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How green is gas?


At first glance, gas isn't at all green. Both natural gas and LPG are fossil fuels; burning them adds to greenhouse gas emissions.

But how does gas stack up against its alternatives?

  • A heat pump may seem greener because it uses electricity and most of our electricity is generated from renewable hydro and wind sources. However, during winter those sources are supplemented from coal and gas-fired sources - so winter electricity is only semi-green
  • Wood is a renewable resource. But the big wood-burner problem is atmospheric pollution. Even the cleanest of modern wood-burners emit fine-particle in their smoke. Those particles can lodge in people's lungs and cause respiratory problems. And in this area we regularly exceed our air-quality standard.
  • Gas fires emit greenhouse gases but are otherwise nearly pollution-free. When natural gas is used instead of the more polluting energy sources, such as coal and oil, it helps improve air and water quality.

Energy efficiency comparison between electricity and gas

  • Because of losses at the power plant and in power lines, electricity is only 30% efficient once delivered to you.
  • In comparison, 90% of natural gas energy value is delivered directly to you and is one of the most environmentally friendly heating options today!
  • The experts say that in New Zealand we have enough gas to keep us going for at least 8 generations.