The facts behind the new Good Energy advert

Posted in: Energy

Posted on: 11.11.2020

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve seen our new TV advert. If you haven’t, why not watch the advert now.

As a company that was set up to help tackle climate change, we wanted our first ever TV advert to focus on climate action. The advert faces up to the real threat the climate crisis poses to our future, as well as the power we all have to help create a greener world.

In this blog, we look at some of the main ideas behind the advert, and the research that backs them up.

A summary of our advert

The creative concept for the advert is a school science fair, in which children present models of the impacts of climate breakdown, including wildfires and floods. Another child presents a model of a green world powered by renewables. The voiceover talks about how our future is under threat, and that we must act now. It also talks about how we all have the power to create a greener world powered by renewables and suggests switching to Good Energy is a way to help make a difference.

Doing our research

How the climate crisis threatens our future
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides the UN with scientific assessments on climate change risks, released a special report on global warming of 1.5ºC in October 2018. This report advised that 1.5ºC is the maximum ‘safe’ upper limit of heating.

Even at this level, climate scientists warn that sea level rise and extreme events such as heatwaves, severe storms, flooding, droughts and wildfires will increase in frequency and threaten the safety of millions of people. Read a summary of the key points published by the Guardian.

Model of a flooded street.
Model of a forest fire with a firefighter rescuing a koala.

landmark report by the Lancet in partnership with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF released in February 2020 argues that “wealthier countries threaten the future of all children through carbon pollution, on course to cause runaway climate change and ecological disaster”.

Why we must act now to limit climate breakdown
The IPCC report referenced above recommends that emissions must drop to zero by 2050 to limit global heating to 1.5ºC. To achieve this, emissions must decrease by 45% by 2030.

Renewable energy is a key climate solution
Burning fossil fuels for energy accounts for over two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions1. Transitioning to renewable energy is essential for reducing emissions and limiting global heating, as recognised by environmental organisations such as the WWF.

In a piece published by the IPCC, the Chair of the IPCC, Dr Hoesung Lee and the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol place sustainable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels at the heart of the solution to the climate crisis. They state:

the clean energy technologies we have at our disposal right now can bring about the kind of decline in energy-related emissions that would put the world on track for our longer-term climate goals

A 100% renewable world is possible

Some countries around the world already get close to 100% of their electricity from renewable sources, such as Costa Rica and Iceland. Research by the International Renewable Energy Agency has found that more than 60 countries have 100% renewable energy targets in place2.

Why switching to Good Energy supports renewables

At Good Energy, we have supplied 100% renewable electricity since we started out over two decades ago. We own and operate two wind farms and six solar farms. We also buy electricity directly from over 1600 independent renewable generators across Britain.

Together, this ensures we supply enough 100% renewable electricity to match what our customers use. So, the more customers we get, the more renewable power we have to buy. This helps expand the market for renewable power and encourage new generators into the industry. By supporting new renewable generators, we are helping increase the amount of renewable electricity in the UK, which is essential for achieving carbon emission reduction targets.

Model of a house powered by a wind turbine and solar panel.

The way in which we supply electricity has been recognised by the energy regulator, Ofgem, for providing material support for renewable generation. Read this blog for more info.

Why Good Energy is different to many other suppliers

Many other suppliers that claim to be green don’t buy all (or sometimes any) of their power directly from UK renewable generators. Instead, they buy Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates and then buy electricity from the wholesale market, which comes from a mix of sources including fossil fuels.

As the Energy Saving Trust explains: “Some electricity suppliers, including some who claim to supply 100%renewable energy, will do so by simply buying up excess REGO certificates. These certificates are cheaply available from times of excess production across the EU and these tariffs do little to encourage the generation of renewable energy in the UK”.

This is called greenwashing. To find out more about why the way we source renewable electricity is different to many other suppliers, watch our video about greenwashing in the energy industry.

Footnotes

1 Energy and Climate Change, European Energy Agency

2 “Towards 100% Renewable Energy”, IRENA Coalition for Action, 2020

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