Does Energy Switching Make a Difference to Climate Change? by Titania Krimpas
Often when chatting to people about Climate Change a feeling of hopelessness or ‘What Can I do to make a difference?’ descends. A light bulb pinged in my brain when I was on a Climate Action Lewisham Zoom meeting about ethical consumption before Christmas. I learnt that one of the single most impactful steps we can take as individuals and families is to switch energy to a clean/green energy company.
It still took me a while to ‘get round to’ switching. I think it’s human nature to leave things that don’t ‘have to’ be done to the bottom of the list – but actually, by not switching energy you could end up paying more than you need to – in terms of cost to the planet, and simple, financial cost.
After a bit of advice and reading suggestions on the Climate Action Lewisham and Ethical Consumer websites I ended up switching to Good Energy. I was delighted that my direct debit for gas and electricity is only £1 per month more than it was (I was already on a low tariff). The process has been smooth and I’m delighted to be able to contribute to reducing C02 emissions in such a simple, direct way. A Good Energy customer, for example, saves 745kg of C02 annually – which is greater than the total C02 emitted from taking return flights to Madrid, Frankfurt and Amsterdam combined.
The things to look out for when you are aiming to switch are: What percentage of renewable energy the company you are considering supplies, and whether they are responsible for building new sources of green energy. The two companies currently suggested by The Ethical Consumer, based on these two principles are: Good Energy and Ecotricity. Other recommended companies for cleaner energy are: Green Energy UK, Bristol Energy, Bulb Energy and Pure Planet.
The two things to avoid when switching are companies (such as EDF and British Gas) who are currently still investing in fracking, and those that rely on coal and nuclear for the majority of their energy. This may change over coming months so checking up to date information is important.
The good news is that when you switch there is no disruption to supply, no visits from engineers, and no involved paperwork. All you need is a fresh meter reading, a bank account and to fill in some personal details on line. The even better news is that many people worldwide are switching and that wind and solar make up half of all the investment in new electricity generation capacity. Currently renewables generate nearly a quarter of global electricity, and this is rising. And Britain is a world leader in offshore wind energy.
So, energy switching is easy and it is something you can do that really makes a difference to your carbon footprint. If you like what you’ve read I suggest you seize the moment and switch today. Many people end up saving when they switch supplier; especially if they’ve been with one of the larger suppliers for a long time. If you are struggling to pay your energy bills during lockdown SELCE (South East London Community Energy) have a scheme that may be able to help you. Call on 0808 169 1779. Email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Some websites to consult when considering switching are: www.ethicalconsumer.org – their Energy Section has an in-depth guide to 20 suppliers covering electricity, biogas, green tariffs, and renewable energy.
Titania Krimpas is a member of Climate Action Lewisham