Green Gas from Ecotricity is go!
Ecotricity to provide “real British gas”
Green gas is to be made available for the first time to UK homes, supplied from renewable sources by sustainable energy pioneers Ecotricity, the world’s first green electricity company.
Green gas - or biogas – can be made during a composting-like process that breaks down food waste and other material that normally gets dumped straight into landfill or burnt in incinerators. Britain currently wastes around 18m tonnes of food alone a year, which could produce enough biogas to supply over 700,000 homes.
Green gas made this way has the potential to generate as much as half of the UK’s domestic gas with the right government backing. Ultimately, Ecotricity plans to create bio-gas from emerging next-generation technologies such as special strains of algae, a naturally occurring, fast reproducing and potentially endless source of energy.
Ecotricity will supply gas from a mix of green and conventional ‘brown’ sources, with the green fuel mix increasing as more customers sign up and it builds new renewable supplies, the same model it has used with electricity since it started in 1996. Since then Ecotricity’s green electricity mix has grown rapidly to 45.6%, entirely from its own sources (compared with a UK average of just 5%) with a continuing long-term mission to reach 100% and beyond.
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “We're the real British Gas now. We’re kickstarting the market to move Britain from brown to green gas, turning people’s gas bills into green gas mills, just as we’ve been doing with windmills for over a decade.
“People can now have complete control of where the money they spend on their energy bills goes, and ultimately where their energy will come from. Nobody has to carry on giving their money to the big multinational energy companies, who seem determined to keep burning whatever in the world they can get their hands on like there’s no tomorrow.
“By choosing green gas, customers can help unhook Britain from its addiction to foreign gas supplies, make a positive long-term change to the world we live in, and could also keep thousands of tonnes of waste out of landfill which could even help keep council tax bills down”.
Ecotricity even pledges it will deliver its green gas at no extra cost, matching British Gas on both its standard gas and dual-fuel price for many customers in each region.
On the eve of the Copenhagen climate change conference, Ecotricity is the first company to offer British households gas from new green sources, just as 13 years ago at Kyoto it was the first company in the world to offer users electricity from new green sources: windmills.
Half of Britain’s winter gas supplies already come from foreign sources such as Russia, and Britain will be almost entirely dependent in the coming decades as North Sea supplies run out. As Ecotricity is a privately owned, not-for-profit company with no share price and no shareholders or investors to keep happy, it is unhindered to devote itself to its mission of growing Britain’s new sources of green electricity. In the last five years to 2008, Ecotricity has invested an average of £450 per customer per year in new sources of green electricity, more than ten times that of its closest rival – or put another way, more than all of its competitors put together, and then some. It now intends to apply its unique business model in the gas market, to change where Britain’s energy comes from forever.
Some green gas facts
- 'Green gas' is produced in a process known as Anaerobic Digestion (AD), in which micro-organisms break down biodegreadable material without oxygen. The process has been used for many years to treat waste water, and as early as 1895 in Exeter to power gas street lamps.
- Anaerobic Digestion also creates a nutrient-rich by-product that can be used instead of harsh chemical fertilisers in agriculture.
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