Hey folks! First blog of the new year and all of us here at POW UK would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a powder deep and shred-tastic 2020.
It is pretty clear that we need to fight harder than ever to #ProtectOurWintersUK in 2020 and beyond.
In the first of three new year’s resolutions blogs we are going to walk you through one of the easiest actions you can take to cut one tonne of carbon dioxide off your carbon footprint – and not just for this year but every year from now on.
There is no other change that will take as little time where you can make such a big impact. Five minutes, fill out a short form, or have a short conversation if you have any questions, and you will have taken a serious bit of action, which we will explain below.
Bonus, it is dead easy and it will probably save you money (and that’s not even the best bit!)
Why Change Electricity Providers?
Carbon dioxide (the main gas responsible for global warming) emissions are produced from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Coal, oil and gas are burnt to generate electricity – sounds totally archaic – burning stuff to produce electricity, it’s 2020 already!
In fact, one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide comes from fossil fuel power stations where most of us get our electricity.
There are other forms of electricity generation that are renewable, or ‘green’, that come from renewable sources (basically, they don’t run out and they don’t cause global warming) including wind, water and sun and they have little or no waste products.
How do I get Renewable or Green Electricity just by changing Electricity Provider?
All the electricity generated by fossil fuel and renewables ends up on the National Grid right? How do I know that I am getting electricity from a renewable source to my house.
You have to imagine that the National Grid is like a bucket of water (thanks to the guys and gals over at the Big Clean Switch for the metaphor).
When you sign up for 100% renewable electricity your provider promises to match the amount of water you take out of the bucket with the same amount of clean water put back in. The more clean water that goes into the bucket (and the less dirty water) the cleaner the water in the bucket gets.
It is the same with the National Grid. So even though you have no way of knowing where the electrons travelling to your home have come from you know that through supporting renewable electricity by changing your electricity provider that more and more of the electricity we use will come from renewable sources.
So if you take Ecotricity, for example, they use the money they make from selling electricity and put it back into building new sources of renewable electricity like wind turbines.
Good Energy are a little bit different. They have contracts with small renewable electricity providers, farmers with a bit of solar or people who have more electricity than they need from their own renewable sources. Good Energy give them a good price for their electricity and therefore encourage more small producers to get into the game.
They also have a high tech system of knowing how much electricity their customers need. That way if they do not have enough renewables coming from their own sources they buy extra renewables from other electricity providers so that you are always paying for only 100% renewable electricity – which is pretty cool.
What are the Benefits of Switching to Renewable or Green Electricity Providers?
- Most people save money when they make the switch with the Big Clean Switch. The average saving is £246 per year.
- As already stated you are likely to save around one tonne of carbon dioxide off your carbon footprint every year, depending how much you use. This is great news for the planet (and air quality with knock on effects for health).
- You will show your support for the renewable industry.
- You will send a signal to the government and energy suppliers that you support renewable electricity (aka that you do not support electricity that is generated from fossil fuels which increase global warming) and that you want then to increase the support that they give to the renewable electricity industry.
So you see, you are not just taking a personal action, you are sending a signal to the people with control of the system. This signal tells them that they need to take action too. That the system needs to change. The more people that send a signal like this the faster things change.
How do I Switch?
‘Thank you for making the process of switching so incredibly easy, fast and painless’Alex – Big Clean Energy Switch | POW Winter Alliance
Now it is time to get brass taxes. You will need five minutes, access to a computer and a phone, your postcode and an old bill if you have it.
Step 1: Go to Big Clean Switch
Step 2: Fill in the online form
Step 3: Pick your prefered supplier from those offered
Step 4: If you have any questions you can have a chat with someone at Big Clean Switch
Thanks for sticking with us. I hope we have made it easier to make this change. We are in the middle of a climate emergency and to make things better in the future we all need to take as many actions as we can to reduce our carbon footprints.
However, it is not just down to us as individuals, we all need to work together to send a signal to those in control that they system is broken and that it needs to change, and fast.
Our politicians and policy makers are the ones who are in a position to do this. We need to be on a footing that allows us to deal with the climate emergency as it happens while also preventing it from getting any worse.
#winterneedsus so please share this with your friends and family and lets see if we can get more people switching their electricity provider and send an even bigger signal up the line.
If you’re hyped for a green 2020 and can’t wait for our next blog, to see what other actions you can take in the meanwhile you can look at POW UK’s advice for changes you can make to limit your climate impact.