Cadent unveils Green Print Report for a low carbon future

future of energy

Green Print -  Future Heat for Everyone is released today by Cadent, drawing together technical, consumer and economic considerations to create a pioneering plan to transition 22 million UK homes to low carbon heat by 2050.
Our Green Print underlines the scale of the challenge ahead, acknowledging that a mosaic of low carbon heating solutions will be required to meet the needs of individual communities, and setting out 12 key steps that can be taken now in order to get us there
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) estimates an investment spend of £250bn to upgrade insulation and heating in homes, as well as provide the infrastructure to deliver the energy.
This is a task of unprecedented scale, the equivalent of retro-fitting 67,000 homes every month from now until 2050. In this Report Cadent takes the industry lead in addressing the challenge.
Approximately 80% of all homes that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The energy performance of these buildings typically remains relatively poor with 61% of the housing stock rated as EPC Band D or below. For households in fuel poverty, this figure is as high as 90%.
Dr Tony Ballance Chief Strategy and Regulation Officer said:
"Reports and studies have so far largely focused the economic and technical aspects of the transition, leaving most consumers with little understanding of the impact of such changes on their current heating systems, or the options available to them. We believe this must change.
“Consumer needs will be best met when they are central to decisions, understanding their views on heating and beginning engagement early, being upfront on how much the transition will cost and ending unnecessary ‘format’ wars over which technology will win.
"The installation of all low-carbon technologies will create some disruption for many. All solutions are likely to cost more. But if we fail to get this right, we will fail to gain public support – and that means we will risk failing to make the transition away from fossil gas.

“This will require engagement from customers, industry and Government and a willingness to move beyond an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate between the gas and electricity industry.”

To access the Full Report and Executive Summary
Read 12-point plan in full:

1. Demonstrating that hydrogen is safe:
Complete the necessary steps to ensure that all the safety evidence for hydrogen in the gas network is completed – both in the gas network and in the home.

2. Enabling the development of a hydrogen economy today:
Set production targets; develop production and carbon capture and storage business models; support industrial cluster development; accelerate hydrogen blending; mandate hydrogen-ready appliances; and successfully complete the necessary upgrades to the gas network.

3. Prioritising innovation:
Facilitate innovation by fostering and incentivising innovation, in both the technology, and in the regulatory framework.

4. Injecting pace into the building of infrastructure we know we will need:
Start planning now whilst building supply chains and skills in parallel. Identify ways to accelerate the planning and development processes. Enable ‘learning by doing’.

5. Ensuring consumers are central to decisions on the future of heat:
Exploit the experience of the private sector in designing policy targeting consumers. Mandate the changes needed and then allow consumers to have a voice over how that change is delivered.

6. Ending the unnecessary ‘format wars’:
We need to move on from arguing about which technology will ‘win’ and instead work together on establishing where each technology will be deployed and how we will help consumers make the transition.

7. Understanding consumer views on heating and beginning engagement early:
A range of parties will need to come together for this to be a success. Work needs to start now on delivering this if the transition to low carbon heat is to be successful.

8. Being upfront with consumers on how much the transition is going to cost and how it will be paid for: 
The costs of decarbonising heat are going to be significant regardless of the pathway we choose. We need to start an upfront and straightforward conversation with consumers about what that looks like and how it will be paid for.

9. Creating the right incentives to decarbonise heating and deliver net zero:
Industry stands ready to invest. In order to unlock this, we need to create a market design and regulatory framework that incentivises them to do so.

10. Stopping planning in silos:
Co-ordinate local area plans for decarbonisation across power and gas, potentially led by a new body that can ensure we do not deliver a patchwork of easy solutions without considering the impact on the whole system or of harder to decarbonise buildings.

11. Planning for peak demand, not average demand:
Heat demand in winter periods may be nine times as much as in the summer. Winter periods also coincide with the highest incidence of dark and windless days. Our future system needs to ensure heat demand is met even in such extreme conditions.

12. Deepening the understanding of the critical factors in the economics that will determine the energy mix:
We need to refine our analysis on the role of hydrogen as new information emerges, for example on energy efficiency deployment rates and the pace at which the price of hydrogen falls


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

Media contacts

Stephanie van Rosse

07767 337343

Sian Sansum

07974 612 311