority of research methods will be online or remote rather than face to face for this project.• Deliberative engagement: Hydrogen conversion is of low interest for the majority of consumers. Consumers will need to be taken on a journey to understand what hydrogen conversion means and how it applies to them in order to provide an informed response. Deliberative engagement will provide participants with the opportunity to consider hydrogen conversion in-depth, bringing consumers together to discuss and develop an informed view.Recommended approach for consumers: The main approach for the qualitative stage will be a short-term online deliberative community of 100 consumers indicatively representing a broad UK consumer base. The community will come together at the beginning and at the end of the research and will have opportunities to interact in between. Whilst the online community will be inclusive for most, it will be supplemented with in-depth interviews with niche groups of consumers and businesses, e.g. consumers who are non-digitally savvy, in a vulnerable situation or are in fuel poverty; and small and medium businesses.Recommended approach for Stakeholders:Online communities are not suitable for stakeholders and a different qualitative approach is recommended. Key stakeholders will be asked to take part in a round table discussion with the view to forming a stakeholder group for the length of the project. Stakeholder interviews will also take place where appropriate.Quantitative (Stage 3) The purpose of carrying out quantitative research is to test at scale the output of the inform stage along with the themes and findings of the qualitative research. The quantitative stage will provide the views of a large-scale sample of the UKs consumer base.To facilitate a rapid collection of data at scale, we propose the use of an online survey of circa 1,800 consumers supplemented by circa 200 in-depth telephone surveys with niche groups of consumers and businesses, e.g. consumers who are non-digitally savvy, in a vulnerable situation or are in fuel poverty; and small and medium businesses. The purpose of this project is to conduct consumer research with domestic consumers and businesses to understand their wants and needs when taking part in a trial when their energy choice is limited to hydrogen or electrification. The research will cover pre, during and post-trial and will understand consumer opinion, attitudes and beliefs; and capture questions consumers have as well as their hopes, fears and concerns in taking part in a hydrogen village trial.The project will explore what a hydrogen trial will mean to domestic consumers in their home and businesses in their place of work, including meter replacement and appliance swap out considerations. It will also capture insights on what consumers require to take part in the trial and views on incentivisation, compensation and mandating hydrogen adoption.The project findings are fundamental to the success of a hydrogen village trial and maximising the adoption of hydrogen by residents in the trial area. We want to make sure that during the hydrogen village trial domestic consumers and businesses are engaged in the right and most engaging way. The research, insights and data gathered will enable the industry to shape and tailor the engagement approach of the trial, addressing concerns, preparing answers to consumer questions and look at how we can minimise any disruption.
Abstract The UK Governments Ten-Point Plan targets the need for a hydrogen village by 2025. A successful hydrogen village trial requires consumers to take part. It is vital that we engage with consumers and businesses in the right way, addressing concerns and understanding their wants and needs throughout the trial lifecycle. This project provides a unique opportunity to explore with consumers and businesses what they would require in a trial when their energy choice is limited to hydrogen or electrification. The project will research attitudes, behaviours and perceptions towards hydrogen for heating, cooking and the impact of conversion including meter replacement. This is a vital and important step to understand and create the consumer and business information needed to enable a successful hydrogen village trial.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/10/22