Which areas of the UK emit the most and least CO2?

We are in unprecedented times thanks to Covid-19. The virus has severely disrupted daily life, resulting in many of us staying at home to safeguard against the spread of the virus. This, in turn, can have an environmental impact (as well as financial impact on utility bills) due to the increased use of household lighting, heating and electricity in people’s homes. 

This has spurred SaveonEnergy.com to look at the areas in the UK where residential properties are emitting the most and least CO2, utilising data from OpenDataCommunities. SaveonEnergy analysed their database of over 18 million EPCs to establish the areas in the UK where residential properties are emitting the most and least CO2 into the air.

When do you need an EPC?

  • Whenever a property is sold, rented or built to tell interested parties about a property’s energy use, as well as the typical energy cost they can expect to pay

  • When a landlord is marketing their property to potential buyers/renters

Sdecoret / Shutterstock

Which areas in the UK are emitting the most and least CO2?

The areas emitting the most CO2 (in KG)

  1. London - 5,859,934,000

  2. Birmingham - 2,485,115,000

  3. Nottingham - 1,740,275,000

  4. Sheffield - 1,676,752,000

  5. Manchester - 1,604,642,000

  6. Newcastle upon Tyne - 1,598,318,000

  7. Peterborough - 1,391,130,000

  8. Leicester - 1,291,605,000

  9. Cardiff - 1,288,256,000

  10. Bristol - 1,190,221,000

SaveonEnergy found that residential properties in London emit nearly 6 billion kg of CO2 – making the capital the highest-ranking area in the UK.  

To put that into perspective, taking a return flight from London to Perth (Australia) creates 3,153 kg of CO2 per person – this means an individual would need to fly an astonishing 1,858,526 million times from London to Perth and back again to produce the same amount of CO2 emitted from all residential properties in the capital.  

Coming in second place is Birmingham, where residential properties emit over 2 billion kg – a shocking 3,374,819,000 kg less than London, highlighting just how serious the problem is in the capital.  

The areas emitting the least CO2 (in KG)

  1. Dumfries and Galloway - 2,644,000 

  2. Galashiels - 51,327,000

  3. Llandrindod Wells - 100,416,000

  4. Harrogate - 233,202,000

  5. Sutton – 245,438,000

  6. Telford - 281,178,000

  7. St Albans - 281,535,000

  8. Halifax - 289,787,000

  9. Hereford - 292,678,000

  10.  Salisbury - 316,073,000

SaveonEnergy discovered that residential properties in Dumfries and Galloway (Scotland) produce the least CO2 emissions in the UK, with the area emitting just under 3,000,000 kg. This is a staggering 5,857,290,000 kg less than London! 

To put that figure into perspective, streaming the most popular Netflix original movie of 2019 emits 0.83 kg of CO2 per view. This means that the CO2 emitted from residential properties in Dumfries and Galloway is equivalent to the CO2 emitted from the 3,185,542 views Birdbox has already received between October 2018 and September 2019. 

Residential homes in Galashiels (Scotland) produce over 51,000,000 kg of CO2 emissions, which is 48,683,000 kg more than fellow Scottish town of Dumfries and Galloway. In wales, residential properties in Llandrindod Wells generate more than 100 million kg in CO2 emissions. 

Peter Gudella / Shutterstock

A Regional Breakdown of Residential Properties CO2 emissions

Scotland Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Galashiels – 51,327,000 

  • Dumfries and Galloway – 2,644,000 

North East Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Newcastle upon Tyne – 1,598,318,000 billion

  • Cleveland – 902,045,000 

  • Darlington – 648,661,000

  • Durham – 455,310,000 

  • Sunderland – 415,519,000 

North West Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Manchester – 1,604,642,000 

  • Liverpool – 1,178,637,000 

  • Chester – 895,686,000

  • Blackburn – 847,223,000

  • Stockport – 823,007,000

  • Preston – 764,639,000

  • Warrington – 760,984,000

  • Oldham – 658,395,000

  • Carlisle – 562,605,000

  • Lancaster – 538,216,000

  • Blackpool – 526,217,000

  • Bolton – 501,668,000 

  • Crewe – 430,750,000

  • Wigan – 381,267,000

Yorkshire and the Humber Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Sheffield – 1,676,752,000

  • Leeds – 1,179,451,000

  • Doncaster – 1,087,112,000

  • Bradford – 1,062,111,000

  • York – 909,222,000

  • Wakefield – 625,344,000

  • Hull – 601,393,000

  • Huddersfield – 361,520,000

  • Halifax – 289,787,000

  • Harrogate – 233,202,000

West Midlands Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Birmingham – 2,485,115,000

  • Coventry – 1,138,395,000

  • Stoke-on-Trent – 829,452,000 

  • Shrewsbury – 606,631,000

  • Walsall – 530,678,000

  • Wolverhampton – 492,256,000

  • Dudley – 472,502,000

  • Worcester – 426,005,000

  • Hereford – 292,678,000

  • Telford – 281,178,000

East Midlands Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Nottingham – 1,740,275,000

  • Leicester – 1,291,605,000

  • Derby – 1,004,785,000

  • Northampton – 840,863,000

  • Lincoln – 470,745,000

Wales Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Cardiff – 1,288,256,000

  • Swansea – 1,172,861,000

  • Llandudno – 881,347,000

  • Llandrindod Wells – 100,416,000

South West Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Bristol – 1,190,221,000

  • Exeter – 895,262,000

  • Plymouth – 863,972,000

  • Gloucester – 857,495,000

  • Bournemouth – 745,462,000

  • Bath – 609,696,000

  • Swindon – 575,339,000

  • Truro – 521,521,000

  • Taunton – 515,646,000

  • Torquay – 467,582,000

  • Dorchester – 327,899,000

  • Salisbury – 316,073,000

South East Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Brighton – 1,102,768,000

  • Portsmouth – 1,044,770,000

  • Tonbridge – 1,013,097,000

  • Reading – 956,805,000 

  • Guildford – 940,881,000

  • Southampton – 789,639,000

  • Oxford – 786,355,000

  • Canterbury – 689,371,000

  • Rochester – 687,876,000

  • Redhill – 677,338,000

  • Milton Keynes – 614,765,000

  • Dartford – 466,289,000

East of England Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • Peterborough – 1,391,130,000

  • Norwich – 1,106,821,000

  • Ipswich – 8,88,018,000

  • Chelmsford – 809,518,000

  • Hemel Hempstead – 630,363,000

  • Southend-on-Sea – 595,059,000

  • Colchester – 593,670,000

  • Cambridge – 562,509,000

  • Stevenage – 479,765,000

  • Slough – 465,870,000

  • Luton – 377,907,000

  • St Albans – 281,535,000

London Breakdown (Residential properties CO2 emissions in KG)

  • South West London – 1,301,606,000

  • South East London – 1,119,909,000

  • North London – 963,112,000

  • East London – 963,080,000

  • West London – 765,316,000

  • North West London – 657,460,000

  • Central London – 89,451,000

Methodology 

Data taken from OpenDataCommunities database.

Not every city/town for each UK region is included – SaveonEnergy could only extract the information that was available from the OpenDataCommunities database.