This is a big deal!Ecotricity caused a stir with its viral video of collapsing cooling towers, a not-so-subtle shot across the bows of the major utilities.
But rhetoric and cute animation is one thing.
Its latest announcement - that it will sell 100% green electricity below the price that Britain's major utilities are offering their standard tariff - is quite another. Green electricity has long been available to British consumers through the deregulated energy markets there, but uptake has not been huge - there is still an assumption from many that it will cost them more than standard rates.Now, Ecotricity will not only be offering price-parity with the incumbents. It will actually be actively undercutting them. Here's how Ecotricity's Dale Vince described the move:
“Around 40% of our electricity supply is self-generated by our own fleet of wind and sun parks, and we have planning permission to more than double that supply in the near future – this degree of energy independence now means we can be price independent. The good news is that,when we make this change, it will mean slightly lower bills for our customers – it will be a very modest reduction, just a few pounds, but this is a really significant step in our evolution as a green energy company."
With high electricity prices and massive profits for the major utilities being an incendiary topic in Britain, this move is bound to raise eyebrows and create headlines.
And because Dale Vince has proven himself to be an outspoken business activist on all things from our broken food system to transportation to green energy, a growth in business for Ecotricity should mean a strengthened hand for those opposing carbon-heavy business-as-usual.
Doubtless, there will be those who argue that this price-based competition is grounded on government subsidies, but until fossil fuels start paying their own way for their massive environmental, health and economic impact, that argument is weak at best.
Interesting times we live in.
Here are those adorable collapsing cooling towers once again, in case you missed them the first time.