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684: Why Can't We Immediately Decommission Natural Gas? National Grid’s Caroline Hon explains
Episode 68419th March 2024 • SunCast • Nico Johnson
00:00:00 00:18:47

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Is switching from natural gas to electricity as straightforward as flipping a switch, or are we overlooking hidden complexities? Many homeowners want to switch from gas to electricity but underestimate the challenges of making the transition. Some stop short when they learn they’ll need to completely retrofit their homes to accommodate new, clean energy sources.  

Caroline Hon, Head of Gas Network Strategy and Planning for New England Gas at National Grid, one of the largest utilities in the Northeast, takes us through the strategies National Grid is employing to facilitate this transition among its customers, many of whom live in homes with outdated heating systems. By prioritizing education, exploring alternative heating options such as air source heat pumps and geothermal systems, and addressing the economic concerns of customers, National Grid is navigating the delicate balance between homeowner expectations and the push for decarbonization. 

Expect to learn:

  • The importance of homeowner education in facilitating their transition to cleaner energy sources.
  • The role of alternative heating options (air source heat pumps,geothermal systems, etc) in decarbonization.
  • The economic considerations that influence customers’ energy use decisions. 
  • The challenges and opportunities presented by older houses in the Northeast.
  • The significance of data sharing and collaboration across utilities in strategizing for decarbonization.
  • Why a cautious approach to decommissioning gas systems is necessary to ensure a smooth transition to electricity without compromising reliability.

This conversation sheds light on the intricacies of transitioning to a sustainable energy future and underscores the importance of a holistic approach that considers the diverse needs and concerns of all stakeholders.

 The energy transition is not black and white. It takes empathy and compassion to walk into the future of energy in an equitable way!

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