The effective-medium theory is applied to a study of the energetics of the hydrides of Ni, Pd, and Pt, stressing the properties of PdHθ for 0≤θ≤1. The calculated heat of solution and the heat of hydride formation for the three systems agree very well with experiment. We determine the favored structure for PdHθ by calculating the total energy and lattice expansion of different configurations. Vibrational frequencies and diffusion barriers of H in Pd are also treated. A simple and transparent physical picture of the hydrogen-metal interaction is developed. From the calculated energetics we make a model calculation of the phase diagram of hydrogen in palladium in qualitative agreement with experiment. On this basis we propose a new explanation of the peculiarities of the Pd-H system.