If you are a home owner with a roof, installing solar panels could provide a significant portion of your electricity and reduce your demand on the national grid. Generating some of your own electricity de-carbonises the national grid as a whole. Installing solar panels on the roofs of public buildings, such as schools, libraries, and swimming pools further helps to reduce our dependency on dirty sources of electricity.
In 2018 Ealing Council participated in ‘Solar Together’, a group buying scheme that helped Ealing residents to buy solar panels more cheaply. More details here
If Solar panels are not practical, then consider an energy supplier that provides a green tariff or a supplier that only sells electricity generated only from renewable sources and green gas.
The Big Clean Switch
The Big Clean Switch is a price comparison site which helps with the process of switching energy supplier. They only list tariffs where the supplier can guarantee that 100% of the electricity sold is matched by energy from renewables – sun, wind, water and biofuels. Many people in the UK want their energy to come from renewable sources but don’t know how to get it, or think they can afford it. This site is easy to use, only takes about 5 minutes and displays the deals with all 8 suppliers very clearly. A typical home could save more than £270 by switching to the cheapest renewable electricity deals.
For more details, please visit https://bigcleanswitch.org
Around 40% of UK CO2 emissions are from electrical energy supply (DECC, 2012), and every time you switch on a light/TV/iPad you are producing CO2 and other pollutants via the energy grid.
All UK suppliers are bound by the law to produce a certain percentage of their energy from renewable resources (20.6% FY 2013), or otherwise buy in the equivalent (ROCS) however, few are achieving anything like this in terms of their own generation, relying on buying in the credits, rather than changing their energy mix.
In 2013, the UK electrical energy source mix was 52.3% coal, 30.7% gas, 4.7% nuclear, and 8.3% renewables, with 4% other fuels.
Most worrying is that coal figure, because coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, and produces over twice as much CO2 per MW than gas, and also black-carbon soot, which, as well as being harmful to our health, can fall many miles away on Arctic ice, so that it reflects less sunlight back into space, accelerating warming. Coal also emits more radiation than the nuclear industry, mercury, and sulphur dioxide which produces acid rain.