Energy is at the art of the battle for sustainability: while many individuals feel their living standard is directly linked to their energy consumption, countries are waging actual and diplomatic wars to maintain supply and low prices to fuel their economies.
Many of us want things to change, and it turns out there are many things we can do! First on the list is reducing our usage of energy around the house and for transportation this will saves money and removes a big chunk of our environmental impact. As a second step comes using renewable electricity but as it turns out only a fraction of us can install solar panels on our roofs, they will usually not cover 100% of our needs. Good news is there is an easy alternative: Green Energy Suppliers.
Chances are you are getting your energy from the historical Belgian utility: Electrabel … turns out the electricity they’re supplying you isn’t so good for the environment. Only 10% comes from renewables, 54% from natural gas and 22% from nuclear power plants. Since 2007 everyone as a choice of electricity and gas suppliers in Brussels. And because some alternative suppliers are trying to make a positive impact by providing Green Electricity, we can choose to reduce our impact on the environment.
To help every one choose the best supplier, Test Achats (the Belgian consumer protection association) and Greenpeace Belgium have conducted a complete investigation of the different suppliers. Suppliers receive a grade out of 100 according to how each they generate electricity and two where they focus their investments. Here’s a simple overview:
- 3 suppliers (Ecopower, Energie 2030 and Wase Wind) receive the maximum grade of 20. Unfortunately none of them supplies to Brussels … they are smaller, coop based utilities. It’s not just their generation technologies that are sustainable, but also their business models.
- Eneco gets a solid 17 … but they’re not supplying energy to households inside the region of Brussels either. Only to Flanders and Wallonia.
- Belpower, Lampiris get 13 points. These are more conventional suppliers and serve Brussels! Switching to them is quite easy and their prices are in line with the rest of the market! Lampiris’ english web site will take you thru the steps. Belpower also has an English site. ebem also gets 13 points, but limits its services to Flanders.
- The other 5 suppliers get lower grades, with Electrabel getting a miserable grade of 7.
For a more detailed info and rankings, check out Greenpeace’s web site. It quite easy to understand with straightforward pie charts detailing electricity generation and investment strategies. Let’s just note that the data used for this analysis was gathered by an independent firm and validated by the companies.
If you’re scared of going at it alone … join hundreds of other households in Switch to Green. This program helps you switch to a better energy supplier … and negotiates better prices for you!
So, as you can see, plugin-in to Green Electricity is quite simple in Belgium!