- The energy efficiency products provided by British Gas
in 2008 equated to lifetime savings of 17.87 million tonnes
of carbon dioxide
- We reduced our UK carbon intensity to 377g CO2/kWh, the
lowest of the major energy suppliers in Britain
Centrica is playing a crucial role in creating a sustainable
low-carbon future, whilst securing energy supplies over the long
term. We formed British Gas New Energy (BGNE) in 2007 as a
commercial response to the challenge of global climate change.
Our climate change and environment strategy is to lead the market
in responding to growing consumer demand for low-carbon
products and services; maintain our low-carbon position on power
generation; and work with our employees and suppliers to reduce
the environmental impact of our operations.
Our work in these areas has been recognised for the
second year running by our inclusion in the leadership
index of the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Leading the consumer market for low-carbon products and services
The UK has a binding target to reduce CO2 emissions by 80%
by 2050 with a corresponding target of 15% of all energy coming
from renewable sources by 2020. Smaller scale renewable
technologies have a significant role to play in helping to achieve
these aims and during the year BGNE made a number of
acquisitions to help develop our capability in microgeneration.
These investments will enable us to install solar photovoltaic
technology in the UK; develop combined heat and power systems
for residential properties based on solid oxide fuel cell technology;
and offer consulting services to help businesses reduce their
energy usage. We will continue to look for acquisition opportunities
to increase our range of low-carbon products and services.
We continue to offer green energy tariffs, although encouraging
take-up of these remains challenging.
We have signed onto Ofgem’s Green Supply Guidelines
which define a Green Tariff as one that must deliver an
additional environmental benefit. This will raise the
standard of industry products, ensure genuine benefits
for the environment and provide transparent and
consistent information to reduce consumer confusion
around tariff labelling.
In North America, Direct Energy is working with the Canadian
government to develop a standard for carbon offset calculations
from energy efficiency projects.
Within British Gas, our 18-month-long Green Streets competition
between eight communities has highlighted practical solutions for
consumers to make their homes more energy efficient.
We have also linked our expertise in energy efficiency to our
programme of work with vulnerable customers. These
customers are some of the main recipients of energy-saving
products which we supply under our carbon emission reduction
target (CERT) obligations.
British Gas is already the UK’s leading supplier of A-rated
high-efficiency boilers. The energy efficiency products
provided under CERT in 2008, which included the
distribution of 48 million low-energy light bulbs to our
customers, equated to a lifetime carbon saving of 17.87
million tonnes of carbon dioxide. By the end of 2008 we
had completed 50% of our three-year CERT target.
Maintaining our low-carbon position
We aim to invest in low-carbon generation. This currently includes
high-efficiency gas-fired power stations and offshore wind farms,
but we are also actively pursuing an interest in nuclear power
through a proposed acquisition of 25% of British Energy.
Our new efficient gas-fired power station at Langage, Devon will
generate its first power in 2009. And our offshore wind farm
development at Lynn and Inner Dowsing – currently the largest of its
type in the world – has now been commissioned. In October 2008,
we also obtained consent for the Lincs wind farm development.
In North America, commercial operation began at the 170MW
Buffalo Gap 3 wind farm near Abilene, Texas, from where all the
electricity produced will be purchased by Direct Energy under
a seven-year power purchase agreement.
During 2008 we further reduced our carbon intensity in
line with our target of achieving a figure of 350g CO2/kWh
by 2020. In 2008, the energy we supplied had the lowest
carbon emissions of any major supplier in Britain.
Reducing our operational footprint
We are also focused on reducing our own operational carbon
footprint and are creating an understanding and culture among
our employees appropriate for a business leading the way towards
a low-carbon future. In 2008, British Gas joined our upstream
assets in achieving certification to ISO 14001 from the British
Standards Institute. This Standard covers our 26,000 employees
in the UK, highlighting their commitment to and awareness of
our environmental management systems. We aim to complete
certification across Direct Energy by the end of 2010.
Employee engagement as a result of internal communication
campaigns and the work of locally based ‘Green Teams’ of
employee champions has cut UK office energy consumption
by 7.23% exceeding our target of 5%. In 2008, 14% less
waste was sent to landfill when compared to 2007 and 64%
of our UK waste was recycled, exceeding both our targets
in these areas.
In 2008 Direct Energy’s Climate Change Committee approved
a carbon footprint management programme that addresses the
greenhouse gas emissions of the North American fleet, business
travel and facilities. Direct Energy reduced emissions by an
estimated 7%, although these reductions are mainly attributable
to a slowing economy and fewer business miles travelled.
|Carbon intensity of UK power generation (g CO2/kWh)
What’s next: Reduce UK power generation carbon intensity to 350g CO2/kWh by 2020.
|Lifetime carbon savings for UK household energy efficiency products provided (million tonnes)
What’s next: Provide energy efficiency products in 2009 with total lifetime carbon savings of 13.2m tonnes of CO2 to meet our CERT obligation.
|Year-on-year percentage reduction in energy (electricity and gas) consumption savings across our UK property portfolio
What’s next: Achieve 5% reduction in UK office energy use in 2009.