Green Electricity...erm....

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Bigtallfatbloke, 20 Jan 2008.

  1. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I thought this sounded interesting, but i dont know if it would be more expensive than what we already have...or is this all just some kind of marketing gimmick?...anybody else seen/done this?
  2. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I read somewhere that all of these 'green power systems' are more expensive than the power supplied by existing power stations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Many suppliers now offer "green" electricity tariffs. These are supposed to source your electricity from renewable sources and/or invest the income they get from you in developing new renewables.

    They are not necessarily going to be more expensive - indeed a few years ago when we move to Juice, which is run by Npower, we managed to reduce our costs.

    However the problem with "green" tariffs is being sure that your money is actually going into renewables. With some of the "green" tariffs provided by the big suppliers there is a complete lack of transparency about where your money is actually going; and for that reason we are thinking of moving away from the Npower Juice scheme.

    However Ecotricity seems to be one of the better schemes and is definitely worth considering.
  4. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    It of course depends how you calculate the cost. If you don't factor in the long term costs of climate change then the sort of huge of coal stations they are building in China will appear to be cheaper every time.

    However renewables look much more attractive when you attach a realistic price to the carbon emitted by coal stations.
  5. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    The interesting page is this one about where their electricity comes from.

    Only 25-30% of their energy comes from renewable sources, with about 45% coming from Coal and Gas, and most of the rest from Nuclear. That's probably still better than you'd get the big suppliers like Powergen, but it's doesn't quite fit the wind-powered utopia that they allude to on their front page.

    My guess is that it probably is more expensive than the standard suppliers, but by how much I don't know. With the recent increases in gas costs, I'm not sure how much longer that will continue.

    I've been thinking a bit recently about what the best thing to do would be with respect to my household's carbon emissions. A useful thing to do would be switch from gas heating to electicity, and switch as much as my electricity supply as possible to renewable and nuclear electricity. Unfortunately as last year we had a loft extension along with a new gas boiler, to tear that out and replace with an electric heating system would probably be prohibitively expensive for me at the moment. However, as the price of gas continues to rise, it may make financial sense in the near future.

    I don't believe in any of this 'carbon offsetting' crap. When you burn fossil fuels you're basically taking carbon from where it was trapped in the earth's crust and releasing it into the surface ecosystem. If you then manage to get that carbon absorbed into a tree or something, it's still in the surface ecosystem, waiting to be released into the atmosphere again once that tree is burned or biodegrades. The carbon offsetting stuff just doesn't add up.
  6. jonesy

    jonesy Legendary Member

    Hmm. You might like to consider changing away from NPower, irrespective of where their 'green' electricity is claimed to come from...
  7. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    We use Ecotricity and although power's expensive, I honestly believe it's any more expensive than the other guys. I don't think the scheme is fool proof but I do believe they're genuinely trying to do the right thing and I felt I should support them!! I've been quite impressed with them all in all.
  8. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Yeah I know about that already:angry: In fact the episode over the lakes prompted me to look at whether Npower's Juice was really all that "green".
  9. andygates

    andygates New Member

    I use Good Energy, who get all their juice from renewables.

    We are market forces.
  10. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

  11. hubgearfreak

    hubgearfreak Über Member

    switching to electric heating would be about the worse thing that you could do

    around 75% of the UK electricity is from fossil fuels, and the heat from the power station goes into cooling towers and wasted into the atmosphere.
    consequently for each joule of gas or coal or oil burned in a power station, only 0.3 or 0.4 joules arrives at your house.
    your gas boiler (being new) will be about 90-95%efficient, so for every joule of gas burnt in it, 0.9 joules goes into heating your home and 0.1 joule wasted into the atmosphere

    so for heating, you'd be doubling or trebling your (heating) CO2 by converting to electric heating.
  12. hubgearfreak

    hubgearfreak Über Member

    what is of interest to me, is that all these companies are springing up and enjoying custom from those of us that believe that wind turbines and hydroelectric schemes are a good thing that deserve support.

    how is it that there isn't one yet that promise to source all your homes electricity from nuclear power stations, for those that believe nuclear power stations are a good thing that deserve support.

    perhaps one of you pro nuclear people may like to set one up, and see how much support there really is.

    obviously, if it's a goer, you'd need to give me a cut as i've just invented it:biggrin:
  13. jonesy

    jonesy Legendary Member

    Here's an alternative idea- how about a supplier that genuinely only got all its electricity from renewable sources? i.e. no reliance on the rest of the grid to stablilise the supply, so if the wind is blowing you get power, if not you get the candles out! Perhaps one or two of you pro-renewable people might like to set one up and see how much support there really is!;)
  14. jonesy

    jonesy Legendary Member

    I'm not aware of any 100% hydro schemes- are there? In any case, not all hydro is available all year; it is affected by rainfall.

    100% green doesn't mean there is no smoothing of peaks with the rest of the network.
  15. hubgearfreak

    hubgearfreak Über Member

    mjones is right

    whilst you can buy all your annual kwh consumption from wind farms et al, but on a still winters evening you'll have to accept that some of these are 'borrowed' from coal & uranium, that are 'refunded' on windy warm & light days
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