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 one of the biggest buyers of green gas for homes in the UK. So a chunk of our gas mix comes from renewable sources, 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 work with generators who use a variety of feedstocks to produce their renewable gas. For April 2019 to March 2020, the latest data available, 93% of our green gas came from purpose-grown crops, 4% came from food and farm waste, and 3% came from residues like vegetable peelings or cereal straw.

Is Bulb's green gas vegan?

For 2019 to 2020, 4% 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 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 2020 to March 2021, 3% was green gas produced from renewable sources like food or farm waste, down from 4% 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. 

We’re one of the biggest buyers of green gas in the UK. But the market is still small, with only enough to meet around 1% of the UK's total gas demand. We’ve been offsetting the emissions from the non-green gas we supply since March 2019.

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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