EDGE2D-EIRENE (the 'code') simulations show that radial electric field, Er, in the near scrape-off layer (SOL) of tokamaks can have large variations leading to a strong local E x B shear greatly exceeding that in the core region. This was pointed out in simulations of JET plasmas with varying divertor geometry, where the magnetic configuration with larger predicted near SOL E-r was found to have lower H-mode power threshold, suggesting that turbulence suppression in the SOL by local E. x. B shear can be a player in the L-H transition physics (Delabie et al 2015 42nd EPS Conf. on Plasma Physics (Lisbon, Portugal, 22-26 June 2015) paper O3.113 (http://ocs.ciemat.es/EPS2015PAP/pdf/O3.113.pdf), Chankin et al 2017 Nucl. Mater. Energy 12 273). Further code modeling of JET plasmas by changing hydrogen isotopes (H-D-T) showed that the magnitude of the near SOL E-r is lower in H cases in which the H-mode threshold power is higher (Chankin et al 2017 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 59 045012). From the experiment it is also known that hydrogen plasmas have poorer particle and energy confinement than deuterium plasmas, consistent with the code simulation results showing larger particle diffusion coefficients at the plasma edge, including SOL, in hydrogen plasmas (Maggi et al 2018 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 60 014045). All these experimental observations and code results support the hypothesis that the near SOL E x B shear can have an impact on the plasma confinement. The present work analyzes neutral ionization patterns of JET plasmas with different hydrogen isotopes in L-mode cases with fixed input power and gas puffing rate, and its impact on target electron temperature, T-e, and SOL E-r. The possibility of a self-feeding mechanism for the increase in the SOL E-r via the interplay between poloidal E x B drift and target T-e is discussed. It is also shown that reducing anomalous turbulent transport coefficients, particle diffusion and electron and ion heat conductivities, leads to higher peak target T-e and larger E-r, suggesting the possibility of a positive feedback loop, under an implicitly made assumption that the E x B shear in the SOL is capable of suppressing turbulence.