Greater Manchester businesses back switch to 100% renewable electricity

A host of businesses, politicians and local organisations from across Greater Manchester are aiming to save money and energy through support of a pioneering new campaign to switch to clean energy.

The new scheme is a partnership between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Big Clean Switch campaign, which specialises in helping UK households save money by switching to 100% renewable electricity.

The Greater Manchester Big Clean Switch campaign – the first of its kind in the UK – launches today (19 October) after a September pilot saw the average household save £290/year by switching to clean tariffs.

As well as the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities, organisations backing the project include the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the University of Salford and Bolton Wanderers FC.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce director of marketing and campaigns Chris Fletcher said: “The publication of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy last week highlighted the increasing importance that low carbon industry is going to have to our economic prosperity, and Greater Manchester businesses are well-placed to play a leading role.

“What better way to support this growing sector than by helping local residents save money by switching to clean power?”

‘Cleaner, greener, more affordable’

The campaign website includes a link to a market comparison service to ensure that households and businesses can access the best possible deals.

Funded through commission paid by suppliers such as Ecotricity, Good Energy and Octopus Energy, the project’s organisers insist that tariffs available will always be the same or better than those on the suppliers’ own websites. Every switch will contribute towards funding for environmental projects across Greater Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who has reportedly saved money through switching to a cheap clean tariff, has said that the campaign is part of his vision to make Manchester one of Europe’s greenest cities.

“If just one in 100 homes across Greater Manchester switches to a clean tariff, that’s the carbon emissions equivalent of taking more than 10,000 cars off the road,” Burnham said.

“At the same time, I was genuinely surprised at how much we were able to save by switching our own home. If we can help others do the same, we can make Greater Manchester a cleaner, greener, more affordable city to live.”

The scheme could play a big role in helping Greater Manchester achieve a 40% target in CO2 reductions by 2020. The low-carbon sector is thought to be worth about 37,000 jobs and £5.5bn per year in Greater Manchester.

Manchester will hope to follow the lead of other UK cities which have advanced the low-carbon transformation through public and private sector collaboration. Nottingham, for instance, recently surpassed its climate change targets four years early, thanks to wide range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors working to reduce the city’s environmental impact.

George Ogleby

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