||As with the electricity network the gas network is well established. It offers national main land coverage, serving approximately 80% of homes in the UK. Homes not connected to the gas grid tend to be either in more remote locations, where it is less cost-effective to provide a connection to the gas grid, or certain types of homes in urban areas which have electric heating (e.g. many apartment buildings).
Changes to the way gas is used have the potential to profoundly affect the gas network, both in terms of where physical assets are needed and how they are operated.
With decarbonisation as the major driving factor the pressure is to reduce gas consumption, in particular in the domestic sector, the largest consuming sector. However, there could be short-term increases in gas consumption in other sectors and even the emergence of new gas consuming sectors.
There are numerous implications for the gas network with the potential requirement for decommissioning of major parts of the network, building new assets and radical changes to the way the network that emerges operates.
These changes bring a focus on the investment and policy decisions that will be needed to ensure that the most cost-effective choices are made in each location for what needs to be built, what needs to be decommissioned and how the continuing gas network integrates with the wider energy system.