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Ecotricity’s vegan energy– the past, present and future

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27 Jun 2023

We’re currently celebrating that it’s been five years since we were officially certified as vegan by The Vegan Society. We produce our energy without using animal by-products and we’re STILL the only UK supplier to be certified as 100% vegan.

We’re proud of our certification, but we’re disappointed that others are still producing energy which uses animal by-products.

We thought as we’re celebrating our 5th year anniversary, we would take a look at what we’ve achieved over the last five years and share some of our future plans with you all.

We understand that many people do not know that their energy supplier uses animal by-products in the production of their energy. Many of us are unsure what the difference is between vegan and green energy.

Vegan energy is essentially energy produced without involving animals. Solar, wind and geothermal power all produce green electricity without using animals.

Energy may be green but it’s definitely not vegan when energy companies add animal by-products (silage, manure, etc) from the livestock factory farming industry to the mix to create gas or drive turbines for electricity. Although technically it may still be green, it’s not vegan and it’s not right.

Let’s head back to 2018

Now, take your mind back to 2018 - a critical report was published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which told us that we may have as little as 12 years to act on climate change, we were hit in the UK by the Beast from the East, and Ecotricity was certified by the Vegan Society.

Back then we shared how many Big Six energy companies used animal-by products to make electricity and gas in Britain. We told our customers and the world how Big Six supplier SSE admitted it used dead salmon from factory fish farms in Scotland to generate some of its power. A media exposé showed that green supplier Good Energy generated some of its 'ethical green energy’ using pig slurry from a factory farm at the centre of animal cruelty allegations.

Fast forward to 2023 and the world hasn’t changed very much. Yes, we’ve had to deal with more climate emergencies, a global pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis - but Ecotricity are still the only energy company in the world certified as vegan.

Yes, many energy companies claim that they produce green energy, but can energy ever be truly green if they involve animal by-products?

We make sure that only the correct ingredients go into our energy supply. Really in simple terms it’s a bit like baking a cake. You carefully select your ingredients to make sure it tastes nice – why wouldn’t you check the ingredients in your energy supply?

For a bit of fun and to celebrate our 5th year anniversary as vegan, we’ve created our own vegan celebration cake which you can bake too. We’ve put together a recipe for you here.

Now what’s next for Ecotricity?

At Ecotricity we’re committed to building a greener Britain and to end the use of fossil fuels. We’re proud of our five years of being certified as vegan and see this as only the beginning for us.

Yes, we’ve been producing green energy since we built our very first windmill in 1996 but to receive the official accreditation from the Vegan Society was very important to us.

We’re currently finishing construction on our new green gasmill. Built near Reading in Berkshire, when fully operational it will provide the gas needs of 4,000 local homes. Our green gasmill will be fed by herbal lays - a mix of grass and herbs, sown and grown on farmland next to the plant.

Unlike other forms of green gas which often use animal waste, ours is made ethically and sustainably from grass cuttings. The grass is broken down by anaerobic digestion in vats, producing biomethane. This is then captured and fed into the grid. Anaerobic digestion of green matter is a genuinely green, vegan way to make biogas.

Our Green Gas report, published in the summer of 2022, shows that Britain theoretically has enough land to make all the gas we need, not just for homes but for businesses too, enabling Britain to become self-sufficient in renewable gas.

We know that creating new green energy infrastructure is the only way to combat climate change. So, at Ecotricity, we use our customers’ bill money to invest in wind and sun parks and our new green gasmill – we call it ‘bills into mills’.

What can I do?

As we’re the only energy company that is certified vegan, the greatest change you can do is to switch to us. Then you’ll know for certain that no animal by-products have been used in your energy supply. We wish more energy suppliers would make the change to vegan energy – but it hasn’t happened in the past five years and we’re not expecting it in the next!

Let people know about the ingredients in their energy – tell your friends, family even your neighbours! The more people that know, the more likely that energy companies will do something about it.

Education is key – we know that many people throughout the UK don’t know about the animal by-products in their energy supply. It’s up to you and us to spread the word and to get people thinking about what is actually in their energy supply.

Switch today and help us fight climate change here.

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