News from EKOenergy

Edition 64  -  17 May 2016

1.   Research: EKOenergy is not expensive
2.   EKOenergy for ecohotels
3.   Coming soon: EKOenergy-label for renewable gas
4.   Migratory fish and birds
5.   Residual mix numbers 2015
6.   News from the Secretariat
7.   Climate change is here - #Breakfree from fossil

1.    Research: EKOenergy is not expensive! 

According to the newest “PriceWatch Green” survey from the Finnish Vaasa Energy Institute, EKOenergy is not expensive. Finnish consumers choosing renewable electricity and especially those choosing EKOenergy often pay less then those buying electricity from fossil fuels and nuclear.

The report doesn't give the reasons, but we can think of several. Energy prices in general and the price of renewable energy in particular have fallen worldwide. EKOenergy suppliers are frontrunners, reacting faster to new market conditions and actively searching ways to serve their customers best. On top of this, consumers interested in green electricity are probably also those checking out other contract conditions more carefully.

Click here for the report and the numbers (in Finnish)

2.    EKOenergy for ecohotels

Yesterday we launched a new campaign: #EKOenergy4Ecohotels. Until Midsummer, we will actively focus on ecological hotels, hostels and campsites.

Several standards for hotels and tourist accommodation (such as Green Key and the European Ecolabel for Tourist Accomodation) refer to green electricity and to ecolabeled electricity. We will help hotels fulfil this criteria more easily.

We are also aiming at joint communication: the EKOenergy logo on the hotel's information screens is a perfect way to inform international guests about their choice for sustainable renewable electricity.

Click here for our newsitem about this topic. And follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

"We want to support the most environmental-friendly power production methods. Buying EKOenergy is a great way to show that we choose our electricity supply carefully."

Wilhelm Ehrnrooth, CSR Analyst of Otava Group

3.    Coming soon: EKOenergy-label for renewable gas

In February, we started with the development of an ecolabel for renewable gas. In line with the ISEAL Standard Setting Code, we began informing relevant stakeholders and studyied existing texts and materials.

Based on our research and on initial comments and reactions, we are now working on a preliminary text. You can find the most recent version here. We have criteria about consumer information, sustainability and tracking. We also plan to require minimum contributions to our Climate Fund, e.g. to finance biogas projects in developing countries.

We'll continue to work on this and we hope it will be ready for public consultation in the summer.

We are also working on finding suitable funding sources for this development work. If you have ideas on this, please let us know.

4.    Migratory fish and birds

The 10th of May was World Migratory Bird Day. And on 21st May, we celebrate World Migratory Fish Day. These days are meant to create awareness about the amazing story of thousands of migratory species and about the many dangers threatening them.

The production of renewable energy can have an impact on migratory species too. Dams often form an impassable hindrance for migratory fish and badly located wind farms can impact flyways of birds and bats.

That's why EKOenergy sets sustainability criteria for the production of renewable energy. At the same time we engage in dialogue with power plant operators to search for workable solutions to existing problems. For one of these projects, a fish passage project in Finland, we now receive European Funding.

"Choose EKOenergy - that's what we do too. For us at Ruohonjuuri, EKOenergy is a natural choice. It's a really easy way to have a positive impact on the environment"

Customer magazine of Ruohonjuuri, Finnish chain of eco-shops, May 2016, page 53.

5.    Residual mix numbers 2015

More and more of the electricity on the European and Northern American market is "explicitly tracked". That means that suppliers and consumers use Guarantees of Origin (Europe) and RECs (North America) to prove that they sell and buy electricity from specific sources.

The obvious question is: What remains for those not using tracked electricity? This remainder is called the residual mix.

Recently, the AIB published the residual mixes for the European countries. And Green-e published the residual mix numbers for North America.

EKOenergy agrees, along with many others, that these are important numbers. Consumers, and in particular corporate consumers buying electricity whose origin is not proven by Guarantees of Origin, should fall back on residual mix numbers to calculate their carbon footprint.

6.   News from the Secretariat

- We are actively helping our suppliers and consumers to communicate about their EKOenergy purchases. If you want to intensify your cooperation with us, please let us know.
-  Three more suppliers, from 3 different countries have signed our Licence agreement and will start selling EKOenergy soon. More about this in the coming weeks. 
-  Yesterday, Riku Eskelinen, our program manager, was interviewed by the Finnish national television about green electricity and sustainability criteria.
- Over 300 young people from all over Europe applied for 7 new volunteer positions at the EKOenergy Secretariat. After the summer, we'll be more and stronger than ever.
- Today, we welcome Felina Hinz, a German designer, for a 1 month traineeship at our Secretariat.
- We are actively contacting NGOs and other stakeholders in 5 continents and inviting them to join our efforts to promote sustainable renewable energy.

7.   Climate change is here - #Breakfree from fossil

A simple but very eye-opening visual went viral last week: a spiral showing the evolution of the temperature since 1850. With the temperature going completely out of range in the last decade. Watch it here.

But there is also good news. The anti-coal movement is growing fast. In the last 2 weeks a record number of people joined the #Breakfree campaign, for peaceful actions against coal on all continents. It's clear: this movement is having momentum and won't stop until all fossil fuels remain where they belong: in the ground.
We at EKOenergy are always looking to grow our network. If you want more information about becoming a partner of ours, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 
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