Two days ago, a computer somewhere ticked over, and our house became slightly greener. Adding to our already quite high smugness quotient, we’ve decided to take the plunge, pay the few extra pounds, and switch over to wind power. Not quite in the sense of putting a turbine on our house, though maybe in a few years who knows? But for now, we’re with Ecotricity. That company’s New Energy tariff allows you to buy about 30% of your electricity from their windfarms, and crucially the profits from the tariff are ploughed back into new windfarms, creating a sound environmental feedback loop which in time should turn the 30% into 100%.
So the electricity’s sorted. Now, how about the gas?
Granted, gas isn’t the most ecologically sound fuel in the world in the first place, being derived from fossils and all that. But using it directly to heat your house does at least make more efficient use of the thing than burning it in a power station, turning the generators to create electricity, and transmitting it across wires… and then using the electricity to heat your house.
So what is the least worst option for gas supply in the UK, short of actually ditching our one-year-old condensing combi boiler and putting solar panels on our roof instead? There are plenty of supply companies in the UK that trumpet their green energy credentials, but unless I’ve missed something, those talk about the green-ness of their electricity rather than their gas. We’re on the lookout for gas suppliers that aren’t quite as ecologically and ethically dubious as the average, whatever that average might be. Those that plough money into biofuels, those that encourage you to reduce your energy use year-on-year, or as a last resort those that are just plain indefinably nice. Any suggestions?