Our 2019 target
In 2019 we set ourselves the ambitious goal of helping our members collectively reduce their impact by 6.6 million tonnes of CO2.
Unfortunately, we didn't quite make it. We slowed growth at the end of the year, to focus on service, and that meant we didn’t add as many members as we hoped.
Our 2020 target
We’re on a mission to lower bills and cut carbon emissions. We like to set a target each year to help our members collectively reduce their carbon impact.
We’d planned to set a target for 2020 earlier this year. But as we know, the year hasn’t quite gone to plan. Whilst Coronavirus hasn’t changed our priorities, it has changed our ability to set a target right now. So we’re holding off until we’re clearer about how the business will grow in 2020, and what impact that might have on our Net Zero commitment.
How we calculate our carbon impact
By being with Bulb, you significantly shrink your carbon footprint. The average member lowers their carbon impact by 3.5 tonnes of CO2 a year.
How homes on Bulb lower their carbon impact by 3.5 tonnes of CO2 a year
To calculate this, we compare the carbon emissions you have for your energy use with Bulb, compared to what they’d be if you were with a typical supplier. In 2018, the average Bulb home used 4,270 kWh of electricity and 12,669 kWh of gas. We use these figures to make the comparison.
With Bulb, annual CO2 emissions for the energy you use at home are zero. This is because we provide 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon neutral gas. So, homes with Bulb emit 0.00 kg of CO2 per kWh of electricity and 0.00 kg of CO2 per kWh of gas.
With an average supplier, annual CO2 emissions for the energy you use at home would be around 3.5 tonnes per year. The UK government report on the carbon emissions for homes on the average energy fuel mix. In 2018, these figures were 0.283 kg of CO2 per kWh of electricity and 0.184kg per kWh of gas. Over the course of a year, a home on the average UK fuel mix would emit 1.2 tonnes of CO2 from electricity usage and 2.3 tonnes of CO2 from gas usage.
How we help you make sense of this impact
3.5 tonnes of carbon is a lot. But it's hard to imagine. What does that much carbon look like? We like to put it in context to make things clearer. We might talk about 3.5 tonnes as a quarter of your total personal carbon emissions. Or we might compare this figure to something you’re more familiar with. For example, an Orca whale also weighs around 3.5 tonnes.
According to a study by the Forestry Commission, it would take 1,770 trees to absorb that much carbon in a year. Kielder Forest’s 150 million trees lock up 82,000 tonnes of carbon every year. Each tree is locking up roughly 0.546 kg of carbon per year – equivalent to 2 kg of CO2. So, if one tree locks up 2 kg of CO2 per year, you'd need 1,770 trees to absorb 3.4 tonnes of it.
We find that comparing your carbon impact to understandable things like animals and trees helps you to make sense of it. We’ll continue to explore new ways to do that.