Words by Clare Howdle and Matt Wilkinson

Cornwall Switch is on a mission to make the county run greener. Switching to renewable energy has never been cheaper, more efficient or more accessible. Stranger finds out more about going clean electric...

1. About 75% of the annual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is due to the burning of fossil fuels.

2. Today’s atmosphere contains about 40% more carbon dioxide than at the start of the industrial era.

3. At present, less than 3% of the UK’s electricity supply comes from renewable sources. The government target is that by 2010 this should have risen to 10%.

4. Modest assumptions estimate that there will be a doubling of the total energy use by 2025.

5. £5 billion is wasted on energy in the UK every year. This is enough to give every man, woman and child £84 a year in the UK.

6. Just over a quarter of the UK’s annual carbon dioxide emissions originate from the energy we use to heat and light our homes.

7. Through wind power, the UK has the largest renewable energy resource in Europe. What’s more, the more we use it the cheaper it will become.

8. Switching to even the most expensive green energy tariff would only cost the average household £1.30 extra a month.

9. At present, 98% of the money spent on electricity in Cornwall goes straight out of the county.

10. The South West Regional Development Agency claims that by harnessing renewable energy sources like wind, waves and sun, a further 12,000 jobs and an extra £260m would be added to the South West economy.



Which green tariff?

Juice, npower’s green tariff, costs exactly the same as npower’s standard tariff. For every unit used by their customers, Juice puts a unit of renewable sourced energy into the national grid. Backed by Greenpeace, for every customer that stays with Juice, npower donates £10 to Greenpeace’s ‘sourcing renewable energy’ fund. (0800 316 3370)

Good Energy
100% renewable energy, Good Energy also operates a unit for unit policy. Recommended by Friends of the Earth, Good Energy has a home generation scheme, paying people for the energy they produce at their homes and businesses. (0845 456 1640)

Green Energy
Green Energy has two tariffs, ‘10’ that puts one unit of renewable sourced energy into the grid for every 10 used and ‘100’ where 100% of energy bought and used is renewable. Green Energy intend to invest 50% of their profits into renewable energy projects and aim to have 50% of their shares held by customers. (0845 456 9500)

One of the UK’s earliest green energy suppliers, Ecotricity also operate two tariffs, New Energy, a 10 unit for 1 unit policy and ‘Old’ energy which is 100% renewable but consequently more expensive. Recommended by Worldwide Fund for Nature, Soil Association and Surfers against Sewage, Ecotricity also plant a tree for every customer who comes on board. (0800 0326 100)