The world as we know it relies on burning fossil fuels for heat, power, food and travel. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Changing how we power our world is key to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a coal-free future. St Albans District is proud to boast solar panels on many homes and buildings but we can all do more to make sure we abide by the energy hierarchy: and when we do buy energy, we do all in our power (!) to move away from our reliance on coal and gas.
Leaner & Keener
Make your home more energy efficient to reduce the energy we use and waste
Generating energy at home or further afield: solar panels and more
Do all you can to make sure the energy you buy is from a sustainable/low emission source
Switch Your Energy Supplier
Moving to a supplier who uses some or all energy from renewable sources is possible, and may not be as hard as you think. If you’re buying energy into your home, you may be able to choose to have energy created from the sun or wind! Read on for resources and ideas for factors to consider.
2022 update from The Energy Saving Trust: As the energy price crisis continues it may be best to stick with your current supplier, as many suppliers are not currently taking on new customers and you may not actually save anything from switching to another supplier. If your energy supplier closes, you don’t need to do anything. You will still receive your gas and electricity as usual. Ofgem, the energy regulator, will move your account to a new supplier. They will let you know which one this is. If you’re a Bulb customer, or want to find out more, read this information from Citizens Advice. Last updated: May 2022
WATCH: Uswitch, one of the many price comparison websites, have provided a video to show how easy switching is, and they suggest it takes about 10 minutes.
LISTEN: to Ian Yenney from AECOM in St Albans in this special #CountdownToCOP Radio Verulam podcast talking about Switching Your Energy.
RESEARCH HOW: Ofgem outline the process, and suggest using a price comparison website and having your postcode, the name of your current supplier and tariff to hand (which you can find in a recent bill).
Citizens Advice Bureau outline other considerations for switching such as whether there might be penalties for switching whilst in the contract period. If you have an older smart meter (SMETS 1), this may not work after the switch or with some suppliers, so you may need to ask your new provider to install a new smart meter (SMETS 2).
RESEARCH DIFFERENT PROVIDERS: The Energy Saving Trust identified the following suppliers who all clearly list the renewable sources of their energy on their websites, back in February 2020, and they suggest that these tariffs are as green as they get. They note that other suppliers may meet the same standard but couldn’t be identified during the investigation.
- GEUK – the UK’s only supplier of 100% green gas and electricity – potentially the greenest of the green tariffs.
- Ecotricity – also supports rewilding through a partnership with RSPB – their tariffs are well worth considering for those who want to also support nature and help address the biodiversity crisis.
- Good Energy – also offers a specialist tariff for those with Air Source Heat Pumps (see below).
Also look into flexible “time-of-use” tariffs, for which the cost of energy varies through the day depending on demand. This incentivises people to use energy (and charge batteries if they have them) when there is excess renewable energy on the grid. Providers such as Octopus Energy offer flexible tariffs and there are expected to be many more providers in future. Watch this space.
You can find out how your steps will help you by checking out the resources on Count Us In. They have identified changing your energy supplier as one of the steps that has the least effort and the biggest impact on your carbon emissions. So what are you waiting for?