About Us

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas or ‘carbon’ emissions contribute to climate change and need to be reduced. We directly contribute about 0.1% of the UK's total emissions and we have a role to play in reducing our carbon emissions to help meet the UK’s stretching targets.

How are we performing?

We’ve been reporting our performance for more than a decade and have significantly reduced our carbon emissions and costs through energy efficiency, renewable energy production, improved metering and more effective use of transport.

Each year, we report on our emissions in our regulatory performance reporting, in our Annual Report and in our submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

We have held the Carbon Trust Standard since 2009, for successfully measuring, managing and reducing carbon emissions. Our performance against the standard is in the top 15% of all organisations.

What we are doing

Reducing our energy use and generating renewable energy tackles the main sources of our carbon emissions and brings financial benefits for customers. So, the main actions we are taking are:

As well as our operational emissions, there is also ‘embedded’ carbon from construction activity such as building treatment works and laying pipes. In addition to this, UK customers’ use of water for domestic and industrial purposes (primarily heating) accounts for about 5% of the UK’s total GHG emissions. We influence improvement in these areas by working with our supply chain and helping our customers to use water more efficiently.

The future

Our plan for 2015 to 2020 explains how we will continue to reduce our impact on the wider environment.

In the long-term we will aim for carbon neutrality and energy self-sufficiency. To get there, we have set ourselves a stretching five-year carbon reduction target to reduce our emissions from 491 kt CO2e in 2014/15 to 458 kt CO2e by 2020. To meet our target, we need to deliver consistent improvement in energy and fuel efficiency. This will also help us to deliver the cost savings we need to maintain the lowest bills for our customers. To ensure this measure drives us to improve our own performance, we measure success against our target independently of changes to the national electricity grid, by applying the same grid emissions factor we used to set our target (the 2013 grid factor).