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How to switch to 100% renewable power. Right now.

Not that difficult. Not that expensive. But it’s absolutely critical.

· Renewable Energy,Climate Action,Behavioural Change

Updated 09 January 2017 for the Sustainable 2017 Challenge.

UK-based, want to fight climate change, but feeling helpless?

Switch to 100% renewable power.

Thought about offsetting your impact, but overwhelmed by the complexity and jargon of the carbon offset world?
Switch to 100% renewable power.

Seeking to lead a more sustainable life, but need some quick wins to boost your confidence?
Switch to 100% renewable power.

Green, climate-friendly electricity is available to UK consumers today. Yet far too many are unaware that this option exists and that you could take positive action today!

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY '100% RENEWABLE POWER'?

Over half of UK electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels. Over 80% comes from either fossil fuels or nuclear power. Less than 20% of electricity is generated by renewable sources like wind, solar, or hydropower.

Traditional power companies will buy a mix of energy from different sources. The path from traditional electricity generation to your electric bill looks like this:

Electricity generated — Distributed across power lines — Consumed by households — Charged in electric bill

Electricity generated — Distributed across power lines — Consumed by households — Charged in electric bill

Green electricity’s pathway is similar, but with a crucial difference at the beginning:

Wind power - transmission lines - household consumption - green power bill

(Green) Electricity generated — Distributed across power lines — Consumed by households — Charged in electric bill

For a household, switching to green power is an administrative change of 'who sends the bills'. Your new electricity bill payments will purchase kilowatt-hours of renewable zero-carbon power.

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT BUYING RENEWABLE POWER?

Renewable electricity produces zero greenhouse gas emissions when generated (e.g. when the wind blows or the sun shines).

For example, let’s say you’re an average UK household using 3,100 kWh of electricity per year. If your energy company buys electricity from a coal-fired power plant, generating your power directly produces almost 1 tonne of CO2 emissions. If your energy company buys only renewable electricity from wind farms, generating your power produces zero direct CO2 emissions.

That’s a big deal. Buying 100% renewable power means your home can use electricity but avoid the CO2 emissions that usually result from power generation. New energy-efficient appliances like a TV or refrigerator might reduce your home's climate impact by 5%. But purchasing green power reduces your home's impact by 100%.

HOW DO I START?
(1) Find a green power company that you like
There are many options in the UK. At the time of posting, the following companies offer at least one 100% renewable electricity tariff (in - mostly - alphabetical order):

(2) Check out a few websites and find a provider you like
In addition to the companies above, price comparison websites like uSwitch allow you to compare available plans & prices on their website. Just be certain to select the 'Green Plan' option!

(3) To clarify any questions about the switch, contact your preferred provider by phone or online to discuss the switch
uSwitch offers a nice overview of the switching process. Be mindful that you’ll have to pay any unsettled bills to your old provider.

(4) To proceed with the switch, complete their online web form and they will guide you through the switching process
It’s that easy. In a month, you’ll be with a new provider.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In conclusion — find a provider that resonates with your values and budget, and join us!

Stop paying hard-earned cash to a generic energy company. Your bills can pay for green electricity. Some providers even use your payments to build new renewable electricity & gas infrastructure right here in the UK.

So stop delaying. It’s 2017! The Paris COP has come and gone. Get off the bench, get in the game. Stop sending your monthly payments to finance dirty energy. Use them to buy a better world.

Switch to 100% renewable power!

And when you do, let me know in the Comments: (1) who you chose and (2) how you found the switching process?

More questions? Ask me in the comments below!

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