'Deep confusion' among energy consumers

Solar panels
There's a dramatic disconnect between the actions people assume will have a positive environmental impact and the ones that make the biggest difference.


Suffering from eco-anxiety but don’t know what to do to save the planet? You’re not alone. Two thirds of Brits are concerned about climate change and even more are prepared to make changes to green their lifestyle.

More than two thirds of people are prepared to make lifestyle changes to live more sustainably but over 40 percent are unclear what action they should take to make a difference.

Friends of the Earth have launched a new campaign recommending that people switch to a 100 percent renewable energy company to help tackle the climate emergency.

Green tariff

A new survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Good Energy, shows public awareness of the climate emergency is growing, yet nearly half of consumers are unclear what action they can take. The changes people are most likely to make are having a minimal effect on the climate emergency. 

Reducing plastic topped people’s list but will have little impact on your carbon footprint. Simple lifestyle choices that have a bigger impact languished at the bottom – switching to a genuinely green energy tariff (5 percent), flying less (4 percent) and eating less meat (4 percent).

Environmental scientist, Dr Alexandra Jellicoe commented: “People have been bombarded with messages about plastic pollution following the success of shows such as Blue Planet, so it’s no wonder many think reducing plastic is the top thing they can do to combat the climate crisis.

“Although essential for the health of our oceans, switching to reusable bags and cups has a minimal impact on an individual’s carbon footprint. One of the biggest things individuals can do is to freeze out fossil fuels by reducing air travel and switching to a green energy supplier.”

According to the survey, only 15 percent of Brits have considered switching to a green energy supplier, and almost half (49 percent) did not know that it is one of the biggest differences they could make to protect the environment. 

Systems approach

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth CEO, said: “To combat the climate crisis, we urgently need to transition away from fossil fuels which generate vast quantities of climate-wrecking pollution.

“Government policy will be key to accelerating that transition at scale, but each of us can play our part by making simple changes to our lifestyle. If each household in the UK were to switch to renewable energy today, we could save millions of tonnes of carbon every year.”

Good Energy, the Which?-accredited 100 percent renewable energy company, provides all its customers with electricity from wind, solar, hydro and bio-generation sourced directly from producers across the UK. 

Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport, who founded the company in 1999, added: “We are facing a climate emergency and need a whole systems approach to tackling it – which means government, business and individuals working together to accelerate positive change.

“It’s vital that consumers are empowered to take action against the crisis, but our survey reveals deep confusion as to which actions make a difference. There are simple things you can do, today – eat less meat, fly less and use green energy.

“We can still avoid climate breakdown if we are bold enough to act now.”

Huge potential

Nearly two thirds of people would choose a green tariff if it supported our move away from fossil fuels to a new clean energy system. The average household could cut more than 4T of carbonemissions from their footprint every year if they switched to 100 percent renewable energy – more than the emissions of four flights from London to New York.

Three quarters believe there is huge potential to build more renewable energy in the UK and 71 percent want to support renewable producers.

The majority of Brits believe this change should also be brought about by people, government and businesses working together to reduce emissions equally.

This Article 

This article is based on a press release from Friends of the Earth and Good Energy. 

Switch now using the referral code Good Friends when prompted and as well as receiving £50 credit on your energy account, a further £50 will be donated to Friends of the Earth.

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