Our guide highlights the financial cost of creating carbon emissions from natural gas use, and how much money your business can save by reducing them.

Table of Contents

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 / tonneAnnual 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 gasCarbon 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
(kWh)
Price / kWh gasCarbon emissions / kWh gasGas Bill
(£212 x tonnes of emissions)
4.5 tonnes
UK SME average
25,000 kWh
UK SME average
£0.03820.180kg£955
*figures do not include climate change levy 
GOV UK GHG emissions per kWh energy use

Sources:

Further Resources:

Adam Bastock
Author: Adam Bastock

Still Have Questions?

We connect you with experts to get your question answered. Submit your email and we’ll reply with introductions and information.

Electric Vans for SMEs

On average, a business van in the UK drives just 35 miles. With existing electric models able to cover well over 100 miles on a single charge, could your next company van be an electric one?

What is Net Zero?

We provide small businesses owners with some definitions and guides on what Net Zero means for them, and how to achieve it.

The Benefits of Shopping Locally

In this article, we take a look at the economic and environmental benefits of shopping locally and how you can start supporting small businesses near you.

Sustainable Office Catering

Minimising the impact of our food habits, including catering, on the environment is essential in reducing our carbon footprint. In this article, we’ll go through some criteria to look out for when choosing an office caterer and give you some recommendations for the best sustainable caterers in the UK.