There are so many ways of showing love to your children and grandchildren but changing your electricity supplier might not come top of the list! However, this simple act can be a surprisingly significant act of kindness.
About half of our electricity in the UK is still produced by burning fossil fuels (mostly gas and oil) to make steam to turn turbines. We need to stop burning fossil fuels as they produce carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, which is trapping too much solar energy in our atmosphere, leading to global heating.
That global heating threatens all the things I love; my children, coffee, spring lambs in the Yorkshire Dales, sandy Yorkshire beaches, horse chestnut and beech trees, migrating birds and my warm dry home. All of them will be affected in the coming decade by climate change and we all need to do something to limit its impact.
Our personal actions matter, they impact other people and nature for good or bad. And we can have more impact than we think if other people follow our lead.
That’s why Zero Carbon Harrogate are challenging residents across the District to take up 10 Pledges for 2020. From eating a couple of meals a week of locally produced food, to finding out how to drive more efficiently, the 10 Pledges give you an action a month to help reduce your carbon footprint.
The first pledge, for January, is to switch to a green energy tariff. It’s not a big deal, but it can make a big difference.
There has been a big shift in the last 10 years. In 2010, coal, gas and oil were used to generate more than 10 times as much electricity as renewables. Since then electricity generation from renewables has more than quadrupled to around 40% of all UK electricity.
To continue the transition away from fossil fuels, energy companies need more investment and a clear message from consumers that we want our electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as solar, wind and hydro.
By switching to a 100% renewable electricity tariff you stop giving money from your energy bill, to companies who invest in burning fossil fuels and start supporting the development of more low-carbon energy generation. You can sometimes get a better deal too while you are at it.
Across the Harrogate District we have some catching up to do in terms our local, renewable electricity generation. We only generate about half the nationa