Bulb's green gas: where it comes from and how much is renewable

We provide our members with 100% carbon neutral gas. We offset the emissions from the gas we supply by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world. Plus, we’re the biggest buyer of green gas for homes in the UK, so a chunk of our gas mix comes from renewable sources, like food or farm waste, too.

What is green gas and where does it come from?

Green gas is made through a process called anaerobic digestion. This uses bacteria to break down organic materials, like food or farm waste, to release biogas. Biogas is then purified and turned into biomethane, which is injected into the gas grid. Once in the grid, it’s piped into homes across the UK and used for things like heating or powering cookers.

We buy green gas to match the financial year. For April 2018-March 2019, 74% of our green gas came from purpose-grown crops, 18% came from food and farm waste, and 8% came from residues like vegetable peelings or cereal straw.

Is Bulb's green gas vegan?

For 2018-19, 18% of our green gas came from food or farm waste. A small chunk of that includes things like pig poo or cow manure – in other words, animal by-products. It’s the same type of waste that’s used to fertilise and grow organic vegetables. As with many life choices, being a vegan is complex, and where you draw the boundaries is very a personal decision.

We would like to see less waste produced across every industry and every area of society. We support the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA)'s advice that while meat is still part of the UK’s diet, and the meat industry is producing waste, leaving animal by-products to decompose naturally is more environmentally harmful than turning them into something usable like green gas. Left untouched, animal waste emits methane, which is 21 times more harmful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. 

How much of Bulb's gas is renewable?

100% of our gas is carbon neutral. From April 2019-March 2020, 4% was green gas produced from renewable sources like food or farm waste, down from 10% the year before.

While we’re buying a lot of green gas on behalf of our members, Bulb is growing faster than the industry. This means the proportion of our carbon neutral gas that comes from renewable sources is coming down. 

When Bulb launched back in 2015, we bought less than 1% of the green gas available in the market. From April 2019-March 2020, we bought 20% of all available green gas, making us the largest buyer of green gas for homes in the UK. 

Just like anything worth doing, reducing the UK’s reliance on non-renewable gas is a challenge, and so far we haven’t reached consensus on the best way to do it. At Bulb, we plan to play an active role in the conversation. The UK has committed to reaching Net Zero by 2050 – cutting CO2 emissions caused by the gas we use to heat our homes will play a big part in achieving that goal.

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