This year Directors UK has become part of the renewable energy revolution by joining Creative Energy - an albert-led initiative to make renewable electricity attainable and affordable for any creative organisation. Our Vice-Chair Steve Smith writes about the initiative, and tells us about an exciting offer for members interested in supporting sustainable energy.
As the northern hemisphere experiences the arrival of another early spring due to global warming, climate change is still by far the biggest issue we need to worry about. The planet is warming at an alarming rate and 2016 was not only the hottest year ever recorded, but the third record-breaking year in succession. Sixteen of the hottest years ever recorded have happened in the 21st century. Two years ago at the Paris Climate summit, the international community made some strong commitments for carbon reduction — but we must now support the targets to make them a reality.
As well as being a director, I also help provide carbon literacy training to the television industry to support it in becoming greener and more sustainable. I don’t know when we will reach a global warming tipping point, when climate change pushes the planet’s climate system past the point of no-return. Some scientists fear we could reach this point within a decade.
What I do know is renewable energy has reached a tipping point, and 2016 was also the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. The World Economic Forum reported in December that solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries. The exciting news is that as prices for solar and wind power continue to fall, two-thirds of all nations will reach the point known as “grid parity” within a few years, even without subsidies.
So even if (like President Trump) you choose to ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus that man-made climate change is real and a serious threat to all life on earth, there is now a strong economic argument to switch to renewables.
Approximately 13.6 tonnes of carbon emissions are associated with the production of just one hour’s worth of television content, equivalent to running 3 homes for one year. Almost 60% of this comes from electricity. So if you want to get greener but you are not sure what you can do, switching to renewables is an easy way to eliminate these emissions. We hear a lot about switching energy suppliers and the government are always encouraging us to switch to save money. When I’m teaching about sustainability people often ask me how they can reduce their carbon footprint and the answer I give is always the same. Whilst there are a number of things people can do - by far the biggest step is to switch to 100% REGO certified electricity which ensures customers are not contributing to climate change. This applies to your home as well as where you work.
In the past renewable energy was often charged at a premium. Although this can still be the case, costs have dramatically come down in recent years. The exciting idea behind Creative Energy was to provide green power in numbers, so if we come together as an industry, act collaboratively and move to the same REGO certified energy provider we can negotiate a much better deal. Creative Energy partnered with Good Energy who, in a tendering process, came out on top for customer service as well as price and a host of other benefits. When the Creative Energy quote for electricity arrived at Directors UK it was considerably cheaper than either our existing energy provider or any other quote we received.
If you run a creative business, no matter how small, you might also be able to join the Creative Energy scheme. You will get the best possible deal for renewable energy and will help to massively reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. You can still be part of the renewable energy revolution at home and there are a number of REGO certified smaller energy suppliers to choose from. And if you choose to switch to a domestic tariff from Good Energy and quote “Creative Energy” they will donate £50 to support the albert consortium.
There are times when you just need to do the right thing, irrespective of cost. Happily by switching some of our energy services to Creative Energy, Directors UK is not only reducing our carbon footprint and helping save the planet — but we are also reducing our electricity bill and saving our members money. Win win!