British Gas has a proud heritage of keeping British homes warm, and we're using our decades-long experience to build out the next generation of sustainable homes, providing customers with sustainable and affordable products and services to help them shift to a lower carbon future.
To show you what this looks like, we created a model of the future home to help you see what is already available, what will be in the future, and how all of these solutions will work together.
Connected hot water tank
Cutting down on wasted energy will help to create net zero homes. Connected cylinders like Mixergy combine science and technology to only heat the water needed, saving up to 21% of the gas used and lowering carbon emissions as a result.
Energy efficient boilers
Gas boilers are still heating around 80% of UK homes, but by ensuring they are as efficient as possible, we can still help reduce carbon emissions. Our 7,500 engineers are in people’s homes every day, making sure boilers are running efficiently - and advising customers about solutions like Hive which provide more control over energy usage.
Hive smart thermostat
Giving people more control over their energy usage helps us all live more sustainably. Hive active heating is now used by over 2 million households, and is helping them control their heating more effectively - so they can lower their carbon footprint, and energy bills too.
EV charging (and V2G)
The electrification of transport will be fundamental to a lower carbon future - and could help UK households save 2.7 tonnes of carbon a year on transport. Our specially qualified engineers – the largest network of EV installers in the UK – are installing EV charging points at homes across the UK, and we’re making it easier for people to keep their cars charged with renewable energy through our EV Tariff. In the future, EV batteries could play an important role in helping to balance energy demand and supply by storing and discharging power when the grid needs it through Vehicle to Grid (V2G) .
As we progress towards net zero, battery storage and the ability for homes to generate, store and even trade their own renewable energy will become vital. By combining solar panels with home batteries, householders can generate and then store their own renewable energy - and play an important part in managing the local electricity network, providing clean energy when they have a surplus, and storing it when more is available.
Smart meters are already helping people change their relationship with energy - but they also have a role to play in creating a more flexible energy market too. Customers with solar panels can use their smart meters to keep track of renewable energy produced, as well as any excess green energy that can be exported to the grid - meaning they can make money from energy while reducing their emissions and helping others do the same.
LED smart lighting
Switching to LED lighting is another small change households can make to improve their energy efficiency and cut emissions - making the journey to net zero easier and more cost effective too. And, with smart lighting through Hive, lights that have been accidentally left on can be switched off from your phone, making it easier to reduce energy waste.
Switching to green electricity saves 1.7 tonnes of carbon per household each year - and over the past two years, we’ve provided 100% zero carbon electricity to all UK customers as standard. We’re also working hard to help customers make greener choices as we transition to a lower carbon future. Our Green Futures Tariff has helped us secure Uswitch Gold Accreditation (one of only two energy companies to do so), meaning we’re supplying one of the greenest tariffs on the market, that can help thousands of people on their way to net zero homes.
Heat pumps are expected to play a key role in decarbonising UK homes, with the potential to cut carbon emissions by up to 80%. Hybrid heat pumps are one of the solutions paving the way to a no-gas future, and provide a good stepping-stone for customers by using the gas boiler as a back-up.
In the UK, 22% of carbon emissions currently come from our homes, so ensuring that they are as energy efficient as possible is integral to reducing our environmental impact. For example, about 25% of heat loss from homes happens through the roof - but loft insulation can solve this. Good insulation is also critical as we switch to lower carbon heating solutions, like heat pumps.
Homes with solar panels can generate their own green energy - and could have a key role to play in helping build more local energy markets in the future. Solar panels allow UK householders to generate and use their own renewable energy - but also supply any surplus to the grid, so that their neighbours can use it too and local communities can cut emissions together.
At Centrica we believe that climate change is the single biggest threat we’re facing today, and that helping deliver net zero is the single most important thing we can do.
With around 90% of our total carbon emissions coming from our customers, the biggest thing we can do to fight it is to help them use energy more sustainably.
There are big challenges ahead of us, but there are smaller steps we can help our customers take today. Insulating homes, taking advantage of greener energy tariffs and installing heat pumps can all help protect our planet and save our customers money.
Through a combination of measures we can help customers cut emissions across power, heat and transport. Today we help customers decarbonise by providing energy efficiency and optimisation products like Hive, facilitate greener motoring by installing electric vehicle charging solutions, and keep the home warm by installing heat pumps and hydrogen blend ready boilers.
Broadacres Low Carbon Case Study
Our social housing business PH Jones has partnered with Broadacres, one of the largest housing associations in North Yorkshire, to help them decarbonise their social housing stock, making homes warmer and more energy efficient.
The installations have helped Broadacres to reduce the amount of energy their homes need, their carbon footprint and their bills.
Broadacres has installed heat pumps into 100 of its homes in Yorkshire and is planning more in a bid to lower its carbon emissions.