|Founded||1 April 1996|
|Dale Vince, founder|
|Products||Wind energy projects
Solar energy projects
Ecotricity is a green energy company based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England specialising in selling green energy to consumers that it primarily generated from its 70 megawatt wind power portfolio (they prefer the term Windmill rather than Wind-Turbine). It is built on the principle of heavily reinvesting its profit in building more of its own green energy generation.
In the Which? customer service survey for energy companies Ecotricity came 1st (84%), scoring 5/5 for bill accuracy, complaint handling and helping you save energy and 4/5 for value for money. A huge contrast to the Big Six of which Npower came bottom, with Scottish Power, British Gas and EDF just above, all with majority surveyed being unsatisfied with their service.
From this Dale went on to commercially build Wind monitoring equipment (which the company still does today using the name Nexgen) from there they went on to having their own Wind turbines, starting with a 40-metre turbine in the early 1990s which at the time was the largest in the country.
In a survey of green energy companies The Ecologist magazine reported that in 2004 Ecotricity invested over £900 per customer on new Enercon wind turbines, more than 100 times the amount invested per customer by Powergen, Npower and Scottish Power, all of whom market themselves as green energy suppliers. That amount also compares favourably with several other green energy suppliers such as Green Energy or Good Energy, who make no direct investment in creating additional renewable energy capacity on the UK electricity grid.
Since 2004, Ecotricity's site, WhichGreen.Org, has cited Ecotricity's contribution to new green energy sources, per customer, as £117 in 2005, £275 in 2006 and £555 in 2007 — with Scottish & Southern Energy, for example, averaging around £10 per customer in the same period.
In 2007 Vince ran a now famous advertisement on the back page of The Guardian newspaper inviting Richard Branson to his place for a solution to climate change and a carbon-free breakfast. The ad ran the day after Branson appeared on TV with Al Gore, who had managed to persuade Branson that climate change was an issue. The ad was written and produced by Host Universal and included Vince’s personal mobile phone number.
Ecotricity was also a winner in the 2007 Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. The awards congratulated Ecotricity for their environmental contribution, stating that 'The company's turbines are delivering 46 GW·h/yr of renewable electricity and avoiding around 46,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. The installed capacity is expected to double by the end of 2007.'
In January 2012 it was revealed they have invested in the development of SEARASER pump-to-shore wave energy machines and in June said they were to deploy in the Autumn of that year in October 2014 they broke silence to say that with the help of marine consultants DNV GL they are moving from Laboratory-trials to Sea-trials
In November 2014 they announced they would not be attempting new applications in England because of the current political climate at the time and would instead concentrate on Scotland. They went on to spin their small turbine manufacturer out into a subsidiary called Britwind. Britwind in collaboration with a local company then offer free Electricity to Crofters in return for installing a small turbine and keeping any excess power generated.
Before August 2013, Ecotricity ran a mix of fuels. Ecotricity's proportion of renewable energy rose from 24.1% in 2007 to 51.1% in 2011 (compared with a national average of 7.9%), with a further increase to 60% expected in 2012
In the past, a substantial proportion of the electricity (25.9% in 2007) sold by Ecotricity to customers came from nuclear sources, which help reduce carbon emissions. This proportion had decreased to 16% by 2010, and 2.6% by 2011. Ecotricity also provided a 100% renewable energy tariff 'New Energy Plus' in which renewable energy was bought in from other suppliers to top up renewable energy produced by Ecotricity.
In Conisholme in Lincolnshire on 8 January 2009 two of the blades of one of the company's turbines were damaged. In February 2013 the go-ahead was given for them to build their largest windfarm, a 66 MW 22 turbine farm at Heckington Fen in Lincolnshire
Ecotricity also produces solar energy, with its first 'sun park' coming onstream in 2011.
From May 2010 they became the first UK company to supply eco-friendly gas (produced in the Netherlands by Anaerobic digestion of Sugar beet waste) by 2017 they plan to have their own digester's fed by locally sourced grass from marginal land of Grade 3 or poorer the first will produce 78.84GWh a year from 75,000t of grass and forage rye silage
In August 2015 in was announced they will be building an Anaerobic digester at with Sparsholt College that will take specially grown grass-cuttings from local farms local to college and supply the resulting six megawatts of gas to the grid with an overall aim of training students in the technology. This joins the first announced in Gloucestershire in April and was followed by a third three megawatt plant announced in August in Somerset 
Ecotricity has built an electric sports car called 'Nemesis' that was built as a demonstration of what electric cars are capable of: an endurance trip from Land's End to John o' Groats is planned recharging only from electricity produced by wind power.
In July 2011 they announced their Vehicle charging network that will be sited at Welcome Break service stations and their turbine in Reading, they were initially equipped with both a uk standard 13amp domestic socket and a high power IEC 62196 32amp 3-phase socket.
In July 2011 it was announced that they will be providing fast and normal electric vehicle charging stations at 14 of the Welcome Break Motorway service area's, linking London in the south with Exeter in the west and Edinburgh in the north.
In October 2012 they started to add 50 kW CHAdeMO fast charging to their charging stations allowing compatible cars to recharge within 30 minutes. In April 2014 it was announced that they would be adding support for Combined Charging System connectors from May and the September had over 120 chargers.
