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Utility unveils green tariff
1 November 1997
The official unveiling of utility Eastern Electricity's EcoPower and EcoPower Plus tariffs took place as planned (Windpower Monthly, July 1997) on October 23. By paying 5-10% more on their bills, the utility's customers will have the satisfaction of knowing that the premium will support renewable energy projects or research into renewables. What's more it will be matched pound for pound by Eastern Electricity. The funds will be placed in an independent charitable trust, whose trustees -- to include representatives of major environmental bodies and customers -- will direct how the money is spent. The tariffs are available immediately to Eastern's existing three million domestic and business customers in its own franchise area. From 1998 when the electricity market opens to full competition, consumers throughout the country will be able to sign up to the scheme. The premium would add an extra £13 or £26 on an average annual domestic bill. The company is also "greening" its generation business; it is committed to ensuring that 10% of its generating output comes from renewables by 2010 -- this will amount to some 800 MW. Friends of the Earth backs both green initiatives. "Eastern Electricity is first of the generators to have set targets from renewables and combined heat and power," says FoE's Patrick Green. "It is a very positive step in the right direction."
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