Each household converting from oil to natural gas emits less carbon dioxide and natural gas is already reducing emissions in the local area by more than 31,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Councillors heard that if all the local properties that currently have access to the firmus network were to convert to natural gas the additional savings would equate to more than 41,000 tonnes, giving an estimated total reduction of just under 74,000 tonnes per year.
firmus energy has already invested £24.13m building its local natural gas network in the council area, including in Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady with an estimated £3.01m estimated investment in 2021. The company currently supplies 7,860 customers in the local area and recent investment means an additional 16,548 homes and businesses are now able to upgrade from oil to natural gas.
Council members also heard that carbon savings will grow significantly when renewable gases such as biomethane and hydrogen are injected into the network.
Managing Director of firmus energy, Michael Scott said it is vital that we realise the full potential of the natural gas network,
“First and foremost, we need to maximise the number of properties converting from oil to natural gas. By the end of 2022 an estimated 550,000 properties in Northern Ireland will have access to the network and 320,000 of those will be connected. Connecting the remaining 230,000 will deliver a further 1.7million tonnes in carbon savings each year.
“By introducing biomethane from Anaerobic Digestion into the existing network to displace natural gas we can simultaneously improve the environmental credentials of the gas we use and improve the sustainability of local agriculture. Using renewable hydrogen instead of natural gas would remove carbon from the network entirely.
“Significant carbon savings can also be realised in transport by transitioning away from heavy diesel oil to compressed natural gas. CNG can be used by a wide range of commercial vehicles which aren’t best suited to electrification such as HGVs, lorries and buses and connecting CNG refueling stations to the existing network will help optimize use of the network further.”
firmus energy started constructing its 1,800km ‘Ten Towns’ network in 2005 and it now reaches 35 cities, towns and villages in Northern Ireland stretching from Warrenpoint to its head office in Antrim and on to Derry/Londonderry.
To find out if you can get connected call 0330 024 9000 or visit www.firmusenergy.co.uk
firmus energy is a natural gas distribution and supply company, based in Antrim. Since 2006, firmus energy has connected over 50,000 customers in its network area (outside greater Belfast) and supplies natural gas to over 100,000 across Northern Ireland.
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1Switching from an old inefficient oil heating system to a new fully controlled natural gas heating system reduces carbon emissions.