Not everyone has a home that is suitable for the free solar offers currently available from many installers around the UK. Not everyone can afford to invest in solar to benefit from tax free payments under the feed-in tariff scheme. So if you wanted to install solar for ethical reasons to make a difference but you have found solar PV to no longer be an option what can you do to make a difference.
If you want to make a difference then you can switch to green energy and get all of your electricity sourced from clean renewable sources such as solar. There are a few green energy companies in the UK that supply only green energy two of the greenest are Ecotricity and Good Energy of which the later hasn't raised its electricity prices since 2008. As well as providing electricity from sustainably green sources such as solar, wind and wave power they also provide Green Gas or bio-methane. At the moment they are buying in their green gas from Europe but plan to build their own green gas mills in the UK soon. As with all things we tend to fall far behind the rest of Europe with these sorts of things.
Although the big 6 energy companies have green tariffs I would not recommend switching to those. The big 6 energy companies including British Gas, EDF, E.on, NPower, Sottish Power and SSE all have green tariffs but only because they are obliged to and they are not particularly green. They also have a tendency to increase their prices at a whim for no apparent reason.
Green energy tariffs are probably going to be cheaper at the moment as the big 6 have already increased their prices. It is going to depend on which company, which tariff and what part of the country you are in. Some green energy providers promise to match your local regions standard tariff. I would say that overall however it will probably cost the same or about £20 more per year. Again you can always phone them and give them your current details so that they can compare your likely bills for you.
Most people however who want to switch to green energy are not going to be too concerned about any price difference as they are doing it for ethical reasons and they don't like the how the current greedy energy suppliers work. For those who would like to see some figures I used a popular online price comparison site to plug in some details. Based on the average gas (20,500 kWh)and electricity usage (3,300 kWh) on the standard British Gas tariff for gas and electricity you would save £29.06 (13th September 2011) by switching to Good Energy.
There is no point in buying gas and electricity that you are going to waste. If you are heating a poorly insulated and draughty house it is going to cost you a lot more to heat. Whether you are going to switch energy providers or not it makes sense to reduce your overall energy consumption to lower your energy bills. The two quickest and cheapest ways to do this are to get your home insulated and switch to energy saving light bulbs, preferably LED ones as they do not contain mercury and are the most energy efficient lighting available. You can find out more about switching to LED light bulbs to reduce your electrical lighting costs by 90% and how you can get a free insulation grant from the government.
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Grants & Schemes
In 2010 the UK invested 3.3 billion dollars on clean energy technologies, half of this went on offshore wind farms. Germany invested 41.2 billion the same year, over 12 times as much.
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