Important information: Potential delay to your meter installation

Between 19 May and 6 June, it may take longer than usual to arrange the meter installation with your gas supplier. This is because of an Ofgem initiative to replace the IT systems used across the UK gas market. It involves all gas suppliers and will ultimately make it easier for you to switch supplier and/or get a smart meter. You can find more information about Project Nexus on Ofgem’s website.

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Cleaner and greener

We worked hard to reduce the day-to-day environmental impact of our operations in 2015/16, while also positioning gas as a clean and sustainable fuel for the future.

We were comfortably ahead of target for the volume of gas lost to the atmosphere through leaks – reducing the build-up of harmful greenhouse gases.

In 2014/15 we commissioned an outside specialist to carry out an environmental audit of our business. The audits were completed in 2015 and we’ve been busy implementing the recommendations where practical as part of our office and depot refurbishment programme, such as using LED lights in our buildings.

We connected a further eight biomethane sites to our network in 2015/16 (making it nine in total) allowing producers to earn money by injecting gas straight into the grid.

And we helped to shine the national spotlight on gas as a fuel for the future, through some eye-catching pilot projects.

Unfortunately, we used significantly more virgin aggregate to fill in holes in 2015/16 than the previous year, and the amount of spoil sent to landfill was behind target too. We’ll continue to reduce waste by digging fewer and smaller holes, and by working with our contractors to make work sites even greener.

Outputs – a detailed look

This table takes a detailed look at our environmental performance in 2015/16. Simply click the plus arrow to read a brief commentary on what the statistic means, and how we did.

Output Target 2013/2014 Performance 2014/2015 Performance 2015/2016 Performance Status
Gas shrinkage
Shrinkage baseline (GWh) 445 421 (Baseline = 459) 397 (Baseline = 445) 382 (Baseline = 433) Ahead

Shrinkage is the industry term for gas lost through leaks on our pipes, plus gas lost through theft, and gas used by us for operational purposes. We outperformed our 2015/16 target, by continuing to replace old, leak prone pipes and by effectively managing the pressure of gas passing through the network, to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the pipes.

Leakage baseline (GWh) 420 399 (Baseline = 434) 375 (Baseline = 420) 360 (Baseline = 408 Ahead

The total volume of gas lost through leaks on the pipe network. This figure is a major contributor to the overall ‘shrinkage’ total (see previous statistic). We outperformed our 2015/16 leakage target, by continuing to replace old, leak prone pipes and by effectively managing the pressure of gas passing through the network, to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the pipes.

Business carbon footprint None 8,722 9,244 8,476

Although no specific business carbon footprint target has been set by Ofgem, all gas distributors are expected to make steady progress. 2015/16 saw us undertake a comprehensive energy audits to find out where savings could be made across the business; drive down leaks and launch a number of trial projects to explore the potential of clean, sustainable forms of gas.

Other emissions and natural resource use
Number of sites where statutory remediation has been carried out None 0 0 3

In 2014, we began the process of reviewing our sites, to identify any potential issues with land contamination. During 2015/16 we continued this programme, completing surveys and monitoring on 54 sites, and targeted remediation projects on three sites to bring them up to a compliant standard.

Use of virgin aggregate None 37,862 tonnes 29,426 tonnes 33,520 tonnes Behind

We used significantly more virgin aggregate to fill in holes in 2015/16 than the previous year. This is an area we continue to struggle with, largely due to the limited supply of recycled aggregate in the Yorkshire area which is certified for use for reinstatement of excavations within roads and pavements. We’ll continue to reduce the amount of aggregate needed by digging fewer and smaller holes, and by working with our contractors to make work sites even greener.

Amount of spoil to landfill None 61,555 tonnes 18,565 tonnes 17,311 tonnes Behind

Reducing the volume of spoil to landfill has proved challenging, partly due to high clay content in the spoil created across our network, which some recycling centres are unable or unwilling to accept, and also the limited number of recycling centres in the more rural parts of our network. We reduced the amount of spoil sent to landfill, but failed to hit our annual target. No excuses though. We’ll continue to reduce waste by digging fewer and smaller holes, and by working with our contractors to make work sites even greener.

ISO 14001 major non conformities None 0 0 0

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard related to environmental management. It helps companies minimise any adverse environmental impact and comply with relevant laws and regulations. NGN has held the standard since 1999 and we had an excellent recertification assessment in 2015.

Biomethane
Total capacity of biomethane connected (MW) No target 0 13 722,700

NGN are big supporters of biomethane production– a clean, sustainable gas formed by the breakdown of organic material, to produce biogas which is then enriched with propane to produce biomethane. Our role is to help biomethane producers connect to our network so they can get their product into our network, and into customers’ homes. In 2015/16, we connected a further eight biomethane plants to our network – making nine in total.

Total capacity of biomethane enquiries/applications in progress (MW) No target 130 326 2,639,300

Over the past year we have seen a further increase in the number of enquiries received from biomethane producers (45 in total) who had intentions to connect to our network.
Interest has increased due to growing general awareness of this fuel of the future, government financial incentives, and our own efforts.

Information provision and connection charging for distributed gas No target Met Met Met

Getting a biomethane plant connected to the gas network is a complex and demanding process, so provision of clear and timely information about NGN’s and industry standard technical requirements and costing is extremely important.
We have a dedicated team providing this service, along with a dedicated website, an introductory brochure and a detailed technical manual available to all producers.

Voluntary standards of service: 15 day response to initial enquiry under 7bar 100% 100% 98% 87% Behind

Provision of clear, timely information about the technical requirements of connecting to our network, and associated costing, allows prospective bio-methane producers to decide if there project is viable. Our dedicated bio-methane team handles all enquiries promptly.

Voluntary standard of service: 30 day response to capacity study under 7 bar 100% 100% 100% 100% On target

Provision of clear, timely information about the technical requirements of connecting to our network, and associated costing, allows prospective bio-methane producers to decide if their project is viable. Our dedicated biomethane team handles all enquiries promptly.

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The future

As well as continuing to upgrade leak-prone pipes we’ll be implementing a raft of green initiatives in 2015/16.  This includes continuing to increase our use of recycled aggregate and striving to lower our business carbon footprint by adapting some of our buildings to make them more energy efficient and reviewing our fleet as well as considering a move to low carbon vehicles powered by electricity and gas.