In 2016 we launched carbon neutral gas. Previously 6% green gas with the remainder carbon offset, from the 1st April 2020 we are increasing this to 10%, and supporting three new gold standard biogas-based carbon offset projects so we are promoting green gas worldwide, too.
As the first company in the UK to only offer 100% renewable electricity, we have long supported clean power. But we have always known that electricity is only part of the equation — heating actually constitutes the largest portion of the average home’s carbon footprint.
That is why we launched carbon neutral gas in 2016. Back then it was 6% from green gas, with the remainder carbon offset through international projects.
What is green gas?
Green gas, or biomethane, is gas that’s not from fossil fuels. It’s made when organic materials — like food waste — decomposes and releases methane, in a process called anaerobic digestion. This biomethane gas is then captured and fed into the national gas grid to be used in your home.
Can we replace all fossil fuel gas with green gas?
Currently, the UK’s total gas consumption is 514 TWh. The latest study by the association for anaerobic digestion estimates that the total potential of green gas to decarbonise the gas grid is about 8-10%.
That is why we believe it is important that we increase the per cent we supply our customers to the upper limit of 10%. So that Good Energy is leading the way in showing the UK’s potential to reach zero carbon, just as we do by supplying genuine 100% renewable electricity.
Good Energy is leading the way in showing the UK’s potential to reach zero carbon
It also means that we cannot simply swap out fossil fuel gas with green gas to decarbonise heating. Read our blog here on what else we need to do.
Why carbon offset?
Carbon offsetting is not the final answer to decarbonizing either. But what offsetting can do is fill a gap in time, finance or ambition. To make real reductions in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and have other positive social benefits at the same time.
It is with this in mind that we chose a set of new carbon offset projects with our partners ClimateCare to help promote green gas internationally. 10% may be the limit for biogas in the UK, and we can go further through supporting it elsewhere in the world. Climate change is a global problem after all.
What are the projects?
We are now supporting three new projects, all of which are Gold Standard accredited, which is one of the highest levels of internationally recognized verification schemes. They are:
In India, more than 1,000 women and children die every day from exposure to smoke produced by household cooking with solid fuel.
This project works with rural districts to install biogas digesters. These turn a readily available fuel source, cattle dung, into clean, renewable energy for cooking.
Benefits include reducing deforestation from felling trees for fuel, protecting biodiversity and improving health within the home. The digestate produced at the end of the biogas generation process can also be used as crop fertilizer.
Sichuan is one of China’s poorest provinces, where average annual incomes equate to €500. The province was also struck by an earthquake in 2008, which left nearly 5 million people homeless.
Xuyong Biogas helps communities to rebuild by installing household biogas digesters – and providing training on how to maintain them. This allows farmers to use animal waste to generate clean fuel, reducing the need for households to spend money on polluting coal.
As well as improving access to clean, renewable energy, this project creates new job opportunities to become biogas installers.
Turkey commercial-scale biogas
This project works with one of Turkey’s largest dairy companies, which has the capacity to process 500 million litres of milk annually.
Waste from the plant and surrounding farms is used to create biogas, which is then burned to create renewable electricity. This grid-scale generator is expected to generate over 14.9GWh annually. That’s equivalent to the power demand of 4,500 typical UK homes.
As well as producing clean power and helping to make Turkey’s power grid greener, benefits include the production of quality fertilizer and providing new green jobs.
If you are already a Good Energy gas customer, these changes are in effect from 1st April 2020. If you are not, but you are interested in making the gas you use to heat your home greener, get a quote.