What is green gas and where does it come from?

17 June 2021

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What is green gas and where does it come from?

Consumers and businesses are becoming more conscious of the impact their actions have on the environment. In recent years, the increase in eco-awareness has seen the Government introduce several schemes and grants designed to support more sustainable approaches – including a greater focus on green gas.

2020 saw green gas production increase by almost 50% compared to the year. And as business gas customers strive for more peace of mind, green gas looks set to flourish as a lower carbon alternative to natural gas.

But just why is green gas proving so popular? For businesses thinking of reducing their environmental impact, this guide is for you.

Below, we'll look at green gas in more detail, exploring what it is, its benefits and how SEFE Energy can help optimise your eco-credentials.

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What is green gas?

Also called biomethane or biogas, green gas is the lower carbon version of natural gas.

By using green gas, the need for fossil-fuel derived natural gas and the greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with it, can be replaced.

What do we mean by natural gas? It's a non-renewable fossil fuel that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

It's mostly made up of methane that comes from the fossilised remains of animals and plants in the earth and is sourced by drilling or fracking.

Where does green gas come from?

Green gas is released when food or other natural waste biodegrades.

This process, called anaerobic digestion, involves the breaking down of natural waste by organic bacteria. Carbon dioxide is removed and what's left over – the green gas itself – is sent to the national grid.

From the national grid, the green gas is supplied to homes and businesses around the country.

What are the benefits of green gas?

It's virtually carbon neutral

Because it only contains organic matter, when green gas is burned, the carbon released is equivalent to the carbon absorbed by the matter when it was growing. Since it doesn't add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, it means that green gas is close to being carbon neutral.

It supports British farmers 

By creating new opportunities, such as alternatives to dairy and meat production (which also accounts for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions), green gas can help to provide greater long-term financial security for British farmers without damaging the environment.

It minimises our reliance on fossil fuel gas

Because we rely so much on fossil fuel gas, we're depleting the Earth of its natural fossil fuel supply. A finite resource like that is only going to last for so long. The organic matter used in green gas (animal waste, crops, food waste and grass) on the other hand, is much more plentiful in comparison. As a result, it's a highly sustainable alternative.

It makes us more accountable

The Green Gas Certification Scheme governs the process of green gas production. This allows businesses to view their certificate so they can find out more information, such as the location and method of extraction.

It creates habitats

The sustainable plant matter used in green gas can be grown in large and diverse ecosystems, creating habitats for wildlife to thrive in.

It improves soil quality

This green matter can also boost soil quality, drawing up nutrients from beneath the topsoil where it further improves wildlife's habitats.

How popular is green gas in the UK?

With the use of green gases growing by 50% year on year, it’s obvious just how important sustainable and responsible energy sourcing is for many businesses throughout the UK. Not only does it boost a business’ gaeco-credentials, it can make them a more attractive proposition for clients and customers.

Many businesses will only consider partnering with other firms which are committed to ambitious sustainability goals. By utilising green gases, a business can immediately showcase this commitment and reap the rewards.

What type of businesses is green gas suitable for?

No matter how large or small, any business that has sustainability or environmental initiatives can benefit from purchasing green gas.

Can green gas replace traditional gas?

By 2050, it's thought that green gas could be used to heat as many as 10 million homes in the UK. However, we're still some distance from it replacing natural gas outright.

There are, of course, other forms of alternative energy, such as wind and solar, that provide plenty of renewable electric energy – some of which will be used to replace natural gas.

To reduce the reliance on natural gas, a combination of green gas and other renewable sources is a solid option. But it will be decades before natural gas is a thing of the past.

A fully green UK will require much more investment and infrastructure. But as demand increases, green gas usage will likely continue to gain ground.

What is carbon offsetting?

While some providers offer all or some green gas as part of their fuel mix, others, including SEFE Energy, can offer to offset the carbon of their natural gas. You can learn more about how we can support you with carbon offsetting, here.

This means that you can buy carbon credits that are equivalent to your business’ carbon impact. Because every tonne of carbon dioxide released has the same impact wherever it is released, the benefit of offsetting is the same everywhere too.

Our carbon team can help calculate your carbon footprint so you know how much to offset, should you so choose. These offsets come from high-quality sources delivering sustainable development in a range of different communities around the world.

The process is an efficient way for customers to achieve emissions reductions as they seek to become more carbon neutral. What's more, it's a regulated industry too. Your claims will be verified by two independent parties, for greater peace of mind.

Please note that carbon credits are recorded on a public registry, so they cannot be used more than once.

What’s the difference in price between natural and green gas?

Furthermore, as mentioned above, by demonstrating a commitment to green gases and sustainable energy, businesses open themselves up to customers and clients who will only partner with responsible vendors. So, the cost of green gases may be more expensive, but could open up sales opportunities.

Right now, green gas is a slightly more expensive alternative to other gas tariffs, and some suppliers charge a premium for green energy. However, it's possible to find cheaper gas tariffs through small amounts of green gas and offset carbon. As more and more suppliers look into a pure green gas option, we're hopeful that its price lowers in the future.

SEFE Energy's Eco Gas product

So, how can SEFE Energy help you with your own approach to sustainability?

Other than our carbon offsetting product that we just mentioned, we're able to offer our Eco Gas product through the Green Gas Certification Scheme. Through this, we track green gas through the supply chain, clarifying which sources have been used in its production, such as agricultural activities, food waste, domestic waste, or water treatments. You can even select which sources you’d like the biomethane to come from, including:

  • Agricultural activities
  • Food waste
  • Domestic waste, water treatment
  • Combination
  • Products/co-products
  • Residues

We're able to offer our business gas customers greater certainty and peace of mind. By purchasing Eco Gas, not only are you in safe hands, you'll contribute to the production of renewable energy.

Additionally, you'll also be presented with a Renewable Gas Guarantee of Origin (RGGO) Certificate. By getting your credentials in writing, it'll show that your consumption is being offset by the generation of renewable energy.

Why go with SEFE Energy's Eco Gas? By choosing our product, you'll contribute towards:

  • Your organisation's sustainability objectives
  • Your organisation's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets

Additionally, by taking a proactive step to reducing your carbon emissions with us, we'll take care of managing the whole process for you.

Whatever your sustainability goals, opting in to our Eco Gas product is simple. Get in touch with the SEFE Energy team through tellmemore@sefe-energy.com and we'll get your green gas journey started.

SEFE Energy is a leading supplier of energy for small businesses, offering competitive gas and electricity contracts that are simple to set up and manage. For more information, visit the homepage or call our team today on 0161 837 3395.


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