At Northern Energy, we are keenly aware of the impact that people and businesses can potentially have on the environment. As a result, we take our responsibility to the planet extremely seriously, and a major part of our effort in this regard is based on a practice known as carbon offsetting. To find out more about how carbon offsetting works, and why we believe it to be so very important, read on.
How does it work?
The basic concept that underpins carbon offsetting is the knowledge that it is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, to live a life that is completely free of carbon emissions.
Every individual, and every business, will generate their own carbon footprint - a term coined to describe the amount of carbon that their activities will inevitably produce. The idea of reducing these carbon footprints to zero has long been seen as the goal for all environmental action, and can be viewed as a hugely worthy long-term aim - but it is simply not a feasible achievement given the way the modern world currently works.
Rather than waiting for progress to catch up with a zero-carbon footprint world, carbon offsetting is a practice designed to take action that can be applied in the present day. The goal is to “offset” carbon footprints in the short and medium-term by taking actions that will reduce the overall carbon in the atmosphere. While not necessarily a perfect solution, carbon offsetting can be seen as a contributory factor to a global effort to improve the health of the environment for all, and one that can help with our efforts towards carbon neutrality.
In terms of achieving the goal of offsetting carbon emissions, there are multiple options available to individuals and businesses alike. Over the past few years, carbon offsetting ideas have taken shape across the globe: from planting trees to help bolster oxygen in the atmosphere, to personal decisions such as cycling rather than driving or reducing energy use in domestic homes, carbon offsetting measures are now beginning to become mainstream. For Northern Energy, the latter focus - that of reducing energy needs, or seeking more environmentally-friendly options - is of particular importance, especially with regard to our areas of specialisation: heating oil and LPG carbon offsetting.
Home heating oil carbon emission facts:
When it comes to the home heating methods that are currently available, heating oil is far from the worst offender, though does not quite reach the status of the best option either. In comparison with coal, for example, heating oil performs extremely well: to heat a typical home for a year with coal will result in eight tonnes of carbon being generated, but six tonnes with heating oil. Nevertheless, heating oil isn't as clean - environmentally speaking - as natural gas, which will produce 4.5 tonnes of carbon over the course of a year for a standard home.
Mains gas is not always an option in rural homes, however, which means that for the most part, home heating customers have a choice between two forms of fuel that are both far cleaner than coal: oil-fired heating and liquid petroleum gas.
LPG’s contribution to CO2 emissions:
Liquid petroleum Gas, or LPG as it is better known, is an increasingly popular option for domestic and commercial customers; it’s highly versatile and burns more cleanly than oil, which means that there is less maintenance required for boilers that run on it. It’s also environmentally more beneficial than oil. LPG produces just over five tonnes of CO2 when used to heat a home, making it demonstrably greener than heating oil in the figures we have examined - and still vastly preferable to coal.
Certified carbon offsets:
As we have seen, heating oil and LPG are already sound choices, but we at Northern Energy have taken our efforts one step further. All of the above fuels’ impact on the environment can be further reduced with the use of certified carbon offsets. Under the Kyoto Protocol, there are three methods of carbon offsetting that can be used:
- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
- Joint Implementation (JI)
- European Union Allowances (EUA)
Companies are able to qualify for the above certifications by using approved carbon-offsetting measures. Via our partner, Northern Energy offers carbon offsetting to customers who qualify as part of a package in order to make our offering as environmentally friendly as possible.
Customers on the relevant packages can rest assured that when they buy heating oil or LPG from us, they have the reassurance of knowing that their chosen fuel is already carbon neutral, without paying a penny more for it. We even offset the fuel that we use in our delivery vehicles, underlining our commitment to carbon neutrality. The ability to carbon offset your fuel, combined with measures such as increasing loft insulation, ensures your property will benefit from a relatively low carbon footprint.
Rest assured, our plans for the future are more ambitious still. We continue to work on the exciting future that is offered by options such as BioLPG - an entirely renewable and sustainable fuel that will help more customers shrink their carbon footprint by reducing emissions still further. Using this revolutionary fuel can reduce your emissions by up to 80% - so keep an eye on Northern Energy for more news on this exciting development.