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Vegan electricity: Ecotricity launches world’s first energy supply without animal by-products

Ecotricity becomes the first energy company to produce vegan energy with the motto ''just because the energy is green, it doesn't make it vegan''

Vegan electricity could be the next big thing as green energy firm Ecotricity launched the world’s first tariff that doesn’t use animal by-products.

The British firm came up with the idea of vegan electricity came to light after it realised consumers were not made aware that electricity and gas is almost always produced using the by-products of the meat and dairy industries, including animal body parts.

Ecotricity, based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, prides itself on providing 100% green energy made only from the wind and solar power.

Founder Dale Vince said: “Today we’re launching a vegan version [of our power].

“While our electricity and gas have been vegan for as long as we’ve been able we’re backing this up with registration from the Vegan Society so that people can be clear.

“Electricity and gas might seem to be an unlikely place to find the things many of us want to avoid – but it’s there.”

A spokesperson for the company, which is working with the Vegan Society on the project, added: “The practice of using animal by-products and even dead animals to make electricity and gas in Britain is widespread, not just among the Big Six energy firms, but among smaller and even ‘green’ suppliers too.

“It’s a relatively well-kept secret, typically disclosed only in regulatory materials.”

 

Just because the energy is ‘green’, it doesn’t make it vegan electricity

Slightly different to green energy, vegan electricity and gas doesn’t require animals or animal by-products to be used in its production.

The process uses two main sources of non-vegan energy production in the UK, including anaerobic digestion and biomass.

Both the energy processes can contain by-products of animal farming, such as factory-farmed livestock, slaughterhouse waste, fish parts, and animal slurry.

 

Consumers should be told whether their energy is vegan

In a statement, Ecotricity called out competitors Good Energy, Bulb and Octopus for supplying energy generated using animal by-products.

Mr Vince said a lot of energy users were not made aware of the source of their power and more needed to be done to openly show how much power comes from animal-based feedstocks.

He said: “For millions of Britons there’s a secret ingredient in their power.

“Energy companies big, small, brown and green are using the by-products of factory farming to make electricity and gas.

“That’s not against the law, but it shouldn’t be a secret, any more than the ingredients in the food we buy should be secret – energy suppliers need to come clean.

“We need clear labelling of energy sourcing so that people can make informed choices.

“A large and growing number of people in Britain make choices everyday according to their principles to avoid animals and animal-derived products or those from factory farms – but millions of people unwittingly supporting the meat industry with their energy bills.”

The Vegan Society’s head of business development Chantelle Adkins added: “Animals are needlessly used in almost every area of life, and electricity is sadly not an exception.

“As vegans, we strive to avoid all animal use; it’s disheartening when we’re not able to do so.

“We hope that by highlighting the use of animal by-products to generate electricity we can help people realise just how widespread animal use is in our society and inspire them to avoid it.”