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Green Tariffs Are Misleading Energy Customers


Almost 90% of so-called ‘green’ dual fuel tariffs are not from 100% renewable sources, according to data from Compare the Market.

The research looked into 54 green dual fuel energy tariffs that are available on the market and found that only 6 of them, or 11%, offered gas and electricity from 100% renewable sources. It also found that some energy suppliers are offering ‘green tariffs’ where only between 15-33% of the energy offered is actually green.

A green tariff is an energy deal in which the supplier gives the equivalent of a household’s energy usage back to the National Grid as renewable energy. 37 out of the 54 dual fuel green tariffs analysed in the report offered electricity from 100% renewable sources. However, when it comes to supplying both gas and electricity from renewable sources, just 6 of the deals were found to be offering this.

Another 12 deals supply 15-25% of a household’s gas from renewable sources, while 30 of them don’t supply any gas from renewable sources at all. And one of the suppliers – who has the word ‘green’ in their brand name – don’t even tell their customers that their energy is from renewable sources in two of their three tariffs, which can mislead uninformed customers even more.

Recent publicity has put global warming and climate change in the limelight, and this increased awareness of the subject has led to 14% of households already switching to a so-called green tariff. Another 31% of respondents said they are committed to or are thinking about switching energy suppliers to one that offers a renewable tariff.

However, 22% of people said they don’t want to switch to a green tariff in order to benefit the environment, and 30% said they don’t want to pay more money on their energy bills by going green. According to the research, customers are only willing to pay £20 more on average each year to switch to a green tariff.

Under market rules set by the energy regulator Ofgem, suppliers must prove that their electricity is produced from renewable sources if they are offering green tariffs. Energy suppliers must get Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates from renewable energy generators that match the electricity they supply to their green tariff customers. The REGO scheme also requires energy suppliers to explain to their customers how they source their renewable electricity ‘clearly and transparently’.

Fergus Cole
Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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