How much energy we use has always been a heated topic in our house. My husband has reasonably normal requirements like being warm enough not to be shivering when inside and having enough light that you don't need to feel your way around the house. If left unchecked my habits however become a little fanatical in terms of saving energy. When home alone for the day I'll normally be found either wrapped in jumpers and quilts insisting there's enough light ( until a light is turned on and I'm amazed how much better I can see) or tucked into our tiny kitchen which is kept toasty by our washer/dryer.
The reason for my refusal to use more energy than that needed to keep the pipes from freezing is partly concern for fossil fuel use, and partly habits left over from student days when an extra light being on was a considerable cost.
But recently I've had to reassess my mantra of ' turn that light off, it's killing the planet' as we've switched to Ecotricity. With 100% renewable energy leaving a light on only hurts my pocket ( still bad enough) not the planet. The husband is enjoying my new found confusion as for the first time in my life a house full of light has no green guilt. I'm finding it hard to adjust but it is nice.
Ecotricity is slightly more expensive than our previous provider EDF, it will probably cost us about £50 more a year; really a very small amount compared to our annual bill. Also when we joined Ecotricity gave a £60 donation to the RSPB as part of a promotion, so I'm happy to pay the little extra it costs. When deciding to switch; a friend, who'd already done it, explained their choice this way
" I see it as paying my normal cheap energy bill and then the extra is a donation to a company developing green energy, as all profits Ecotricity make go back into expanding the business"
This made real sense to me. Choosing to pay more for energy feels counter intuitive but for to options of 100% renewable rather than 13.5% with EDF is worth it. The amazing customer service is an extra lovely bonus too!