Switch energy supplier

Switching electricity supplier at the surgery to cut carbon emissions is easier than you might think and can be done mostly online says Jennifer Taylor

1 Your current supplier could have a green option or you can change companies. According to uSwitch.com, the six biggest energy suppliers have introduced green tariffs, while two new companies, Ecotricity and Good Energy, have been set up specifically for this purpose.

To find the green options available in your area, go to www.uSwitch.com and key in your postcode and details about your current supplier along with the amount you pay.

2 You can then switch to a supplier that provides renewable electricity which means the energy will probably come from wind or hydroelectric power. Or you can use energy from a fossil fuel source, with a guarantee that the same amount of renewable energy will be put into the national grid.

3 As an incentive to use non-CO2-emitting sources, energy generated from renewable sources is exempt from the climate change levy. The levy for electricity is charged at £0.0043 (£0.00441 from 1 April 2007). To receive the exemption, you contract with an energy supplier to receive specific amounts of renewable source electricity. The exemption will be applied to your bills from the date the contract starts.

Case study: Giving up fossil fuel
Dr Mark Thompson: ‘Reduce energy consumption first’

Powys GP Dr Mark Thompson’s practice has switched to a green electricity supplier. The practice drew up an environmental policy and this included switching to a green supplier for all their electricity needs including the heating at the surgery.
The cost of switching will vary by practice and Dr Thompson advises GPs to shop around.

‘Most electricity suppliers will “green wash” a package for you,’ he says. That way you can stay with your current supplier but swap immediately to a renewable supply by paying a green tariff.

Dr Thompson recommends reducing energy consumption before making the switch. This will compensate for any increased costs resulting from moving to a green supplier and should bring down energy bills overall.

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