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Introducing a Blue & Green friend: Good Energy

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Each day we’re introducing one, two or three of our new affiliate friends. If you click through the link in this article, the link is tracked and may generate a small payment to us. Sometimes the payment is per click, per user, per application, per accepted application or any combination of the above. That payment funds us so we can grow and encourage even more readers to live, spend and invest sustainably. Today it’s the turn of Good Energy.

They are a South West Company, based in Wiltshire and were the first dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier. 

They supply over 50,500 electricity customers, 24,000 gas customers and support over 73,000 homes, business and communities generating their own energy.

They have their own wind farms at Delabole, North Cornwall and Hampole, near Doncaster. And solar farms at Creathorne Farm near Poundstock, North Cornwall and near Wool in Dorset.

But more than simply sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables, they’re helping the UK achieve a future that’s powered purely by renewables.

There’s a lot to do; it requires fundamental changes to the way energy is generated and used in the UK. But they believe it’s possible. And there’s a growing body of research, including their own, proving that it is.

Good Energy was founded over a decade ago with one clear goal – to make a difference to climate change. And they’re as true to that today as they were when they started out.

A different kind of energy company

Good Energy strongly believes that they have the opportunity to use the footprint of their business as a force for good, promoting best practice and holding themselves to the high standards that you have come to expect from them.

Good Energy is a UK owned company, based in Chippenham in the South West. They were founded in response to climate change, to be a catalyst for transforming the UK’s energy market by giving everyone the opportunity to choose renewable energy.

They don’t think the energy market needs to be complex and mysterious. They believe simplicity and transparency should not only be at the heart of how every energy supplier treats its customers, but in the way it does business too.

Good Energy buys power from renewable generators spread across the UK, from sources that include solar, wind, hydro and wave power.

For every unit of electricity their customers use, they buy a unit of electricity from one of these renewable generators. Because of the nature of renewables, sometimes they have too much power and sometimes too little, so they promise that over a 12 month period, each unit used by their customers is matched 100% with electricity sourced from their renewable generators.

Each day is broken down into 30 minute segments, and for each segment their trading team predicts how much electricity they think their customers will use and they also work out how much renewable energy their generators will be producing at that time too.

Their trading team specialise in forecasting renewable technologies and take over 25 weather feeds three times a day to calculate how much their renewable generators will be outputting. If they have too much power, they sell it to the market, and if they have too little power they buy from the market. The market electricity mix will depend from time to time on the overall power mix in the market.

Exactly how much power is generated from the Good Energy renewable sources is largely dependent on what the weather is doing. Good Energy contracts with many different generators who are spread far and wide across the UK, using a range of renewable technologies giving them a range of outputs. They combine this with their expertise in using advanced weather forecasting to predict how much electricity they will get from these sources, to maximise the value of power from all these renewable generators.

In addition to Good Energy buying and selling from the overall market to balance within any half hour segment, the purchaser and seller of last resort is the National Grid. The National Grid, rather than your chosen electricity supplier, has the responsibility of ensuring that your business or home is physically supplied with electricity. They supply your electricity demand with the source of electricity available at the time, from a range of different sources. They take over in the final hour to ‘fine tune’ the final changes either in demand or generation of power. Good Energy tries to avoid trading in this market because the costs are prohibitive. Their efforts go into ensuring that they have balance between their total power purchased and the demand of their customers before that point.

Their trading team ensures that they keep their promise that over the course of each year they buy enough renewable electricity so that all of their customer demand is matched from 100% renewable sources.

All suppliers have to report the mixture of fuels used to source their electricity, compared to the national average, on an annual basis.

This is enforced by DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) This is known as ‘Fuel Mix Disclosure’ and is published annually to help consumers make informed choices about their electricity supplier

To verify their electricity as renewable electricity, Good Energy uses Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates. On a 12 month basis, Good Energy obtains sufficient REGOs to verify that they have matched their customers’ demand with their supply to the National Grid.  Ofgem states on its website that the REGO scheme “sets out increased transparency to consumers, allowing them choice to purchase renewable or non-renewable electricity”.

At Good Energy they ensure that all the electricity they sell to customers each year is matched 100% with electricity sourced from renewables. In addition they also have stringent procurement policies published on their website to help show which generators they consider to be renewable.

Environment

How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018

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eco-responsible
Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kengmerrymikeymelody

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly

eco-friendly

Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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Energy

Top 5 Changes You can Make in Your Life to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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reduce carbon footprint
Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love? - Image from Shutterstock - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/thodonal88

In a world, where war rages and global warming threatens our very existence, the inhabitants of earth need to be extra vigilant in their efforts to go green. This includes reducing your carbon footprint on the earth and leading a more sustainable life.

Many homeowners feel perplexed by all of the options available to reduce their carbon footprint. They may even feel (falsely) that making their household more green will fail to make that much of a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Even a single home going green has a massive impact on the environment. We can win this battle on home at a time. If you’re interested in accepting the challenge of making your household a green home, read on below for a few of the top changes you can make in your life to reduce your carbon footprint. We all stand to benefit from making the earth safer for future generations – and your wallet won’t complain when you start to see the savings in annual energy costs.

Switch From Dirty Energy to Clean Solar

The ION Solar reviews tell it all–solar is the best way to go. Whether your goal is to slash your energy bills, or to reduce your carbon footprint, the sun is a fantastic source of renewable energy.

It’s important to get past the hype from solar installers. Instead, listen to the plethora of impartial customer reviews that mention everything from a $20 energy bill, to the incredible feeling of knowing that you are doing your part by going green and minimizing harmful emissions in to our atmosphere.

The average investment is $15,000 to $30,000 for installation and purchase of solar panels. Optional battery power packs can help provide consistent power during both night and day. And many government agencies provide federal, state or local grants to help offset upfront investments in clean energy.

Depending on which installed you choose, your household may qualify for low-interest or zero interest loans to cover the up-front cost of your installation. And the loan payments are usually less than your current monthly power bill.

It really is a win-win, as home buyers are looking for homes that feature this technology – meaning solar power installation improves the resale value of your property.

Home Modifications

And there are a number of additional home modifications that can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. A programmable thermostat can better manage energy consumption from home cooling and heating systems while you’re away from home. And weather stripping your doors can help keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.

Of course, energy conservation starts at home. And this includes setting a powerful example for your kids. Teach your children how to close windows, strategically keep doors open or closed based on airflow, and encourage them to leave the thermostat alone – opting for adding or removing layers of clothing instead.

Unplug Appliances and Shut Off Electronics

Unplugging your appliances when they aren’t in use, such as the toaster and the coffee maker, has more of an impact than you might think. Set your TVs and stereos on sleep timers, instead of letting them run around the clock. The cumulative impact of wasteful electronic device usage is horrible for our environment – putting unnecessary strain on our electrical grid.

Recycle

One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. You are already throwing this stuff away anyway, right? It doesn’t take much more effort to just put recyclables in a separate container to be recycled, now does it?

Oh, and did I mention that you can earn money for recycling? Yes! Many cities and towns have recycling centers that will purchase your clean plastic and glass bottles for reuse.

Minimize Your Water Usage

Water is one of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Preserve water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. Shorten your shower by a few minutes and turn down the heat on that water heater. You’ll be surprised at how much lower your water bill and your energy bill will be.

Saving money and reducing your carbon footprint? What isn’t to love?

These are just a few of the top ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start living a greener lifestyle. And we aren’t factoring in all of the advantages that we’ll reap from public investments in a smarter energy grid.

From decreasing your water usage, to switching to solar for your home’s energy needs, you will feel good at the end of the day knowing you are doing your part to save the future of this planet for generations to come!

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