A simple switch that keeps on making a difference
Another simple thing you can do to cut your carbon output is to switch your energy supplier to a green one, or at least switch to a green tariff.
This switch is basically saying you want your energy to be produced from a sustainable source, such as solar, wind or hydro, rather than the burning of fossil fuels.
If you’re on a green tariff this should mean that your supplier should ‘match’ your use by purchasing the energy through a sustainable source. Your supplier should let you know what proportion of your supply is from a renewable or sustainable source.
– for every unit of green energy that is generate the energy regulator (OFGEM) creates a certificate, which is there to prove the source of the unit, this is called a REGO.
However, it is possible for the energy to be sold without the accompanying REGO – If a company isn’t bothered about proving where the energy has come from, they can just buy the energy without the certificate, saving them some
The supplier can then sell the REGO without the energy to a different company, one who wants to make it appear that they have bought sustainable energy when in fact they have not. This quite frankly shady practice is a perfect example of (although I am beginning dislike this term) green washing, although OFGEM apparently see nothing wrong in it.
This article from Which is helpful in seeing at a glance how green your tariff is.
The difference between a green tariff and a green supplier, is that the green supplier does more than just make sure some of the energy is coming from a sustainable source, they’re also investing into greener and sustainable energy technologies, using your bills to make it easier to get sustainable energy and have it produced more efficiently.
The companies listed above all clearly state their intention to buy only sustainable energy or to offset that which is not (usually gas) The top three also make it clear that they invest in greener technology, with Ecotricity and Good Energy also making their own green energy. This can mean that your bills are more expensive though as those companies are investing directly into generating more renewable energy.
Any move you can make that supports sustainable energy can only be a good thing.
We have made great strides switching from fossil fuels over the last 10 years and we need to keep going,
The best thing you can do though as ever, is to save energy, no matter the source. A win win for the environment and your bills.