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Where is your green energy from?

You put your keys in the door. Let yourself in. Switch on the lights, pop on the kettle. And, it all just… works. It’s pretty much like magic. Do you ever wonder how it all works? How did the electricity get there and where did it come from? At Bulb, we’re here to join the dots. In this blog, we look at where the energy we buy is generated, and how we get it to you.

How does energy get to you?

Energy is produced all across the country at various power generation plants, including non-renewable sites such as coal power stations and renewables ones like solar farms. The energy those plants produce is fed into the National Grid. The grid is responsible for transmitting energy up and down the country. Electricity travels through power cables. It starts at high voltage and passes through several transformers before reaching your home at a lower (less scary) voltage. Gas passes through an underground series of pipelines, also owned and run by the National Grid.

Take a look at our diagram which shows how energy is transmitted to you:

A diagram of the energy system in the UK

Where does Bulb fit in? Everyone’s energy comes from the National Grid, not directly from your supplier. The grid is like a big pot; suppliers like Bulb put energy into the pot and consumers like you take energy out of the pot. As a supplier, we purchase enough electricity to feed into the national grid to cover the amount our members take out.

Because our members have chosen to go green, we make sure that every unit of electricity supplied to our members is matched 100% with electricity generated from renewable sources. Green gas is a little more tricky, since almost all of the UK's gas is natural gas from the North Sea and other non-renewable sources. We currently get at least 10% of our gas from renewable sources. That's 100 times higher than the national average. We're really excited to be supporting the green gas industry in it’s infancy and continue to source new green gas generators.

So, while we don’t control the actual electrons and molecules of gas you use, we make sure your money purchases 100% renewable electricity and at least 10% green gas. Together, we’re greening up the grid!

Where is your energy from? So, where does the energy with your name on it come from? We purchase 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas from a number of independent, renewable generators from across the country. We’ve featured one of our electricity generators and one of our gas generators below.

Renewable electricity from Ardtornish Estate Hydro, Morvern

A picture of Ardtornish Estate Hydro in Scotland
Ardtornish Estate Hydro

It rains a lot in Morvern. 90 inches a year in fact. But rather than moan about it, this site has harnessed it to produce energy that doesn’t damage the environment. Not only does this awesome hydro site provide clean electricity, but the owners are focussed on strengthening fragile communities through local wealth generation and community funds.

Green Gas from Icknield Farm

A picture of Icknield Farm green gas site

Local landowners near Oxford have transformed 1.8 hectares of farmland into a gas-to-grid Anaerobic Digestion Plant. The plant turns local maize and wet pig slurry into biomethane gas, which is then injected into the gas grid at higher-than-average pressures. It looks prettier than it sounds.

You can read about our full generator community here.