Green Energy

June 18th, 2019

Well, this week is packed with contradiction for me…

I’m focussing on BP and the ideal of a ‘post-oil’ world;

while moving into a new house where the boiler is fuelled by oil…..


I remember the Extinction Rebellion activist Jack Harries calmly addressing the accusation of ‘hypocrisy’ levelled by his tv interviewer.

I think he actually anticipated her question and seemed to welcome a chance to positively embrace the subject…. Such admirable confidence… Prince Harry had apparently just been accused by the tabloid press of hypocrisy because he flew off in a helicopter after giving a speech about climate change.

And Jack does fly by plane, periodically, in his environmental work…

‘We’re all complicit’ he said, while of course striving to do better….

Anyway, I’d much rather I wasn’t about to support the oil industry.

But it won’t last, happily!

We’ve been looking, via IKEA’s Big Switch initiative, at having our electricity supplied by a 100 % green company.

I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the ‘tariff’ is no higher for green energy – I’d imagined that responsible consumers would have to make a financial sacrifice for their principles.

In fact, if you ‘shop around’ you can find some very reasonable prices.

And many ‘pure green’ companies offer a better price than the green option provided by the dominating ‘big four’ of Npower, EDF, Eon and British Gas.

We’ve chosen SoEnergy.

And tomorrow we’re meeting a woman from the National Self-Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon, to explore our ideas of ‘marrying’ an air-source heat pump with the existing radiator and hot water system in the new house. And adding solar panels (photo voltaics) to the roof…

During this dilemma, I comfort myself with the knowledge that at least we have created a green energy building in the past – our last home, in North Yorkshire, boasted an air-source heat pump, underfloor heating (no radiators, bliss from an aesthetic point of view too!), photo voltaic panels and also solar thermal panels. All installed by us, despite it being a Victorian school building!

We made sure to put in loads of insulation in the walls and ceilings too – at least our new home has that…

Well, I’ll just tell you about the BP aspect of my week – their latest global energy report revealed that during 2018 the extreme weather caused by carbon emissions had actually resulted in a huge increase in the demand for more energy: air conditioning on hot days, heating on cold days….

So, the ultimate in bitter irony. A very vicious circle.

I’ve been signing petitions supporting Greenpeace’s current efforts to halt drilling, BP seemingly determined to provide oil to meet all this customer demand (thoughtless, selfish or shortsighted of customers? surely, most people want to stop climate change…).

But I’ve also written an email to Bob Dudley, the CEO of BP.

Why doesn’t the company make the really radical leap of providing their customers and investors with Green Energy instead?! 

We do drive a car too, so I know petrol is still needed, for the foreseeable future (electric cars just too expensive at the moment…).

But we have 12 years – let’s get started with the change, Bob?! And you could lead the way, show the world…?! BGreen instead of BPetroleum….

I wrote a much more sensible letter than that, of course, and fundamentally asked how he explains climate change to his children/grandchildren….

I’ll let you know if I hear from him – so far, none of the top people have got back to me, though I’ve had in-depth replies from their offices, but I’ll keep trying.

I did hear from Dale Vince, Ecotricity’s pioneer, encouraging me to keep going – the world needs more of us, agitating for change, he said. YES!

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