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British Telecom to Switch Entire Electricity Demand to Renewable Sources

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UK based British Telecom is to source all of its electricity supply in the country from renewable energy, after signing an agreement with npower, making it one of the largest UK commercial companies to do so.

As electricity is distributed through the National Grid, it is impossible for BT to ensure that every unit of electricity it consumes came from a renewable source, so the deal is that it buys electricity normally, but its entire consumption has to be matched by renewable supplies being fed into the National Grid.

During the 2011/12 financial year, BT consumed 2.3 Gigawatt hours of energy running its UK networks, data centres and offices, equivalent to 0.76 percent of all the electricity used in the UK.

BT will also work to reduce its overall carbon footprint through energy reduction in its own operations, help lower its supplier's carbon footprint and decrease the consumption of devices provided to customers.

As part of the contract, npower has issued a pioneering A-G rated electricity source label to BT, to certify that all energy purchased will be in the A rated category in terms of carbon content. The first electricity source label was issued on December 21, 2012.

The label provides BT with an assurance that for every unit of electricity consumed, a matching number of units from renewable sources are fed back into the electricity network by npower. This label provides BT with clear visibility of the carbon impact of the electricity it purchases.

BT said that it believes that providing visibility of the carbon content in their electricity will stimulate demand pull for more A rated electricity which will in turn ultimately help to encourage energy companies to invest in renewable energy infrastructure, driving down overall carbon emissions in the UK.

Paul Massara, CEO of RWE npower, said: "BT's decision to match its electricity use with 100 per cent renewable energy sends a real signal that renewables are important to the UK and to British business. We've worked in partnership with BT for many years and are delighted to have created this bespoke contract as part of the targets set out in BT's sustainability plan."

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Tags: british telecom  UK