Swindon Churches Together has entered an Affinity
Scheme with Good Energy. Good Energy produces
its electricity from 100% renewable sources.
This is an opportunity for the churches to buy
electricity produced in a way that does not damage
the environment. It will help to increase the
amount of renewable electricity generated nationally,
and so help to reduce global warming. Currently,
most electricity is produced by burning coal,
gas and oil, which are causing pollution and
heating up the planet. Climate change is already
causing great hardship in the poorest parts of
How does it work?
Good Energy provides the electricity like any
other electricity supplier. However they generate
it from sources such as solar power (PV panels),
wind, water (small-scale hydro-electric projects),
and other renewables. A church that wants to
join rings up Good Energy and asks to change
supplier. If they quote Swindon Churches Together,
Good Energy pays us an introduction fee. This
means we have an additional pot of money available
for use in Swindon Churches Together.
Will it cost more?
Possibly. Bath Road Methodist Church has already
changed. It had a bill of about £1000 a
year for electricity, and it has increased by
about £20. Domestic users have also found
it may cost £20 a year more. However this
is a very small amount when we consider the seriousness
of climate change and the destruction of the
Do we need any special equipment?
No. Changing to Good Energy is as simple as changing
to any other supplier. You apply to them and
they notify your previous supplier, who will
send you a final bill. The supply switches over
to Good Energy on an agreed day. There will be
no break in electricity supply.
Can we run out of electricity? Will there be
No - or only if the entire national electricity
supply collapses! All the electricity generated
in the country goes into the national grid. Good
Energy guarantees that every unit of electricity
supplied to you will be matched by an identical
amount from renewable sources. They also promise
that they will not take on new customers without
being able to obtain an equivalent amount of
100% renewable electricity.
Don’t other firms provide green energy?
Some, like Scottish Power, do have a green energy
tariff you can buy into for a small additional
amount, but they do not produce all of their
electricity by environmentally acceptable means.
There are other 100% renewable energy companies
you may want to consider. This one seems to offer
a good deal.
Who can join?
1. A church or church hall. By naming Swindon
Churches Together, the company will pay us between £60
and £120 depending on the kind of meter
2. A domestic user. By naming us the company
will pay £20 to Swindon Churches Together.
3. A producer of energy. This could be a church
with photovoltaic panels or a domestic user with
an old water mill that can be adapted for example.
Good Energy will pay a reasonable rate for the
all of the electricity that you generate on site.
Everyone. Good Energy gets more customers. Swindon
Churches Together gets the money. Both get the
publicity. A domestic user gets a free bottle
of wine. The environment is the best winner,
because we damage it less.
What’s the hitch?
None so far we know of. We have checked the contract
with Good Energy. Should any difficulties arise,
Swindon Churches Together will take them up.
What do you do with the Churches’ money?
At present it’s going into a general ‘pot’ for
use as decided by the Ecumenical Council. As
yet we don’t know how many churches and
domestic users will buy in or how big the ‘pot’ will
Has this been tried before?
Yes. TearFund has an affinity scheme similar
to this one. Newcastle churches are also going
down the green tariff route, jointly with their
We want to know more...
Ruth Baker from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will
visit any church to advise on “green electricity”,
climate change and ways to protect the environment.
Contact her on 01793 535476 or by e-mail, email@example.com
As Christians we are stewards of the environment.
Many of us are parents who want a future for
our children. At present climate change is on
the brink of getting out of control. We have
to find simpler, cleaner ways to live. This is
an opportunity for the churches to take a lead.
For further information contact: