Energy & emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from English and Welsh water companies

Water companies need to use a lot of energy to treat water, help it travel to and from your home and then treat it before returning it to our rivers. Water companies strive to minimise the amount of greenhouse gases produced and reduce the impact on climate change.

3,814 kilotons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year
Equivalent to
635,632
average annual car emissions

Source: Water UK; England and Wales, Apr 2015 - Mar 2016

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Why might greenhouse gas emissions vary?

The amount of energy needed to treat water and sewage varies for many reasons. This includes the level of treatment needed for the water, the geography of the area – how flat or hilly an area is will affect how much energy is needed to pump water – and how much water customers are using. 

Greenhouse gas emissions also vary depending on how much energy companies generate themselves, as well as variations in the carbon dioxide released in the production of the electricity that they buy from the grid. These emissions are also affected by the way companies process water, sewage and sludge.

Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated water

This graph shows greenhouse gas emissions created by the generation of power used to treat and supply water in the latest year. As companies of different sizes have different levels of emissions, the amount of emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent for each company has been divided by the volume of water treated in millions of litres.

There are other things that might make the level of emissions vary between companies, like the level of treatment needed, whether areas are flat or hilly, how much energy companies generate themselves and how the energy they buy is produced.

Including all these factors would make the graph very complicated so, to keep it simple, for this graph emissions have been divided just by the volume of water treated. Industry averages aren’t shown, as to calculate an industry average properly more things would need to be included.

To find out more about each company’s carbon emissions, click the button below the graph.

      Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated water

      Source: Water UK, taken from water company annual reports

      Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated sewage

      This graph shows greenhouse gas emissions created by the generation of power used to treat sewage in the latest year. As companies of different sizes have different levels of emissions, the amount of emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent for each company has been divided by the volume of sewage treated in millions of litres.

      There are other things that might make the level of emissions vary between companies, like the level of treatment needed, whether areas are flat or hilly, how much energy companies generate themselves and how the energy they buy is produced.

      Including all these factors would make the graph very complicated so, to keep it simple, for this graph emissions have been divided just by the volume of sewage treated. Industry averages aren’t shown as to calculate an industry average properly more things would need to be included.

      To find out more about each company’s carbon emissions, click the button below the graph.

          Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated sewage

          Source: Water UK, taken from water company annual reports

          Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated water

          This graph shows greenhouse gas emissions created by the generation of power used to treat and supply water in the last three years. As companies of different sizes have different levels of emissions, the amount of emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent for each company has been divided by the volume of water treated in millions of litres.

          There are other things that might make the level of emissions vary between companies, like the level of treatment needed, whether areas are flat or hilly, how much energy companies generate themselves and how the energy they buy is produced.

          Including all these factors would make the graph very complicated so, to keep it simple, for this graph emissions have been divided just by the volume of water treated. Industry averages aren’t shown, as to calculate an industry average properly more things would need to be included.

          To find out more about each company’s carbon emissions, click the button below the graph.

              Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated water

              Source: Water UK, taken from water company annual reports

              Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated sewage

              This graph shows greenhouse gas emissions created by the generation of power used to treat sewage in the last three years. As companies of different sizes have different levels of emissions, the amount of emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent for each company has been divided by the volume of sewage treated in millions of litres.

              There are other things that might make the level of emissions vary between companies, like the level of treatment needed, whether areas are flat or hilly, how much energy companies generate themselves and how the energy they buy is produced.

              Including all these factors would make the graph very complicated so, to keep it simple, for this graph emissions have been divided just by the volume of sewage treated. Industry averages aren’t shown as to calculate an industry average properly more things would need to be included.

              To find out more about each company’s carbon emissions, click the button below the graph.

                  Operational greenhouse gas emissions (KgCO2e) per megalitre of treated sewage

                  Source: Water UK, taken from water company annual reports

                  Conserving water

                  You can help water companies use less energy by saving water so they don't have to treat and pump so much around. Take a look at how you can save water.

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