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Go Green With the Help of WITT

Apr 27, 2007

By Rosemary Gallagher

A NUMBER of financial groups joined forces with the government this week to launch the We're in This Together (WITT) campaign to help consumers do their bit for the environment.

The initiative is backed by the Climate Change Group and partners include Barclaycard, Scottish Gas, HSBC and Royal & Sun Alliance.

As part of this, More Than, the consumer division of Royal & Sun Alliance, has launched two green products.

The first is a "telematics" car insurance policy that uses GPS technology to help people drive in a greener way and save money on fuel.

Customers buying car insurance from More Than through the WITT website will be given a GPS telematics device for their cars.

This "smart box" will monitor how green their driving behaviour is, sending them regular reports on how well they are doing and tips to help them drive more efficiently.

The system will measure behaviours such as the number of short journeys taken, excessive speed, over-revving, over-acceleration and idle time leaving the motor running.

As well as helping customers to cause less pollution, the device should also save people money through lowering fuel costs and wear and tear on vehicles and tyres.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, by driving in a greener way people can save an average of GBP 120 per year in fuel costs. The new eco product will be launched as a pilot in the final quarter of this year with up to 1,000 free boxes available in 2007. If successful, More Than will look to expand the scheme in 2008.

Secondly it is offering an eco car discount of up to 15 per cent and free carbon offsetting for the first 3,000 miles driven.

It is also encouraging drivers of non-eco cars to make the green choice. From May this year, customers buying More Than car insurance on the WITT website will be given the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions using an online tool. More Than will pay for the first 3,000 miles of each customer's carbon offsetting.

More Than also said it would soon offer a financial incentive to home insurance customers who have taken measures to reduce their energy usage.

Bridget McIntyre, UK chief executive of Royal & Sun Alliance, said: "Our customers want us to take action, and our people want to work for a company that's taking its environmental responsibilities seriously."

Dr Steve Howard, chief executive of The Climate Group, said: "This campaign marks an unprecedented commitment from some of the UK's favourite brands to help their customers tackle climate change. These brands have come up with new and innovative ways to make it easier to save energy, from watching TV, insulating roofs and insuring cars, to washing our clothes and lighting our homes."

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