carbon neutral gas
At Good Energy, we believe there's a cleaner way to supply gas, which is why we offer carbon neutral gas. This is made up of two parts – to start with, 6% of the gas we source is biogas. This is produced by breaking down organic matter such as farm waste, putting to use potent greenhouse gases such as methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
At the other end of the journey, we neutralise the emissions from the rest of the gas our customers use by investing in verified carbon reduction schemes in Malawi, Vietnam and Nepal. So by choosing Good Energy, you're supporting other communities around the world to access clean energy, too.
What is biogas?
Biogas – or biomethane – is produced when organic matter such as leftover food and agricultural waste is processed in an anaerobic digester (AD).
AD tanks let the waste break down in an environment that’s free from oxygen. This allows methane gas to be produced, which is then extracted from the AD and injected into the gas grid.
Once it’s in the grid, biogas can be used in the same way as natural gas: it’s burnt to heat our homes and cook our food.
What’s the difference between biogas and natural gas?
Biomethane and natural gas are almost exactly the same – they’re just produced in a different way. Whereas biomethane can be produced from leftover food and crops that have gone to waste this year, natural gas is produced from organic matter that rotted away millions of years ago.
What makes biogas carbon neutral?
Burning biomethane does release carbon dioxide. But, because it releases the same amount of carbon dioxide that the organic matter used to produce it absorbed while it grew, it doesn’t break the carbon balance.
But when we extract and burn natural gas, we’re reintroducing carbon dioxide that has been locked away for millions of years, from a time when the earth’s atmosphere was different. This adds more carbon dioxide to our current atmosphere, breaks the carbon balance and contributes to global warming and climate change.
What other benefits does biogas have?
Capturing methane and injecting it into the gas network – or using it as a fuel for generating electricity – helps reduce the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.
Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Which means that capturing it to heat and power our homes is better for the planet than letting it go untapped.
What’s more, the material left over at the end of the AD process can be used as a natural, nutrient-rich fertiliser. Which will help grow plants and food that lead to the waste used to generate biogas – and the cycle goes on.
Gas emission reduction schemes
At the moment, there just aren’t enough biogas producers to meet UK households’ gas demand. Which is why we neutralise the emissions from the gas that our customers use each year by investing in verified carbon reduction schemes. We do this by buying enough credits to offset the carbon released from when our customers use gas in their homes.
The projects we support aren’t only reducing emissions on a huge scale – they’re bringing economic, social and health benefits to communities around the world.
Vietnam Biogas Project
Vietnam’s rural communities face limited access to clean, sustainable fuel sources for cooking and lighting their homes. The Vietnam Biogas Program is combatting this problem by drawing on another abundant resource: manure from the pigs raised by hundreds of thousands of families across the country.
The project has installed over 158,000 household anaerobic digesters that turn waste into clean, affordable energy. This replaces traditional firewood, saving around 240,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. And it also provides new employment opportunities for local people to become bioplant installers. Find out more about the project.
Kulera Landscape Program
Nearly half of Malawi’s 17 million-strong population face food insecurity. And one of the roots of this problem is deforestation, which is now beginning to affect protected national parks.
The Kulera Landscape Programme supports rural communities around three key national parks to manage their resources more sustainably. This includes providing efficient cookstoves which reduce the need for firewood, cutting deforestation. The project’s carbon reduction is around 210,000 tonnes a year.
Improved cooking stoves in Nepal
The aim of these improved cooking stoves in Nepal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 65,000 tonnes a year while improving the everyday lives of families across the country.
As well as reducing deforestation, improved cook stoves result in less indoor air pollution and fewer associated health risks – a huge benefit to the women who prepare meals every day.
The wider gas industry
It goes without saying that the gas industry needs to clean up its act. But at the moment when we say “carbon neutral”, we’re only talking about the emissions that our customers produce in their homes when they use gas. Unfortunately, we're not able to neutralise emissions that might come about as a product of producing gas in the first place.
Good Energy Biogeneration Procurement Policy.pdf pdf 85KB
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