electric dilemna

ewb, the local electric utilities company, has sent out a letter to all its customers giving them a choice of 5 electricity packages representing varying degrees of ecological sustainability:

ewb.NATUR.Kraft Solar .81 / kWh
ewb.NATUR.Kraft Wasser .21 / kWh
ewb.BERNER.Kraft Solar .17 / kWh
ewb.WASSER.Kraft Solar .17 / kWh
ewb.BASIS.Kraft Solar .155 / kWh

my first reaction was positive, finally consumers have a say in the matter. but soon this has put me in a rather pronounced dilemna.

ideally i of course want the solar power package. it is the most ecologically sound solution. put at more than 5 times the price of the cheapest package i simply can’t afford it. yet. gief millions. so in that sense this rolls the responsibilty over to me as a consumer. i can’t tick the box next to solar power package and shall forever after feel guilty when i switch on a light in my house … ugh.

i think such ecological solutions need to be subsidized in solidarity by all consumers AND by the state. stop wasting so much money building freeways, forever fixing and redecorating them, to instead make solar and wind energy possible.

the article “widernatürliche kräfte” by silivio borner, weltwoche no.37 14.9.2006, points out that the ewz, zurich electric utilities, recently offered a similar “customer service”. at least in their case the ewz is selling something, that they don’t actually have. the artice explains, that switzerland could never ever produce enough solar or wind power to supply enough electricity, so the ewz is buying options from danish wind powerplants. these are purely symbolic and just assure that this company is in the process of developping wind powered electricty. at some point.

i wonder what happens in bern, if i simply don’t respond to the letter? in zureich this would automatically tick one of the more expensive options…

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.