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United Kingdom

Communications giant BT in world's largest purchase of green power

Communications giant BT has concluded the world's largest ever purchase of "green" power that will see almost all its UK electricity needs supplied by electricity from renewables or combined heat and power. The three year contracts with electricity retailers npower and British Gas, part of the Centrica group, are for some 2 TWh of electricity worth several hundred million pounds. Nearly 1 TWh will come from renewables including wind and hydro, and 1.1 TWh from good quality combined heat and power. The power will supply BT's 6500 telephone exchanges, satellite earth stations, offices and depots, and reduce the company's CO2 emissions by more than 325,000 tonnes a year. The deal is welcomed by prime minister Tony Blair. "The actions of leading companies such as BT are living proof that significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions need not come at the cost of economic growth." From the Climate Group, Steve Howard applauds BT's track record of energy efficiency, waste reduction and green purchases, which has already seen it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% since 1991. "BT's initiative is globally significant and sends out a message that the purchase of green electricity is no longer a niche market -- it has now gone mainstream." "Customers who go green reap a host of benefits," claims Gordon Parsons of npower, which will supply nearly 75% of the electricity. "They can potentially offset the financial impact of the Climate Change Levy, which requires businesses to source a percentage of energy from renewable sources or pay a penalty. On top of that, if they marry their green energy policy to an energy efficiency strategy, this can also reap significant savings."

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