We were excited to find them. New Zealand has other electricity companies that supply predominantly renewable energy (the whole grid is around 75% renewable, after all), but Ecotricity goes well beyond that. They're also trying to reduce fossil fuel usage by:
- actively promoting electric vehicles (transport makes up 20% of New Zealand's domestic greenhouse gas emissions - electric vehicles powered by renewable electricity are one way to bring this down);
- they're encouraging people to switch away from gas in the home and office (something we still have in our kitchen, to be honest. It accounts for well under 1% of our total greenhouse gas emissions: we think that's worth it for the rapid temperature control gas gives us);
- supporting customers to generate their own solar energy at home and work.
I don't know if New Zealand could function on 100% renewable electricity, but I expect it probably could. Hydro dams act as a kind of 'battery', so we could have solar electricity during the day, wind electricity when the wind blows and hydro for the rest of the time. I love that Ecotricity is trying to make that happen.
And, as an added bonus, it looks like Ecotricity will cost us under $1.50 per month more than our previous supplier :-)
You can sign up with Ecotricity from anywhere in New Zealand. Check them out if you, too, like the sound of the world they're trying to build!
NB Ecotricity is certified by EnviroMark (a subsidiary of Landcare, one of the Crown Research Institutes) through their CarboNZero scheme. You can see other CarboNZero certified organisations here. Enviromark also provides simple carbon calculators for home, business and tourism: some of the data we used to create our carbon auditing tool came from them.