Energy sources – our fuel mix
Find out which energy sources we use to produce our gas and electricity – our fuel mix - and where the UK’s energy comes from.
Where your electricity comes from
The mix of fuels we use to generate the electricity supplied to customers - along with their environmental impact - is known as the Fuel Mix Disclosure and we publish it in October every year.
|British Gas average
|High-level radioactive waste
Fuel Mix of our Electricity tariffs
The table below shows the fuel mix if you are on a tariff with matched renewable electricity (including our green tariffs and Green Future tariffs). If you did not choose a tariff with matched renewable electricity, the fuel mix for 'Our other tariffs' applies to you.
|Our other tariffs
|High-level radioactive waste
The importance of renewables
The UK Government is committed to developing renewable technologies and growing renewable energy generation.
Suppliers already source 41% of their electricity from renewable sources. For the period between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023, that figure for British Gas was 54%.
We also report zero carbon emissions from the electricity we supply on any of our fixed tariffs. Take a look at our Fuel Mix table above to see how we measure up.
British Gas tariffs. Isn’t it time you switched?
If you’re looking for an energy supplier that’s committed to maximising renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, why not check out our tariffs?
Where does the UK’s energy come from?
The UK’s single largest source of natural gas comes via pipelines and interconnectors from the UK Continental Shelf and most imports come from reliable suppliers such as Norway.
You can find more information about the UK’s natural gas imports and exports here.
What is natural gas?
Natural gas is mostly methane – formed deep beneath the earth’s surface. It’s created by intense heat and pressure, over millions of years, acting on layers of decomposing plant and animal material.
How is natural gas extracted?
Natural gas is extracted from the earth by drilling wells. If the gas is below the seabed – like in the North Sea – a gas platform is built in the ocean.
What does refining do?
After being extracted, gas is piped to refineries on land. Then they purify the gas by separating the methane from propane and butane.
The gas is then stored in tanks before being pumped into the country’s distribution network, and entering your home through a meter.
Why does natural gas smell bad?
The truth is that natural gas has no scent at all. That ‘eggy’ odour is actually added to help us all smell gas leaks and stay safe.
What is liquefied natural gas?
Liquefied natural gas (often known as LNG) is created by cooling down gas to temperatures below -160°C so that it becomes a liquid.
It’s a bit like steam turning into liquid water as it cools. But the temperatures involved are many times lower for gas.
Liquids are easier to transport
Liquefied natural gas takes up six hundred times less space than natural gas. So it can be transported in large quantities by specialist temperature-controlled ships.
How electricity is generated by coal
Finely powdered coal is blown into the combustion chamber of a boiler where it’s burnt at a high temperature, producing hot gases and heat energy. These turn water into steam which then drives turbines.
Phasing out coal
The UK’s reliance on coal is reducing every year with only two coal-fired power stations connected to the UK grid.
By 2025 coal will be phased out completely as part of the country’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Where we get our coal
Just over half of the coal in the UK average electricity mix is mined in the UK. The rest is imported from countries like the USA and Venezuela.
How electricity is generated by gas
Gas is turned into electricity in specialist power stations through turbines which when burnt produces heat that turns water into steam to drive turbines that generate an electric current.
The future of gas
Gas is a fossil fuel and a finite, non-renewable source of energy. Whilst it’s a much cleaner energy source than coal, the process of burning gas still creates greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The UK’s reliance on gas power has reduced over the years as renewable energy becomes more readily available.
However, gas power remains an important part of the UK’s average electricity mix in the short term. Until more renewables are integrated into the system and with coal power plants in Britain set to close by 2025, gas power stations will be needed to ensure a secure supply of electricity.
How electricity is generated by nuclear energy
In nuclear power plants energy is produced by splitting uranium atoms – a process called fission. This releases large amounts of heat which produces steam and drives a turbine generator.
Why nuclear energy is green
Electricity from nuclear power is considered green because no fossil fuels are burnt and no greenhouse gases are released.
The UK has six nuclear power stations supplying 14% of the country’s average electricity. Half of this capacity is due to be decommissioned by 2025 due to age, but the government is planning to build more nuclear power plants in the coming years.
How the electricity gets to your door
Electricity is generated in a variety of ways such as burning coal or using gas and wind turbines. It’s fed directly into the National Grid, and then through the transmission and distribution network to your home. Our video tells you how energy gets into your home in less than a minute.
It isn’t possible to trace the electricity generated from a particular renewable source right through to each individual customer - it all gets mixed up in the grid. However, for some tariffs, suppliers will own or purchase certificates, such as Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) to show that the amount electricity used by customers on their tariffs has been sourced from renewable sources and fed into the National Grid.
Want to know more?
By investing in wind farms, solar and green gas, we’re helping customers reduce their home’s CO2 emissions.
Energy saving tips
Reduce your bill and your carbon footprint – try our energy saving tips.
Off-peak electricity explained
Using off-peak electricity could help discount your bills while making energy more sustainable.