A home in the West Midlands will use natural gas converted into hydrogen to power a fuel cell that will produce 1.5kW of electricity and 3kW of heat for the occupants.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the unit will provide 65% of the electricity and 75% of the total energy demand of a typical home.

The house in Lye, near Stourbridge in the West Midlands will be the first permanent hydrogen powered home connected to the national grid. Gas from the grid is passed through a steam reformer to generate the hydrogen. The hydrogen is then combined with Oxygen in a fuel cell unit to produce energy. The unit is claimed to cut overall household emissions by 40% compared with running on gas alone.

The project will be monitored by the University of Birmingham to assess whether it has a mass market potential.