What is low-carbon energy?

Low-carbon energy is:

Energy that is generated using lower amounts of carbon emissions such as, wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power. These alternative methods of producing energy are better for the planet as they release less carbon into the atmosphere.

What does the term “low carbon” mean?

Low carbon simply means less carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide is a key greenhouse gas that drives global climate change. It is released through lots of different types of activities, such as; deforestation, burning fossil fuels and volcanic eruptions. Therefore by lowering the amount of CO2 we produce, we are being kinder to our planet.

We are already seeing the effects of climate change – with rising sea levels, melting ice and higher temperatures across the world. This will negatively affect our weather and environment, which will have a big impact on our way of living.  

What are different types of low-carbon energy?

There are four main types of low-carbon energy: wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power. 

The first three are renewable, which means these are good for the environment – as natural resources are used (such as wind or sun) to produce electricity. The best bit? Renewable energy never runs out – it’s an infinite resource. Unlike fossil fuels which we have a limited amount of on earth, so it will run out eventually.

However, wind doesn’t always blow all day and the sun can’t shine during the nighttime. Therefore, other sources such as nuclear power help out when we need more energy. There’s lots of us in the world, so powering all our homes takes a lot of energy!

What is low-carbon heating?

Would you like your home heating to have a lower carbon footprint? It's possible with an air source heat pump.

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the outside air or the ground around your home. It works a bit like your fridge – only in reverse. Air source heat pumps are better for the environment and they're low maintenance too. They also have a long service life so you won't have to worry all year round about heating your home.

What is a low-carbon lifestyle?

Living in a low-carbon way means not adding to or minimising the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere. One of the best ways to be low carbon is to be energy efficient, living a zero waste lifestyle ensures you keep your carbon footprint low. 

Energy efficient living

You can help the environment by using less energy in your home. You can do this by keeping an eye on your energy use with a smart meter, cutting down how much energy you use at home and buying things like energy-efficient bulbs. And a great perk is it will lower your bills too! Discover all our tips to reduce your energy use. 

Zero waste living

You can be kinder to the planet by always reusing where you can. This means not buying single-use items and not buying items like plastic bags or cups. Reuse in your home wherever you can, and keep an eye out on what you put in the bin. 

Three other ways you can be as waste-free as possible:

  • Reduce: only buy things you really need and donate what you can 
  • Recycle: always recycle what you can in your home, and buy second-hand (clothes or furniture)
  • Rot: create a compost system in your garden for food waste

Lowering your carbon footprint

We all have a carbon footprint – it’s a measure of how much carbon we put into the world. You can easily measure this and there’s many ways to reduce it too.

The main factors that contribute to a high footprint are travel, what we eat and energy use at home. See how many times a week you can make these swaps: 

  • Car/train for bike or walking,
  • Meat diet for vegetarian or vegan,
  • Takeout for cook at home.

And you can also look at lowering your energy use and changing to a low-carbon energy provider or tariff. Discover more ways to lower your footprint and what makes it higher or lower. 


Your low-carbon journey starts here:

Switch to a low-carbon tariff

EDF is the UK’s biggest producer of low-carbon energy – and all our tariffs allow you to power your home with low-carbon electricity. 

Upgrade your heating to an air source heat pump

You can reduce your home's carbon emissions and cut your costs too.

Consider solar panels for your home

Another way you can lower your carbon footprint is to use more renewable energy. Why not think about solar panels for your roof?

Discover more about wind power in the UK

We have many wind power stations across the UK. Why not discover a bit more about what we’re currently doing?