Gas and climate change
The gas you burn to heat your home or cook with emits carbon. Well over 80% of us use gas in this way so it’s a major contributor to the country’s overall carbon footprint. In fact, it’s estimated that heating is the largest single source of carbon emissions in the UK, larger even than transport.
What is Green Gas?
Biomethane, also known as ‘green gas’, is produced from anaerobic digestion of organic materials and landfill gas. As it recycles carbon that’s already in the environment, its use is carbon neutral and that means it’s better for the environment.
However, not enough green gas is being produced.
Suppliers often only include 10% of green gas in energy plans advertised as ‘green gas’. The other 90% is natural gas, a fossil fuel, which releases carbon into the atmosphere that was previously safely locked underground.
Can you supply me with Green Gas?
No. Instead we offer 100% carbon neutral gas, which we call ‘greener gas’.
What is greener gas?
We offer 100% carbon offset gas with many of our energy plans. To avoid misleading customers, we call this greener gas. We calculate the carbon emissions attributable to the gas we supply and offset 100% of it. We do this by buying certificates that represent investments in carbon reduction projects around the world. For every tonne of CO2 emitted in the UK, a tonne is removed via these projects.
Why is greener gas better than natural gas?
Although natural gas is one of the cleaner fossil fuels, CO2 it still emitted when it’s burned. Greener gas is 100% carbon neutral which means we buy certificates to completely offset those carbon emissions.
What can I do to reduce my CO2 impact?
Climate change is a worldwide problem. In the UK alone, the aim is to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. While new technologies will allow us to move away from fossil fuels entirely in the future, there are changes you can make now to reduce your impact.
Five ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Switch to a green energy supplier
By switching to a supplier that offers renewable electricity and green or greener gas, you’re investing in a greener future. Electricity in the national grid is generated in a variety of ways, including gas, coal, nuclear and renewables. There is no way to isolate the ‘good’ electricity and only use that in your home. However, a green electricity supplier will have commercial relationships with renewable energy generators. It will buy the equivalent amount of renewable electricity those generators put into the grid to what its customers consume from the grid. In this way, the choice of supplier you make contributes to a successful renewable generation industry. Gas works along the same lines. If you buy a green service, while the gas that’s delivered to your house from the mains may not appear any different, you’ll be rewarding more environmentally friendly practices across the gas industry. Track the live status of the national grid here.
2. Improve your energy efficiency
You could save up to £300 a year by making changes around your home, such as turning your TV off at the switch or spending less time in the shower. To help you we’ve put together our top tips on how you can save money by being energy efficient.
3. Walk, cycle or use public transport
Leave your car at home and try walking, cycling or taking the bus instead. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and get daily exercise. If 8% of us took up cycling it could help to reduce 11% of transport CO2 emissions by 2050.
4. Reduce, reuse and recycle
Practise the three R’s; reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce by minimising what you purchase to only the essentials. Reuse items that can’t be recycled to avoid it ending up in a landfill. Recycle any plastic, cardboard or paper. Avoid purchasing items that are single-use plastic as you won’t be able to recycle it.
5. Eat less meat
Meat production emits more than two-thirds of food-related emissions. Research suggests that cutting back and taking on a more a flexitarian approach will help to reduce greenhouse gases emitted from agriculture.
How will we heat our homes in the future?
Heat is the largest single emitter of carbon in the UK, with 33% of all carbon emissions attributable to it. Meeting the government’s ‘Net zero by 2050’ target won’t be possible if this doesn’t change.
The solution is likely to be a combination of better home insulation, replacing natural gas with climate neutral gas, such as hydrogen, and greater use of heat pumps.
Network heating is another way we will decarbonise heating. One central boiler, powered with green energy, heats water that’s piped into multiple residences or businesses to keep them warm.
Our parent company Vattenfall, is one of the world’s leading providers of network heating. Find out more about Vattenfall’s heating solutions.