They currently do not charge for its use but plan to at some point in 2016 In May 2014 they brought an interim high-court injunction against Tesla Motors in reference to their vehicle charging network., this was resolved by a secret out of court settlement.
In 2014 the chargers in their vehicle charging network had sporadic software problems to do with the addition of a new connector which left some chargers not working or not connecting to specific cars
As of December 2014 they covered 90 percent of the motorway service stations and including Land's End and John o' Groats. by December 2015 they had 6500 members using it once a week or more and announced they were to start charging in 2016 and the would be cost lower than Petrol or Diesel
For their next vehicle project they plan to work on an Electric tractor.
Distributed energy storage
Small turbine manufacture
The company has donated to several political parties that support subsidies for renewable energy. In November 2013 they donated £20,000 to the Green Party. On the 10th February 2015 Ecotricity announced that they would be donating £250,000 to the electoral fighting fund of the UK Labour Party. This decision alienated some of their customers, in particular supporters of the Green Party as they feel some Labour policies are at odds with Ecotricity's avowed 'green' ethical stance. In fact Ecotricity had already donated £120,000 to Labour in November 2014, including £20,000 to the local group in Stroud which was trying (unsuccessfully) to unseat Neil Carmichael, an opponent of wind farms in Gloucestershire. In the six months before the 2015 general election Ecotricity donated a total of £380,000 to Labour. The day after the election of 7 May 2015 the company donated £50,000 to the Liberal Democrats, including £20,000 to the group in the Kingston upon Thames constituency which had been lost by Ed Davey, the pro-renewables Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
In July 2009, Ecotricity started legal proceedings against French power company EDF Energy for the alleged misuse of the Green Union Flag logo, used to promote their Team Green Britain campaign. Ecotricity had previously used a green Union flag in their own advertising and claimed that confused customers had contacted them to ask why the company was co-operating with EDF.
- Green electricity in the United Kingdom
- Wind power in the United Kingdom
- Energy policy of the United Kingdom
- Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom
- Wind farm
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (March 2013)|
- Video interview of Dale Vince explaining why they invest in Wind power
- Pagnamenta, Robin (15 December 2008). Business big shot: Dale Vince of Ecotricity. London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- Video Interview with Dale on Carpool 2 October 2009
- "Our Partners - About". Ecotricity. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Green Electricity… Are you being conned?". The Ecologist. 2005-06-01.
- "Which green electricity suppliers are really green?". WhichGreen/Ecotricity.
- Ecotricity wins Ashden Award
- "BBC News - Plans for sea energy device Searaser". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Wave power 'will be cheaper than onshore wind', says Ecotricity founder". Utility Week. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Tisheva, Plamena. "Ecotricity agrees GBP-70m wind-and-solar portfolio refinancing". seenews.com. seenews. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Ecotricity Fuel Mix web page
- Dedicated to building wind turbines to provide renewable energy and wind power
- The Guardian, Friday 9 January 2009
- "BREAKING NEWS - Secretary of State gives the go-ahead for 22-turbine wind farm at Heckington Fen". Sleaford Standard. 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- 4 December 2012 By Dale Vince (2012-12-04). "Monopoly Money | Energy". Zerocarbonista. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Sun Park Map
- "Exclusive: Ecotricity delivers UK's first "green gas" - 01 Jun 2010 - News from". BusinessGreen. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Spackman, Paul. "Farm sites wanted for gas to grid project". Farmers Weekly. Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- "Wind Car". Zerocarbonista. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Adam Vaughan (2012-09-27). "'Nemesis' breaks electric car land speed record | Environment". London: theguardian.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Johnston, Keith (2011-07-24). "connEVted: UK's 'first electric highway' announced". Connevted.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Nissan and Ecotricity launch fast, free EV charging in central England". EAEM. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Green, Chris (12 June 2014). "Misdirected email sparks electric car war between Tesla and Ecotricity". The Independent (London).
- Bennett, Peter. "Tesla and Ecotricity reach out of court settlement over Electric Highways dispute". next energy news. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Merrill, Jamie (4 January 2015). "Are e-cars the future of motoring? Find out on a long, but not long enough, drive up the Electric Highway". The Independent (London).
- Blackhurst, Chris (2014-12-16). "The Headline Interview" (Video). London Live (London). Retrieved 2014-12-18.
- "Former hippy speeds into new energy age". CNN. 25 July 2011.
- Parrott, James (2011-03-31). "Effect of Distributed Energy Storage Systems on the Electricity Grid" (PDF).
- Allwright, David (1914-01-01). "Effect of Distributed Energy Storage Systems on the Electricity Grid". Connect.innovateuk.org. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- "Welcome to our registers search site". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
- Ecotricity threatens legal action against EDF in green Union flag row
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (March 2013)|
- Company website
- UK Grid Live Carbon Intensity
- Ecologist article on "green" energy
- WhichGreen: Ecotricity's league table for green energy suppliers
- 'National Consumer Report: Reality or rhetoric? Green tariffs for domestic consumers[dead link]
- Association for Environment Conscious Building: The Green Electricity Illusion[dead link]