Carbon footprints are measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), which is a simplified scientific metric for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But to a business, what really matters is the financial cost! 

By looking at the price your SME pays for a tonne of carbon emissions, you can better visualise what your carbon footprint looks like, as well as calculate the money saved by running a greener operation. 

Over recent years the average natural gas tariff for UK businesses has remained stable, with the price of emitting a tonne of GHGs costing £212

Annually, the average UK SME creates a carbon footprint of 4.5 tonnes through natural gas consumption, paying £955.

The following table highlights the increase/decrease in your gas bill based on a change in your level of GHG emissions. Here we’ve modelled what an extra few T of CO2 emissions would cost you, if it was represented purely in terms of your gas consumption.

Costs of Increasing / Reducing Natural Gas Carbon Footprint

Tonnes / emissions Price / tonne Annual cost
1.5 tonnes £212 £318
3 tonnes £212 £636
4.5 tonnes £212 £954
7 tonnes £212 £1,484
10 tonnes £212 £2,120
20 tonnes £212 £4,240
50 tonnes £212 £10,600
 *figures do not include climate change levy

The above scenarios highlight that carbon footprints bring a hefty price tag, and that a smaller carbon footprint is a cheaper one. But, this isn’t the only benefit of reduced emissions. 

By also marketing your reduction in carbon emissions, you’ll show consumers that you’ve listened to their sustainable demands, which can help capture new customers and increase sales. 

For business, there’s money to be made and saved through a smaller carbon footprint!

 All figures needed to calculate the cost of natural gas GHG emissions are highlighted below

Natural gas is sold by the kilowatt hour (kWh).

  • 1 kWh = 1,000 watts of power consumed in one hour
    • A 100 watt light bulb uses 100 watts of energy per hour, or 0.1 kWh
    • Ten 100 watt light bulbs collectively use 1000 watts of energy per hour, or 1 kWh


Natural gas Carbon emissions / kWh
(kgCO2e / kWh)
kWh / kg gas
(kWh / kgCH4)
methane, CH4 0.180 kgCO2e 15kWh
*Accurate as of Q1 2021
GOV UK GHG emissions per kWh energy use
GOV UK average gas and electricity prices in the non-domestic sector

Natural gas carbon footprint
(methane, CH4)
Gas consumption
Price / kWh gas Carbon emissions / kWh gas Gas Bill
(£212 x tonnes of emissions)
4.5 tonnes
UK SME average
25,000 kWh
UK SME average
£0.0382 0.180kg £955
*figures do not include climate change levy 
GOV UK GHG emissions per kWh energy use


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