So-called ‘green’ energy tariffs are becoming more mainstream, with a choice of providers, large and small. For those who want to green their energy supply the choice is between smaller ‘eco-only’ suppliers, or larger suppliers who offer a renewable tariff, but may also have other forms of energy on their books.
Other things to consider include whether the providers are encouraging the building of new green energy projects, or simply using what is already there, while some offer a greener gas solution along with electricity.
Here are five options to consider:
A fairly new kid on the block, Pure Planet offers 100% carbon offset gas, which sets it apart slightly from the others, which tend to be 100% renewable on the electricity only. Carbon offset gas does not mean green gas – it means you will still be using a regular gas supply (that’s because the supply of green gas is pretty minimal at the moment), but Pure Planet buys Certified Emissions Reductions (you can read about them here).
It’s got 4 out of 5 on Trustpilot and it’s totally app-based, with a 24/7 digital assistant called WattBot.
Offering ‘green gas’ as well as electricity, three quarters of Bulb’s energy is generated from hydropower, with the rest from anaerobic digestion. 100 per cent of its electricity is renewable, and 10 per cent of its gas is green. The company makes much of its ‘single tariff’ for gas and electricity, which it says is less confusing for consumers.
The UK’s largest investor in solar generation, Octopus has built over 150 solar farms in the UK, generating 40 per cent of our large-scale solar. It says its Super Green tariff is fully carbon neutral, offering 100 per cent renewable electricity and full carbon offsets for gas. There are other, slightly cheaper, tariffs too.
No, Marks & Spencer hasn’t started making gas and electricity alongside the lingerie and Percy Pig sweets. Instead it is selling tariffs from Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), including a 100 per cent renewable tariff.
The company promises that it matches 100 per cent of the electricity that customers on this tariff use with British renewable hydro power, as well as donating money to community energy projects.
Critics claim that the M&S hydro power comes from old SSE sources, hydro schemes that have been part of the UK power supply for 50 years, and therefore isn’t promoting higher levels of renewable supply.
Green Star Energy
Green Star offers a 100 per cent renewables tariff, fixed for a year, and is part of US energy group Just Energy. But in fact, last year, it sourced all of the electricity it supplied to customers from renewable generators, including more than half from hydroelectric generators and a large proportion from wind. It is planning to do the same this year.
Brighter World Energy
A buy-to-give supplier, rather than one that offers renewable tariffs, Brighter World promises to install a solar microgrid in an African village for every 2000 customers it gains. It offers two tariffs – a dual fuel and an electricity-only option and pledges to always tell customers about the cheapest tariffs it offers.
The original green pioneers:
They tend to come in slightly more expensive than the newer, smaller suppliers, but have impeccable credentials and great service. Ecotricity is pioneering green gas, offering gas that is 12 per cent renewable, while Good Energy offers 6 per cent green gas.
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