This is the full content of a Green Tips article in our local Cuddington news sheet.

Not all energy companies are the same….

Electricity is supplied to you through the National Grid. It is generated by coal, gas, nuclear or even oil-fired power stations, and also from hydro-electric and wind turbine installations. Up to 70 percent of the energy stored in the original fuel is lost in generation and transit, which is a terrible waste, but with a national grid system running wires through the air, this can’t be helped.

When you use electricity, you are not personally emitting carbon dioxide, so it seems clean. However, a great deal will have been emitted if the electricity was generated by coal, gas or oil-fired power stations and this has to be calculated into your personal footprint.
Nuclear generation is NOT a renewable source but the carbon dioxide output is relatively low, although we are leaving a terrible legacy of waste for future generations.

If the electricity was generated by renewable sources, such as wind, solar or hydro, then this will have a much smaller effect on your personal carbon output and your overall environmental footprint will be lower. The electricity market makes it possible for you to buy electricity that is up to 100% renewably generated.

The electricity in the grid comes from all sources, but the companies responsible for your supply source their power from particular installations, and the mix varies widely.

Scottish Power, EDF Energy and nPower for instance use a lot of coal and gas generated electricity producing between 500 to 700 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. This means that when you pay your bill, you are supporting these types of generation.

On the other hand, Good energy, Green Energy and Ecotricity source their power mostly from renewable installations, producing between 100 and 300 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. There are also 100% green tariffs available from some other smaller providers.

Renewable suppliers do not necessarily cost much more than the dirty ones, although the industry doesn’t always make it easy for you to work out as they charge differently. However you can make quite a difference to your carbon footprint by choosing a low-carbon energy supplier.

In summary, to SAVE MONEY, don’t waste energy in your home and do make use of the resources available (locally to me, a leaflet from the energy savings trust and AVDC was recently put through your door).

To reduce your carbon footprint further, choose an energy supplier that buys electricity from renewable sources.

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