It’s time to ‘Change the Weather’

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Why checking air quality levels should be like checking the weather forecast

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats we face today1. To help tackle it we all need to be more aware of air quality issues and feel more empowered to do something about them. At E.ON, we’re committed to raising awareness about air pollution – helping people to understand more about the air we breathe and what we can all do to help clear the air.

Last year we erected a 16-foot ‘LUNGS’ installation on the banks of the River Thames to dramatically demonstrate the impact of air pollution on our day-to-day lives. And now we’re determined to make the subject a more frequent talking point across the country with our ‘Change the Weather’ service.

Putting air quality on the map

In our ongoing commitment to help tackle the problem, we’re encouraging the UK media to make air quality information part of their weather forecasting and we’re helping people to better understand their local daily air quality forecasts.

To help us achieve this, we’re working with weather data provider DTN and have launched our Change the Weather’ service which is helping national and regional media include air quality information2 in their weather forecasts. On top of that, we’re working with meteorologist, author and broadcaster Clare Nasir to make sure that members of the public know what the Air Quality Index means.

Wider awareness of, and understanding about, air quality is the first step to reducing air pollution. In fact, according to our new Air Care Research, 68% of Brits say they would do more to tackle air pollution if they had daily reminders about it3.

There’s no better time than now

Lockdown has presented many challenges for us all, but one benefit that’s come from it is our appreciation for the air we breathe. During the first lockdown period – between March and June this year – harmful nitrogen oxide levels in some cities fell by around 60% due to less traffic4 on the roads. And almost two thirds (62%) of the 4,000 people we surveyed say they miss how clean the air was at that time.  

Focused on solutions

Our ‘Change the Weather’ service is an important step in the right direction. But there are more ways in which we’re continuing to tackle the issue of air pollution.

We already provide all our customers’ homes with 100% renewable electricity5 at no extra cost, and we also offer solar panels and battery storage so you can generate and store your own electricity. Plus, we’re building an electric vehicle (EV) charging network to support the growing number of EVs in the UK and keep drivers fully charged.

Finally, with the winter months fast approaching, we’re helping to keep families warm and homes powered, while using less energy with helpful energy saving tips and offering smart meters, smart thermostats and energy efficient boilers.

Find out more about air pollution and how our solutions can help and learn more about the air quality forecast from DEFRA.

1.  World Health Organization: Ambient (outdoor) air pollution, May 2018

2. The DEFRA Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) tells you about levels of air pollution and provides recommended actions and health advice. For more information, go to http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/

3.  Research conducted by Census wide on behalf of E.ON October 2020 with a survey of 4063 respondents.

4.  BBC News: Coronavirus lockdown sees air pollution plummet across UK, April 2020

5.  Electricity backed by 100% renewable sources. E.ON's renewable generation assets, agreements with UK wind generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to your home comes from the National Grid and DNOs. eonenergy.com/renewable