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Switch and Win with Clean Energy

Greenpeace Press Release: Switch and Win with Clean Energy

Greenpeace has launched an online competition designed to encourage householders to help stop climate change by making the switch to a cleaner electricity company. Prizes on offer are a solar water heater, a mountain bike and a portable solar charger.

Greenpeace Climate Change campaigner, Vanessa Atkinson says the Big Switch competition aims to raise awareness that electricity used at home can have a direct impact on the environment.

"Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to generate electricity contributes to climate change - which is the greatest threat we face. However using clean, renewable energy like wind and solar does not produce greenhouse gas pollution. Everyday New Zealanders can be part of the solution by choosing clean energy using the Clean Energy Guide," said Climate Change campaigner, Vanessa Atkinson.

"The Big Switch competition (1) gives people twice the incentive to switch to clean energy. Consumers not only have the satisfaction of taking action on climate change by switching, but they can also win climate-friendly prizes like a solar water heater or a mountain bike and become more aware of the solutions in the process."

These great prizes help lower your impact on the climate and save you money. A solar water heater could save your household between $350 and $450 a year, and lower demand for electricity. The mountain bike could save on travel costs and on carbon emissions and it's good for your health! The solar charger means you can charge gadgets like your ipod or mobile using only the power of the sun.

Entrants in the competition get extra chances to win for each one of their friends or family who they tell about the competition and who then enter. So help spread the word about clean energy and climate solutions and be in to win.

The competition uses Greenpeace's Clean Energy Guide which ranks electricity companies on their impact on the climate now and in the future by examining how they currently generate electricity, and what their energy policies are for the future.

The worst climate offenders are in the red at the top of the thermometer - because of their contribution to climate change and the cleanest electricity providers are at the bottom in the green (2). The ranking is based on climate impacts and not on other environmental issues, and is not an endorsement of any company (3).

"Climate and energy issues are high on the public agenda with scientists issuing more and more dire warnings about climate change and the Government reviewing its climate and energy policies this year," says Ms Atkinson.

The Competition website is at: http://www.cleanenergyguide.org.nz/thebigswitch/

NOTES

(1) Competition rules require a switch from companies in the red to the orange or green, or from the orange to the green. Only those who actually make the switch to a cleaner electricity company will be eligible for the prizes. Those who made the switch from November 2005, will automatically qualify to enter.

The first prize in the Big Switch is a 302LK solar water heater kindly donated by Synergex, www.synergex.co.nz.. The second prize is a 'Giant Boulder' mountain bike, kindly donated by Planet Cycles on Dominion Rd in Mt Eden. The third prize is a Universal Solar Charger for the iPod, cell phone, mp3 player or any other similar electrical gadget.

(2) Electricity companies were put into the following three categories. The worst climate offenders are in the red at the top of the thermometer and the cleanest electricity providers are at the bottom, in the green.

Red Companies: Currently burn coal, oil or gas for electricity - or plan to do so in the future. Mercury (MRP) Genesis & Energy Online Contact & Empower Bay of Plenty Electricity

Orange Companies: Only use renewable energy sources for electricity, but have no policy to only invest in renewable sources in the future. King Country Energy TrustPower

Green Companies: Only use renewable energy sources for electricity and have a policy to only invest in renewable sources in the future. Meridian Energy

(3) This ranking reflects the opinion of Greenpeace and is intended to give Greenpeace supporters and the public an indication of the relative impact of different electricity companies on the climate according to their use, planned use and policy commitments on different energy sources. The ranking assesses companies on their relative impact on climate change only. It does not assess companies on other environmental issues, nor is it an endorsement of any company.

The Big Switch Competition http://www.cleanenergyguide.org.nz/thebigswitch/

The Clean Energy Guide http://www.cleanenergyguide.org.nz

ENDS

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