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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018 edited
     
    A bit of an advert though no personal connection other than being a customer. We've been using Ecotricity since we moved in and I'd not checked pricing. Just switched to Bulb Energy who also claim to be 100% renewable electricity and was surprised to find it's going to shave about 25% off my annual spend. Both daily standing charge and per unit charge are significantly lower.

    Difference seems to be that Bulb's elec is mostly hydro and 25% anearobic digestion generators whereas Ecotricity is building/operating wind and solar.

    bulb.co.uk/refer/simon7724 gets you and me £50 if you switch.
    • CommentAuthorfinnian
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018
     
    There is the issue of 'additionality' with these green energy tariffs: if you buy 100kWh of energy from bulb, does the UK really generate 100kWh extra green energy? Basically the answer is no: because the overall obligation to use renewable energy is fixed by regulation (via renewable energy certificates), mostly it means that some other supplier generate less.

    So to partially fix this, some suppliers claim to at least 'retire some fraction of renewable energy certificates'. I think another supplier retires 10% of its certificates.

    Bulb claims to provide additionality 'by providing 10% green gas' from anaerobic digesters.

    https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/300/additionality

    Probably this is cheaper than retiring ReCs, but it is less clear to me whether it would happen anyway...

    Most people would assume that 100% green energy tarriffs are 100% additional, so I think there is a good chance people will feel mislead...
  1.  
    I don't quite understand what you're saying - surely if the 'renewable' market grows and there are more suppliers who will/can only buy renewable won't they influence supply in the longer term?

    Regardless, at the moment bulb also have the benefit of being cheap.
    • CommentAuthorfinnian
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018
     
    I think that the companies selling green energy are relying on nobody quite understanding the problem...

    Basically the issue is that 'green' suppliers are largely just buying already-existing green energy that is being generated to meet the UK's overall renewable targets, rather than generating 'extra' green energy.

    There are various issues, see for example the 'Green electricity in the United Kingdom' wikipedia page. Also:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20070629050731/http://www.theecologist.org/archive_detail.asp?content_id=428

    So bulb is cheaper than ecotricity, but is it really green, or have they just found a cheap way to make it 'look' green?
    • CommentAuthorMikC
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2018
     
    Simply buying renewable electricity on the wholesale market and selling it to customers as renewable electricity does not really make you a supplier. It makes you a trader. Do bulb energy actually create their own renewable energy?

    Ecotricity actually build and run their own windfarms, but they also trade on the wholesale market. So when you buy their power some of that money goes into creating new renewable generation.
  2.  
    Not green, but for cheapness we've gone for Ebico with no standing charges as our usage is so low (passivhaus with PV and battery).
    They are also a social enterprise and profits go towards work on fuel poverty.
    Not 100% sure that the maths work out, but I'll do the calcs once we've got a year's worth of consumption.
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