Abstract The introduction of hydrogen into the energy market is being pursued by governments around the world in an effort to abate climate change, provide security of supply and reduce air pollution. While technological aspects are well researched, the social aspects of the transition are not. The publics attitude and perception of hydrogen energy will be of great importance as we move closer to the implementation of the technologies. Using two focus groups this exploratory study aims to identify Welsh public opinions on the production and end use of hydrogen energy. Gender differences were apparent, as women were generally more accepting of hydrogen technology. The main concerns were safety (both of use and in production) and cost. Cost remained paramount, even in the light of environmental considerations. The groups attitude to the development of hydrogen technology was supportive but with the caveat that price and safety should not be compromised.