Greenpeace and npower, the retail arm of Innogy, hope to more than double the number of UK domestic customers buying green electricity with the launch of Juice, a "clean" energy product.
The move, which is the first time the environmental campaign group and an energy company have worked together in a marketing campaign, is aimed at boosting demand for British offshore wind power.
Greenpeace believes the initiative has paved the way for a significant shift towards clean energy. Stephen Tindale, an executive director, said: "We want to make sure the Government does not see this as the beginning and the end."
The Government wants to see 10 per cent of UK electricity supplies coming from renewable sources by 2010. So far only 18,000 customers have signed up to green electricity but npower says Juice, which will not carry a premium price, will enable 50,000 households to receive electricity from renewable sources.
Brian Count, the chief executive-designate of Innogy, described the scheme as "a step in the right direction". "Nobody is claiming wind will be the answer to everything but it is going to make a significant contribution," he said. "This is a much better profile for our brand than saying come with npower and you make a difference."
For every unit of electricity used by Juice customers, a unit of "clean" energy will be fed into the national electricity grid. Eventually this will come from the North Hoyle offshore wind farm which, subject to planning permission, will be built 7km off the coast of North Wales. But the wind farm will not be completed until 2003 and until then it will come from on-land wind farms and the Dolgarrog hydro station in the Snowdonia mountains.
Mr Tindale said he hoped the initiative would be a model for future co-operation with business. "We are not anti-business. Ultimately it will be business that delivers the solutions."
Shares in Innogy rose 2p to 237p yesterday, to value the company at £2.66bn. The price is the highest the shares have reached since the company was listed last October following the break up of its parent company, National Power.Reuse content