In the run up to the Greater Manchester Green Summit, we’re previewing what to expect on the day and hearing from our partners.
In this blog, Green Summit headline sponsor British Gas details insights from its Net Zero Index, alongside exploring the ways it is helping people decarbonise their homes.
Click here to register for a free place at the event to hear from them and others taking action for the environment in Greater Manchester.
British Gas: helping the people of Manchester cut carbon and costs
We have been heating Britain’s homes and businesses for over 200 years, and during this time we have seen a lot of change. Today our purpose is to support every customer to live more sustainably, and we’ve set two very clear climate goals:
- To be a net zero business be 2045
- To help our customers be net zero by 2050
As a business, we’ve moved away from carbon intensive assets, we now emit 70% less carbon than we did a decade ago and we are focussed on driving down emissions across our remaining assets, property, and travel.
However, 90% of our total greenhouse gas emissions come from our customers – so helping them to use energy more sustainably is the biggest thing we can do to fight climate change. Therefore, last year we launched British Gas Zero, to help us supercharge the journey to net zero. Its sole mission is to support customers with their journey to net zero by helping them to adopt key technologies.
British Gas Net Zero Index
Our mission isn’t something we’re imposing on our customers – we know that the majority agree that this is the right thing to do. In 2022, we published our first Net Zero Homes Index, which explores the most pressing climate change issues for families. Our research polled over 4,000 people to understand how they feel about sustainable choices in the lead up to the net zero target, particularly considering these difficult economic times. We’ll continue to publish an annual Net Zero Homes Index to help measure changing attitudes over time.
Attitudes to net zero in the North West
Here’s a snapshot of findings among people surveyed in the region:
- 73% strongly support government’s 2050 net zero target
- 48% believe that making people’s homes more sustainable (eg installing more insulation) should be prioritised by the government
- 48% of homeowners are willing to install improved insulation in the next two years
- 42% of homeowners would be willing to install solar panels.
But despite all the positive sentiment towards net zero, 72% believe that the cost of living is the number one issue facing the country today – which means affording these measures is a challenge.
“We recognise that many households are being cautious with their spending currently, but we also want to make sure the right products are there for those who can make these changes,” says Kim Royds, Regional Development Director. “And we want to do all we can to make greener home solutions more affordable and accessible for everyone, so that no one is left behind.”
We’re committed to helping GMCA deliver on their 2038 net zero targets. Here are just some of the ways that we are educating, supporting and encouraging the people of Greater Manchester to start their journey to decarbonising their homes.
Our Warm Home Promise for heat pump customers
Adopting new technology can be a difficult decision, so we wanted to bring something to market to reassure those who may be hesitant about making the switch to a heat pump. We know that a key barrier to uptake is the concern that a heat pump might not keep homes warm as effectively as a traditional gas boiler.
So we’re addressing this with our Warm Home Promise:
Efficient heating – or your money back
British Gas will only install a heat pump if we think it can heat a home effectively on the coldest days. If it doesn’t heat the home to the agreed temperature, we’ll give the customer a full refund.
And if we don’t think a heat pump is suitable for a customer’s home, we’ll say so – and suggest a different carbon-saving option instead.
Before the first winter following a heat pump installation, a local British Gas engineer will provide a free service to make sure the heat pump is in top working order. And after that, we’re here to help if there are any problems with any heat pumps we install, as long as it’s serviced annually.
Low-cost installation with a price-match guarantee
Our prices start from £2,999 for heat pump and installation, and we’ll match any lower price a customer finds for a MCS credited installation.
For those needing to replace a gas boiler, British Gas has plenty of expert engineers available within Greater Manchester to do everything needed for a heat pump – from the initial survey to confirm a property’s suitability to installation and a follow-up service.
On installation day, our expert engineer will explain everything and give the customer a detailed demonstration how to operate their heat pump in the best way possible – and check in a few days later to make sure everything is running smoothly.
A British Gas heat pump customer shares their experience
Home Health Check – a personalised plan to boost energy efficiency
The most comprehensive energy efficiency assessment on the market, our new British Gas Home Health Check is a 60-minute in-home consultation that gives customers a personalised action plan to help them decarbonise their home and reduce their energy bills.
The full report shares the findings of a thorough investigation of the whole property, including thermal imagery of radiators to show their efficiency and where heat escapes. Recommendations include both smaller lifestyle changes – such as bleeding radiators or flushing systems – and larger changes like installing a heat pump or investing in insulation.
We have some of the best experts in the business, and we’ll advise people how to access the local Government support and grants available to them too. And when it comes to energy-saving tips, smart technology and greener options – no one knows Britain’s homes like our local energy-saving engineers.
Cleaner, greener driving with Hive EV Charging
Hive EV Charging puts the customer in control. We’ve partnered with EO to build our new and improved Hive electric vehicle charger, which is one of the smallest on the market and is backed by a three-year warranty.
Not only that, when customers with the new charger choose us as their electricity supplier, they can also benefit from our new SmartCharge service. All they need to do is plug in, input when they need their car charged by and leave the rest to us – we’ll schedule charging for when the grid is quietest. This means customers charge at off-peak times – and are rewarded for charging in a cheaper and greener way. In trials, EV customers saved around 20% on their electricity bills with SmartCharge, whilst helping to balance demand on the grid.
Investing in the skills needed to get us to 2038
To deliver the 2038 target we need to have the right people with the right skills in the right roles. That’s why British Gas worked in collaboration with partners from the Future Energy Skills programme and the GMCA to deliver the Skills for a Jobs Transition report in July 2022.
We know we need to train more apprentices with more practical skills to reach the net zero targets. That’s why we’re recruiting a new apprentice every day until 2030 – and we want 50% of them to be women. As well as award-winning training, we offer a salary from day one, so apprentices earn while they learn. And our apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers – in fact, 40% of our new apprentice recruits are aged over 30 – so provide opportunities for everyone in the North West who’d like to train up in the skills needed for net zero.
If you want to hear more on our plans to do more across Greater Manchester, please speak to Kim Royds and the team at the Green Summit about how to get involved or get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.