As an energy company our biggest challenge is the same as every household – how do we make the transition to a low carbon energy supply?

We’ve made great headway over recent years. This year we introduced our People & Planet Plan, which builds on the progress of our Responsible Business Ambitions and advances action through five global goals focused in areas that matter deeply to our business and society, and where we’re well placed to make a world of difference – from accelerating our shift to net zero, to building the engaged and inclusive team that will help us get there.

But, like all energy companies and the UK as a whole, we have a long way to go. On World Environment Day, it’s a good time to think about what we can all and do and the small changes we can make to help us reach net zero.

One of our big challenges is understanding what our customers want and what going green means for them. We conducted some research earlier this year which found when it to comes to green energy, 15% of people believe that when switching to a green energy tariff, the energy itself is provided from a different green network.

In fact, the energy supplied arrives in the same way and through the same pipes and wires, but their supplier matches electricity or gas usage with the equivalent amount of renewable energy, certificates or offsets.

Having a range of options is a necessity as we look to transition to net zero. As it currently stands, there isn’t enough renewable energy to go around so we need to support more renewables coming online as rapidly as we can, but also tap into the growing demand for sustainable products to fund verified carbon savings elsewhere to bring net emissions down at the pace required.

Choosing a more sustainable energy tariff

Our research of over 2,000 people showed nearly half were interested in the sustainability credentials of the products they buy, with almost one in three interested in changing to a green tariff. It’s encouraging to know, but price is still a big factor for customers with 45% saying they would switch to a greener tariff if it didn’t cost more.

For some customers knowing that their green energy is being offset in some way is enough and for others, they want to know that the energy they are using is 100% green. Through our Green Futures Tariff we are one of only two energy companies to be accredited with the Uswitch Gold Accreditation, meaning we are supplying one of the greenest tariffs on the market. Helping customers to make greener choices through tariffs is just one of the many things we are doing to help them transition to a lower carbon future.

Our research of over 2,000 people showed nearly half were interested in the sustainability credentials of the products they buy, with almost one in three interested in changing to a green tariff.

Empowering communities to take control of their energy

Projects such as the Cornwall Local Energy Market trial which Centrica successfully concluded last year, shows the potential of communities producing their own energy and selling the surplus to the grid for a more efficient and flexible energy system.

Over three years, the trial saw over 200 homes and businesses generating and trading stored renewable electricity, with greenhouse gas savings of nearly 10,000 tonnes a year.   With demand for local energy combined with a smart energy trading system, this trial paves the way for a smarter, more flexible grid that reduces pressure on demand and is better able to accommodate more renewable energy.

Rolling out new and existing technology

Technology and innovation will play a key role in the transition. For example, we’re paving the way for the future home as we continually extend the roll-out of smart technology to provide the full home energy management solution, which includes empowering customers to choose when and how they use energy by controlling their heating, lighting, security, electric vehicle charging and more, from just the touch of an app.  And we’re encouraging the adoption of new technologies to make EV adoption the new normal as well as decarbonising heat through projects such as our Hybrid Heat Pump trial in the West Midlands alongside partnering to build the world’s first net zero industrial cluster in the UK by 2040 using hydrogen, carbon capture and storage technology.

We know there’s a long way to go but we’re taking steps every day to help us and our customers transition to a lower carbon world.