Many readers have already taken advantage of my Ecotricity offer to receiving a free chocolate hamper when switching to Ecotricity. For others who haven’t yet switched I wondered whether a more detailed analysis of the company may encourage a switch. Therefore, I asked Ecotricity if they could provide me with a detailed breakdown of the company. This is what they said…
Ecotricity was founded in 1995. We were the first company in Britain to offer a new kind of electricity – the green kind. Actually, we were the very first company in the world to do that.
We built our first windmill in 1996 – the first of a new breed of windmill, operating without a gearbox. Twenty years later, it’s still generating green electricity for our customers.
We went on to build more groundbreaking sources of green energy. Our second windmill was the first MW scale model in Britain, and our third was Britain’s first commercial windmill (built without subsidy and the energy supplied without premium), for Sainsbury’s distribution centre in Scotland.
In 2010, we built Britain’s first large sun park – and combined it with a wind park, marking the first hybrid green energy park in Britain.
Renewable Solution to Gas
We introduced green gas to Britain, allowing us to develop a complete green energy offering – providing a renewable solution to using gas as well as electricity in Britain, for the first time.
Last year, we unveiled the concept of making green gas from grass in Britain – and we’ve already put the first of what we call Green Gas Mills into planning. We’ll also build a renewable energy academy, where we can train the next generation of green energy technicians.
Britain’s Greenest Energy
We are Britain’s leading green energy company. We supply the greenest energy available in Britain, bar none. We base that on the lifecycle carbon emissions of all the generating technologies of our supply.
Our vision is of a Britain completely powered by renewable energy – a Britain where we make green electricity from the wind, the sun and the sea, and green gas from grass.
Our model is unique – we take the green energy that we make ourselves and we supply it to our customers. We take responsibility for every step of the process too. On the generation side, that means from site selection, planning and construction to the long term operation and maintenance of the windmills. On the retail side, that means everything from billing and customer service to marketing and PR – everything is in-house.
Continual reinvestment in new green energy is at the heart of our business model. It’s what we call turning ‘bills into mills’: harnessing our customers’ energy bills to build new green energy mills.
The model works: for over a decade, it’s enabled us to spend more on average per customer each year building new sources of Green Energy than any other supplier in Britain – in fact, most years we spend more than all the other energy companies put together.
Our customers enable us to do this. We talk a lot about people:power as a concept. As people, we actually have the power to bring about change – it’s about what we choose to spend our money on. It also describes quite neatly our bills into mills model – because the more people who join us, the more we can achieve.
Best Customer Service
We give the best customer service. We’ve had the lowest number of complaints in the industry for the last six years according to data from Ofgem – the acid test of good customer service in our industry. And we have an ethical pricing policy. We have just one simple tariff and one price for all of our customers, no matter how they pay or when they joined us, they get our latest best price, including pay as you go customers. We have no exit fees or penalties and no fixed contracts.
Our customer numbers have more than doubled over the last two years, from 85,000 at the start of 2014 to 175,000 at the start of 2016.
Our founding mission was to change the way energy is made in Britain. We chose energy because it is the single biggest cause of the emissions that cause climate change. In the course of our work, we went looking for the second and third biggest contributors to climate change – and so expanded our work to include Transport and Food.
We now work at the nexus of those three areas, Energy, Transport and Food, working to change how we power our homes, how we travel and what we eat.
In Transport we built Britain’s first electric supercar, the Nemesis, which we launched in 2010. That led us to conceive of the Electric Highway, a national network of electricity ‘pumps’ as we like to call them.
We’ve installed over 250 Ecotricity pumps on the entire motorway network of Britain and some strategic A roads, as well as ports and airports. It’s been a key factor in the rapid adoption of electric cars in Britain. We power the whole network with the wind and sun, which enables electric vehicles to reach their true potential – zero emission driving.
In Food, we campaign on more sustainable diets and food production, working with numerous different organisations.
Between them, Energy, Transport and Food account for 80% of all of our personal carbon footprints – so how we choose to spend our money here can have the biggest impact. This is a simple and coherent message, and our work is focused on communicating this to as wide an audience as possible.
Our work in these three sectors is perhaps nowhere better seen than at FGR: the stadium has solar panels, we have an organic football pitch, a water recycling system, an autonomous solar powered mower cuts the pitch, we have electric pool cars and Ecotricity pumps outside the stadium, and the club serves plant based (meat and dairy free) food across the entire stadium, for players and fans.
Not For Dividend
We’re a not for dividend company, which means we’re free to spend the money we make on the things that we believe in.
Our work has an environmental outcome, and that’s our main intention: for example, our green energy mills saved almost 60,000 tonnes of CO₂ from being emitted into the atmosphere last year & the Electric Highway powered 15 million miles of emission free driving – from the wind and the sun.
Our work has a business outcome, too. Ecotricity employs around 700 people and we’re part of a growing green economy that sustains over a million jobs in Britain. That’s an important point: it’s not about being green because it’s a nice thing to do, it’s in our best interests; it’s an economic choice, about industry, jobs and a truly sustainable economy.
We’re here to make the world a better place – we talk about a Green Britain as a means of describing that ambition, and we focus on three areas to achieve that sustainable future: Energy, Transport and Food.
The communication of this vision is at the heart of what we do. Our job is to make people aware of the problems and give them the information and the ability to do something about it.
Our work fits in perfectly with the target the whole world agreed to in Paris last year – to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees or less. To achieve this, we simply must stop burning fossil fuels by 2050, and that requires nothing short of a revolution in those three big areas of impact, Energy, Transport and Food.
Thanks to Ecotricity for providing their detail company.
If you’re not yet using a green energy supplier, consider switching to Ecotricity today.