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How do we get our gas and electricity?

When you flip a light switch, you’re probably never surprised that a light comes on.


When you flip a light switch, you’re probably never surprised that a light comes on. And when you open your refrigerator, you probably expect all of your foods to be kept nice and cool. But where does the power come from to achieve such household feats? How do we get our gas and electricity?

The short answer is, from an energy provider. But the process of producing (or harvesting) power is much more involved. When you do a gas and electricity comparison, they can both be produced in ways that harm the environment. The gas you use in your home is likely pumped from a network of pipelines that links to various destinations across the nation. It is produced by burning substances like oil and coal, which can have a detrimental effect on the environment because of the release of carbon into the environment that this process requires. Though this method has been in practice for many generations, its effects are now starting to catch up with us, meaning that many energy providers are searching for more sustainable ways to power home appliances such as cook tops, ovens, and heaters.

Electricity is produced much in the same way. Most of it is generated through the means of coal, natural gas, or nuclear energy. However, in light of the initiative to reduce carbon emissions, the UK has also bolstered it renewable energy industries, supporting initiatives to develop more viable ways to produce electricity through wind power, hydro-electric power, and solar power.

Thinking of ways to produce energy in a renewable fashion could also mean lower bills for energy customers in the future. If you  compare gas and electric prices from several providers and are still not happy with what you find, this is good news for you.

Ultimately, the UK has around 2,000 power stations, one of which routes energy to your home through your metres. However, if you are just as concerned with where that energy comes from as where it ends up, exploring renewable sources could be the next step to take.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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