When you sign an electricity contract for your business, you’re making a decision – consciously or not – that reflects on your company’s environmental credentials.
That’s because, as well as a decision about a price, your choice of contract is a statement in support of the types of electricity generation from which your electricity supplier will source your electricity supply.
And it means something for your company.
New carbon accounting guidelines means that choosing an electricity supply backed by sources with high carbon emissions – like coal and gas – gives your company a higher carbon footprint for its electricity purchases than if you had chosen low-carbon sources like wind, solar or nuclear.
Before we move on, I shall clarify a few points that we’re often asked.
Two numbers: If you’re reporting your electricity-related carbon emissions using the GHG Protocol, you need to report two numbers. These reflect:
The idea is it helps make for fairer comparisons of companies across borders. The reasoning is all explained here.
What you’re choosing: You choose generation types rather than specific power stations to back your electricity supply. Think of your choice as a statement of preference for high or low carbon sources of electricity.
Same power: The choice you make doesn’t change the physical electricity you receive. In practice the power at sockets across the country is a mix of every generation source that goes into the grid.