CO-OPERATIVE Financial Services has signed a unique eight-year green energy deal which aims to demonstrate how business can access renewable electricity at rock bottom prices.
The £ 4 million contract with green electricity supplier, Ecotricity, is the first of its kind in the world and guarantees that CFS will continue to be a leading edge supporter of UK renewable electricity.
CFS' commitment has enabled Ecotricity to finance the construction of six new wind turbines in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, which will specifically supply CFS. The turbines, which are due to become operational later this month, will generate nine million units of pollution-free electricity per year (enough to supply the equivalent of around 3,000 homes).
The deal guarantees that however electricity prices shift in the future, CFS will pay less than market rate, be it green or standard fossil fuel ? saving CFS an estimated £ 250,000 over the life of the contract.
Paul Monaghan, Head of Sustainability at CFS, said: "CFS already sources virtually all its electricity from renewable sources, but this deal will ensure that we are supporting the creation of new generation capacity in the UK and saving money.
"We need something radical if the UK is to increase the measly three per cent of renewables currently operating in the country, which is amongst the lowest in the world."
Added Mr Monaghan: "Business should stop bleating about the price of green electricity and commit to long-term purchase arrangements such as this. In this way they will be doing their bit for the environment and saving money.
"The flash floods and barmy weather of this summer are bringing home that climate change is real and we need significant action now."
Dale Vince, founder and Chief Executive of Ecotricity, commented "This is a really important project for the UK, as it establishes a totally new approach to the customer/supplier relationship and the deployment of new clean energy sources.
"Too many power companies are simply repackaging old green energy sources, adding a cost premium and claiming they are doing their bit.
"Only new energy sources like this will make a dent in pollution levels and to climate change."
The Mablethorpe wind farm uses wind turbines designed by Lord Norman Foster. They are the quietest windmills in the world as they have no gearbox, the only sound they make is the passage of air over the blades.