Green electricity supplier Ecotricity has announced a plan to supply gas from rotting food, sewerage and other waste to British households.
The company says that its ‘green gas’ – known in the industry as ‘biogas’ – is better for the environment than the natural gas currently used for hot water and central heating because it comes from renewable sources and keeps waste out of landfill or incinerators.
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The 18m tonnes of food waste discarded in Britain every year could produce enough biogas to heat 700,000 homes, Ecotricity claims. With the right government backing, the company says that half of Britain’s domestic gas needs could be supplied this way – something that could significantly reduce Britain’s growing dependence on imported energy.
‘The real British Gas’
Promising to deliver its green gas at no extra cost to consumers, with a price-match on British Gas’s standard and duel fuel price in each region, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince 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.’
Ecotricity will start supplying biogas to homes in January – although customers can register their interest now on its website. Initially, the gas will come 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 company is using the same approach to increase the amount of electricity it supplies from renewable sources.
Must be clear
Audrey Gallacher, head of company performance at Consumer Focus, said customers needed to be clear about what the tariff would initially provide. ‘Green gas tariffs could be good news for customers who want to buy environmentally friendly energy. However, it must be made clear to any customer signing up that they are investing in creating a demand and supply of energy-efficient fuel for the future,’ Ms Gallacher explained.
Households wanting to switch to Ecotricity – or any other any supplier – can find all the deals available in their area on Which?’s free independent switchings service, Which? Switch.
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