Many of us say that we would like to use more green energy, but in practice many of us do not use a renewable home energy supplier. Why is this and how can you switch easily to green energy that's truely renewable?
Let’s start with what we mean by green or renewable energy. This is essentially energy that’s sourced from renewables such as sunlight, wind, water, plants and geothermal heat as opposed to energy generated from fossil fuels. And we know that it is very effective. Renewable UK quote that a single 2.5MW wind turbine can generate enough electricity for the grid to power 1400 homes in the UK or, to really bring it home, to make 230,000 cups of tea!
Many people do this for a variety of reasons. Many people want to end their reliance on fossil fuels, reduce their carbon footprint and simply be kinder to the environment.
How does the National Grid come into this? One key fact to point out when you are considering going greener is that all electricity is supplied by the National Grid, regardless of how that electricity came to be made. So as a consumer it can be hard to really verify exactly how green your energy really is.
You will find that some energy companies source all or some of their energy from renewable sources or some suppliers use ‘normal’ energy but then invest heavily in the renewable market. Some suppliers also for example plant trees or invest their profits into solar energy. So when shopping around do look clearly at what your preferred supplier means by being green.
It appears that many of us think that renewable will not be efficient and it will also be more expensive. The truth is that whilst renewable energy may not be the cheapest it is also not the most expensive.
One company involved in this industry, Bulb.co.uk, say that for every unit of electricity you use they will produce and place a unit of renewable energy on the grid from wind, hydro and solar.
The key point here is that as public interest rises and it is estimated that 81% of UK residents approve and support the use of renewable energy (Department of energy and climate change) then these specialist suppliers will look at their tariffs to make themselves more attractive.
One concern from many is that if demand for renewable increases we will simply run out. But that is disputed from those companies involved in home renewable energy. The view is that as demand grows then so will the supply chain. A simple supply and demand equation will follow suit.
It is still shocking to note that still only a small percentage of people switch their energy supplier each year. To help encourage this companies like Bulb are trying to make this easier. So they are looking at customer service and ensuring that they continue to score well on sites like Trust pilot.
To help those switch Bulb also say that all you have to do is send them a picture of a recent bill. From this they will do the rest for you. Another initiative from Bulb is to provide customers with bills that they can really understand. With this in mind they are also looking at introducing smart meters to help customers really understand their usage in more details.
In all cases we would advise that you consult a comparison website. On these you can search for green credentials and in most cases all you need to do is to decide who you want to change to and then your new supplier will do most of the work for you. All you need to have in front of you is your postcode and a recent energy bill. Knowing your energy usage can also be helpful when on comparison websites.
Once you have switched to a more green energy provider you will have gone a long way to helping the environment. You may also want to consider paperless billing. But there are other things you can do around the home to be more energy efficient.
Some tips here include only filling a kettle with exactly the amount of water you want, using kettles to boil water and not cold water in a pan, only putting the dishwasher on when it is completely full and washing laundry on 30 degrees rather than 40.
Many people fear this the most and it stops them switching. Let’s be clear when you switch your energy will not be cut off, the same pipes and wires are used. Your new supplier should kick in in a few weeks, you then usually have 14 days to change your mind.