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Ecotricity fires up green gas service

Green electricity provider Ecotricity has today announced it is to offer customers low carbon biogas for the first time, as it attempts to establish itself as the "real British Gas".

Mirroring its green electricity tariff through which the company provides customers with a mixture of green and brown energy while investing in building new wind farms, the company plans to provide customers with a mixture of natural gas and biogas made from decomposing organic waste such as food and storage, while investing in new biogas facilities.

The company said the proportion of green gas provided would increase as the number of customers signed up to the tariff increases and it invests in bringing more anaerobic digestion facilities online.

It added that UK food waste alone could produce enough biogas to supply 700,000 homes, but revealed that its long-term goal was to develop next-generation anaerobic digestion plants that use fast-growing algae as a feedstock that will then break down to release biogas.

"We're the real British Gas now," said Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. "We're kick-starting the market to move Britain from brown to green gas, turning people's gas bills into green gas mills, just as we've been doing with windmills for over a decade."

He added that there was a strong environmental and financial case for customers to switch to the company's new dual-fuel tariff. "By choosing green gas, customers can help unhook Britain from its addiction to foreign gas supplies, make a positive long-term change to the world we live in, and could also keep thousands of tonnes of waste out of landfill, which could even help keep council tax bills down," he said.

Ecotricity also committed to match British Gas on both its standard gas and dual-fuel price in each region to ensure that customers will not pay a premium for the new service.

The move is likely to significantly strengthen Ecotricity's position in the growing market for green energy. While the company's green tariff model has been widely praised, it has not previously been able to compete directly with dual tariff offerings from larger energy firms, a scenario that has forced Ecotricity customers to buy gas from separate suppliers.

However, the new tariff will allow business and domestic customers to switch more easily to Ecotricity and is likely to provide a boost in sales for the fast expanding company.

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