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Help our customers reduce their carbon emissions

Latest Update | 24 October 2014

Findings from our Smart Meter Challenge

In today's blog, Matt shares findings from the first national Smart Meter Challenge and how it has helped participating households gain greater control and insight into their energy use.

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Matt Eastland

Matt Eastland
Group Corporate Responsibility Manager

17 October 2014

Coming top of the class in CDP

In today's blog, Ivor discusses our top results from CDP, who represent investors with around a third of the world’s invested capital, for disclosure and action on mitigating climate change. Ivor shares the progress Centica is making to deliver innovative products and services that help customers rdeuce their energy use, bills and carbon emissions as well as how our diverse fuel mix supports these ambitions.

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Ivor Gibbons, CR Manager

Ivor Gibbons, CR Manager

10 September 2014

Knowledge is power: we need the tools to make our own decisions around energy efficiency

Guest blog from Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director of Smart Metering at British Gas. Jorge focuses on a recent EU directive to reduce energy use by banning certain high-powered household electrical items, arguing that instead, giving people information is what is needed to help them take control of their energy consumption.

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Jorge Pikunic

Jorge Pikunic

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Overview

The most significant carbon emissions associated with the energy industry arise from customers' gas and electricity usage. Helping our customers become more energy efficient, generate their own energy through microgeneration, and use energy in a smarter way is essential to achieving a low carbon society.

We are growing our energy services businesses across our markets. In the UK, where market and Government support for energy efficiency and low carbon products and services is well established, British Gas aims to lead the transition to low carbon homes and businesses. We have set up our own insulation and low carbon technology business, are delivering energy services to our business customers, and are developing smart-enabled products alongside our own smart metering business to help our customers control their energy consumption.

In North America, Direct Energy provides a range of services to help customers save energy and are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities as regulatory support increases. Our strategy to integrate our international downstream activities also provides opportunities to share expertise and best practice across our chosen markets to benefit our customers and help them further reduce their carbon emissions.

Our approach to help our customers reducing their carbon emissions in the UK focuses on three main areas:

  • Saving emissions (and money) by improving our customers’ homes - we offer a range of efficiency measures and small scale renewable technologies including insulation, energy efficient boilers and solar panels. This is the most effective way for our customers to reduce their carbon emissions and save money as energy reductions are achievable without any behaviour change.
  • Using smarter technology to reduce emissions – we are delivering new smart controls and technologies for customer homes and businesses that will enable customers to better manage their energy use. These include smart meters, time-of-use tariffs, smart prepayment meters in the US and remote heating controls. These technologies improve customers’ understanding of the energy they use and encourage them to use less, supporting an important first step in achieving behavioural change. View our Smarter living pages for more information.
  • Driving long-term change – our commitment to mandatory Government programs and future-focused collaborative projects is helping our customers overcome the challenges of installing measures which reduce carbon emissions. The Government Green Deal is a mechanism for people to install these measures without needing lots of up-front investment, whilst the UK Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is improving UK housing stock by utilising energy companies’ national reach and capabilities. We are also involved in cutting-edge smart grid projects that is helping us explore what the future of energy will look like.

We rely on the skills and expertise of our people to deliver these services. British Gas has a network of academies across the UK where service engineers are trained in energy efficiency, microgeneration and smart technologies. View Create a great place to work for more information.

Regulatory support for low carbon services

The UK Government sees both domestic and commercial energy efficiency as key to meeting its carbon reduction target of 80% on 1990 levels by 2050 and has regulated accordingly. The main domestic energy efficiency schemes are The Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The Green Deal will enable domestic and commercial customers to invest in energy efficiency improvements for no upfront outlay by spreading the cost through instalments on their energy bills. This will include the installation of measures such as new, energy-efficient boilers in our customers' homes. British Gas is committed to helping customers take advantage of the Green Deal and has trained Energy Experts who are qualified to conduct Green Deal surveys.

ECO requires energy suppliers like British Gas to improve the energy efficiency of domestic properties through measures such as solid wall and cavity insulation and energy efficient boilers. Part of the ECO commitment will be to provide measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the 'Affordable Warmth Group') to affordably heat their homes. ECO is intended to work alongside the Green Deal to provide additional support for packages of energy efficiency measures.

For more detail about how emissions from customer usage compares to other carbon emissions in our value chain, see our carbon map.

See our data centre for our extensive carbon reporting metrics.

Video

Sam Laidlaw interview

Listen to Sam responding to Citizens Advice on the effectiveness of energy efficiency schemes

Customer carbon

2011 performance review

Read a strategic update on our low carbon activities in the 2011 CR Performance Review.

Data

Find 2011 progress against our customer carbon performance indicators in our interactive data centre.

Updates

We aim to publish updates on our customer carbon activities on this page throughout the year.