Customers increasingly take into account a provider’s green credentials when comparing energy tariffs
. And with good reason – the energy supply sector accounts for more than a quarter of the UK’s total CO2 emissions annually. Since cutting emissions is key to curbing climate change, making sure your home is powered using renewable energy is a great way to do your bit.
But what’s the best way to find a renewable supplier? And can you even be sure, when a supplier says their green, that they actually are? Read on to find out.
What Is Green Energy?
Green energy is any form of energy that is generated by completely renewable means. This covers a wide range of different sources, from wind and solar power to geothermal and hydroelectric power.
Here in the UK, the most common forms of green energy are onshore and offshore wind power
Finding out which companies provide green energy
(the energy regulator) operates a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme, which certifies energy suppliers based on the portion of their fuel mix that is made up of power from renewable sources.
Which suppliers offer 100% renewable energy in the UK?
A total of 19 domestic energy suppliers in the UK offer 100% renewable energy*:
· Bristol Energy
· Co-operative Energy
· Economy 7 Energy
· Foxglove Energy
· Good Energy
· Green Energy UK
· Gulf Gas & Power
· Octopus Energy
· Outfox the Market
· People’s Energry
· Pure Planet
· So Energy
· Tonik Energy
· Yorkshire Energy
*When a supplier says they offer 100% renewable energy, this is typically made up of two components:
Electricity from renewable sources
Renewable energy generators produce electricity. These include wind farms, solar PV farms, hydroelectric plants, etc.
Gas is harder to produce renewable. There are a handful of biogas (which is a carbon neutral fuel source) producers in the UK, but not enough for any suppliers to offer 100% biogas to their customers. Instead, what many suppliers do is offset the carbon emissions from the use of non-green gas by financially supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
Carbon offsetting programs have to be officially certified in order for a supplier to claim green credentials.
Who are the best green energy suppliers in the UK?
Choosing which green energy supplier is best for you is a matter of working out what you most value from your supplier. Some will be cheaper, some will offer better customer service, some will only be available in certain areas.
Here are a few of the key selling points for some of the most popular renewable energy suppliers:
quickly became the UK’s fastest growing green energy supplier after launching back in 2015. Bulb offers 100% renewable electricity, and 10% green gas, with carbon offsetting programs accounting for the remaining 90%. 10% green gas is generally about the top you can expect from a UK energy supplier at the moment.
Bulb also trade on simplicity – they only offer one tariff. It’s a variable tariff, which means prices can go up, but they can also go down, and while this means that Bulb is not always the cheapest provider on offer, their prices are still lower than much of the mainstream competition.
Octopus are consistently ranked well for customer service, as well as for their green credentials. They offer 100% renewable electricity, and fully offset gas, on their Super-Green tariff.
Octopus also invest a lot in developing green tech, including electric vehicles. Their Powerloop systems lets electric car drivers use their vehicle to power their homes during peak times, reducing demand on the grid.
Tonik are known for their good customer service and generally low pricing, as well as for their solid green credentials. 100% of their electricity comes from renewable sources, and 10% of their gas (mainly vegetable and animal waste).
They were also early adopters of the Tesla Powerwall home battery system.
Green Energy UK
Green Energy UK holds the admirable title of being the UK’s only truly 100% renewable energy supplier. This means that not only is its electricity generated from 100% renewable sources, but 100% of the gas it uses is green as well.
However, those looking to enjoy Green Energy’s green energy will pay a premium for it – their super green credentials exempt them from Ofgem’s price cap.
Of course this is just a small selection, for more info on more renewable energy suppliers, head over to our energy supplier directory.
Should I switch to a green energy supplier?
Choosing a supplier who specialised in renewable energy is a good thing to do as far as the environment is concerned. But it can also be good for you as a customer as well in more straightforward ways. Often, green suppliers top lists for customer service and pricing as well, and can be a great alternative to the Big Six
Use our postcode checker to compare energy deals
in your area, and see if you could be better off with a renewable supplier.