Heat

The existing gas network will deliver least cost and least disruptive decarbonisation of Ireland's heating sector.

The challenge

There are over 2 million residential dwellings in Ireland. Decarbonisation of this existing housing stock is challenging. Both electrification and renewable gas will play key roles in decarbonising the existing residential heating sector.

A pathway to 2050

  • 9%

    Domestic heating accounts for 9% of Ireland's total CO₂ emissions. Equal to almost 6Mt CO₂.

  • 0.3Mt CO₂

    Immediate emissions saving achievable by converting 300,000 homes from oil to natural gas

  • 2.6Mt CO₂

    Emissions savings possible per annum by 2050 in the heating sector using the gas network

Decarbonising heat

Natural gas provides a significantly cleaner alternative to coal, oil and peat heating today and as renewable gas is introduced, the homes and businesses connected to the gas network will decarbonise.

  • Did you know?

    Using renewable gas does not require any change to the gas infrastructure or domestic heating systems.

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  • Did you know?

    Converting the 300,000 homes on or near the natural gas network to natural gas would immediately save 0.3Mt CO₂/annum.

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Why gas?

Why gas and the gas network provide a smart solution to decarbonising heating.

Least cost

It is 3 times cheaper to use the gas network to decarbonise heating for the 1 million homes located on or close to the network.

Least disruptive

The gas network will enable decarbonisation of the heating sector at scale as renewable gas is compatible with existing infrastructure and domestic heating systems.

Renewable

Delivering renewable gas to homes and businesses will help Ireland increase renewable energy use in the heating sector.

Security

The gas network provides a secure heading supply and is built to accommodate heating demands on the coldest winter days, which are likely to occur once every 50 years.

Decarbonising heating for the 1 million homes on, or close to, the natural gas network will cost 3 times more through electrification than by using renewable gas in the gas network. #Vision2050 #renewableenergy #CleanerEnergyFuture

Our vision to decarbonise heat

Short to medium term

Convert the 300,000 homes near the gas network from oil to gas. This will reduce CO₂ emissions by 0.3Mt/annum and the carbon intensity of these homes by 30%.

Longer term

Use the gas network to deliver renewable gas into 1 million homes in Ireland. This way, the heating sector can be decarbonised at scale. 

Future

In the future, it may be possible to blend hydrogen into the network in small amounts or develop hydrogen distribution networks. This is being investigated by Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland.

What we are doing

In 2019 the first renewable gas injection facility was commissioned in Cush, Co. Kildare. It is designed to inject enough gas for 9,000 homes a year.

What needs to happen

The following supports will help ensure that our vision becomes a reality.

An appropriate support scheme

The inclusion of renewable gas in the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) is critical for the development of renewable gas projects in Ireland.

Building regulation amendments

To create a level playing field for renewable gas, Part L of the building regulations should be amended to include appliances fuelled by a gas blend containing renewable gas. Building Energy Rating (BER) certification for the domestic sector should also include the option to select renewable gas.

Technology neutral approach

Gas and the gas network can deliver immediate emissions reductions for Ireland. Longer term, emerging technologies can deliver further reductions. Limiting the choice of technologies now could have negative long-term consequences.

Decarbonising Domestic Heating in Ireland

Ervia commissioned KPMG to develop and evaluate a number of scenarios for the decarbonisation of the one million Irish residential homes currently connected, or within close proximity, to the existing gas network. Ireland has an ambitious vision to transform into a low carbon society and economy by 2050.  While significant progress has been made to date in the decarbonisation of industrial energy and electricity generation, there is a recognition that more can, and must be done to address other areas such as heating and transport, which also generate significant volumes of greenhouse gases.  This report focuses on one of these areas, namely the decarbonisation of the residential heating sector.

Download the report

Read the full Vision 2050 report

Ireland's gas network has the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing Ireland's emissions. Read our vision for a net zero carbon gas network.

Download the Vision 2050 report now