Greener energy is just five minutes away

June 17th, 2010 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

Switching energy supplier is like getting fit or sorting out the loft: you wish you’d already done it, you have vague plans to do it, but you don’t know how to start – and you suspect it’s going to be a giant pain in the backside.

Personally, I’ve been putting it off for about five years with excuses like “I’m too busy” and “We’ll be moving house soon anyway”. But I had a day off on Monday and decided that the big scary process had to start some time. Little did I know that the first step was pretty much the only step.

I phoned Ecotricity free on 08000 302 302 and asked how I should go about switching to them. The answer? “Give us your name and address; we’ll do the rest.” They will contact our existing supplier and handle the switch. It will all be sorted in a couple of weeks. They’ll ring me on the day of switching to ask for final readings, and that’s all I have to do.

I chose their mixed energy tariff, which gives me 50% green energy and 50% brown energy: that is, half comes from renewable sources and half is from fossil fuels. If you choose the same option as my household, Ecotricity promise to price-match your existing supplier. That means you’re getting much greener energy without paying a penny more.

The other option is the 100% green energy tariff, New Energy Plus. That costs about 0.5p more per unit, so the typical household would end up paying about £20 a year more for their energy. Not bad for  a completely sustainable energy supply.

If you change your mind about the tariff you’re on, you can switch to the other one with one quick phone call.

Ecotricity also have a partner scheme with local green groups. Basically, you just quote your chosen group’s affiliate code when you switch and the group gets money from Ecotricity. My switch to Ecotricity will help Transition Eynsham (code ETT1) without costing us any extra money. I think Sustainable Witney are in the process of joining the partner scheme, so there will soon be the option of helping a group even closer to home.

So…in just five minutes, I switched to a 50% green energy supplier and donated money to Transition Eynsham without actually paying a penny more than we were paying with the old supplier. If I’d known it was this easy, I’d have done it years ago. I just wish I could say the same about clearing out the loft.

Edit: Since this post was written, Sustainable Witney has signed up as an Ecotricity partner. Quote the code SUSW1 or just “Sustainable Witney” and we will receive a donation of £35 towards our work. (If you’re a business customer, we get even more!) If you do this, please contact us so we know who to thank!



  1. Sustainable Witney says:

    (Comment via Contact page)
    Change to green energy – sounds great. But my current supplier (scottishpower, online energy saver 4) also delivers gas and I’d prefer not to return to BG.
    What do you suggest?

  2. Kate Griffin says:

    Ecotricity provide gas as well – we’ve switched to them for both gas and electricity. Apparently it’s from renewable sources: biogas from decomposing food waste.

    As with the electricity, you can choose to get the 50/50 tariff, in which case they would price-match Scottish Power, or go for the 100% green gas tariff which would cost slightly more.

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