Facilitating Net Zero

The UK is the first major economy in the world to pledge ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050. Hitting the target will mean ending our contribution to global warming. We are determined to actively facilitate the revolution.

As an electricity network operator, we are at the heart of enabling Net Zero because of our crucial role both connecting renewable energy and facilitating the uptake of new low carbon technology. More and more major industries are switching from fossil fuels to electricity. We’re actively working with industry and policymakers to facilitate the change. We’re also focused on Net Zero because our 20 million customers in London, the South East and East of England rightly expect us to lead the way in reaching a greener future for all.


What is ‘Net Zero’

In July 2019, the UK became the world’s first major economy to make a legal commitment to reaching ‘Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The goal aims for the amount of carbon we emit to be reduced to almost zero. Any remaining emissions will be offset by removing carbon from the atmosphere. To reach the target, the UK needs to quickly ‘decarbonise’ lots of parts of everyday life including transport, heating, electricity generation, manufacturing, heavy industries and agriculture. It is a significant challenge but we’re determined to lead the way in our industry.

Transport
28%
Energy Supply
23%
Business
18%
Residential
15%
Agriculture
10%
Waste Management
5%
Others
2%
2%
Others
Some of the other sources of emissions include public uses, some industrial processes and land use.
5%
Waste Management
Waste management includes all the activities and actions required to manage and dispose of our waste products.
10%
Agriculture
Agriculture includes all machinery and animal livestock in the UK that produce emissions. Cows, for example, produce the greenhouse gas methane when they burp.
15%
Residential
Residential includes emissions from all the homes in the UK. A big proportion of these emissions are from heat as the vast majority of homes use either natural gas or fossil fuels for heating and cooking.
18%
Business
Business produces carbon emissions through manufacturing and operations. This includes emissions from factories and production. Emissions from business includes heat-related emissions as businesses use heat to keep employees warm and for manufacturing.
23%
Energy Supply
Fossil fuels like gas are burned to produce electricity. This proportion is quickly declining as more renewables come online. The energy supply sector accounts for about half of all the reductions in the UK since 2019.
28%
Transport
Transport is one of the largest emitters. This includes all cars, vans, trucks, trains, buses and aircraft.
Select a segment to find out more about carbon emissions in the UK
Source: Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Office for National Statistics, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2018 (latest figures)

Where we are making a difference

Renewable Energy

Producing electricity is a major source of emissions, but in the last ten years we’ve been on an incredible journey to connect unprecedented volumes of renewable energy like solar and wind. By 2030, we forecast 80% of homes on our network will be powered by renewables.

Electric Vehicles

Transport accounts for 28% of total emissions. Electric vehicles produce no carbon emissions from their exhausts and the electricity used to power them can be supplied by renewables. As an electricity network, our role is to make sure we’re ready for an unprecedented large-scale shift to electric transport.

Heat Decarbonisation

We have an established role in enabling renewable energy and electric vehicles. Decarbonising heat is our newest area of focus. It is a major challenge because of its complexity and because the UK’s future policy direction is still under development. We were the first UK network operator to release a standalone Heat Strategy in March 2020.

Why Net Zero matters to our team

Forecasting The Future

Data, forecasting and planning is at the heart of facilitating Net Zero. At the end of 2019 we launched our Distribution Future Energy Scenarios (DFES), for which we created bespoke forecasts for approximately 11,000 geographic areas.