Last updated: 9 September 2020
In this guide, you’ll find answers to the following questions:
What’s green energy?
Do all suppliers offer green energy?
Do the big six offer green tariffs?
What other suppliers offer green energy?
Green electricity is that which is generated using renewable sources, such as wind (both off-shore and on-shore), solar power, and hydroelectricity. Most green electricity tariffs are now sourced from 100% renewables, but some plans offer a mixture of renewable and traditional sources such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear. The vast majority – around 70-80% - of most renewable electricity in the UK is generated by wind power.
Green gas is biomethane gas generated from biodegradable materials, including grass. The materials generate the gas when they decompose in an oxygen-free environment. The gas is captured, any CO2 is removed (through a process called ‘scrubbing’) and the remaining biomethane is turned into energy. It’s considered both renewable and carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide released is equal to the amount absorbed by the biodegradable materials – unlike natural gas, this CO2 was only recently captured, so doesn’t break the carbon balance.
Ecotricity lists several additional benefits to generating green gas:
Supports growing of wildlife habitats
Improves soil quality
Supports sustainable food production
Provides income security for farmers
Allows UK to become virtually self-sufficient in gas production
At the present time, green gas is not widely available, so suppliers offer carbon-neutral gas where they ensure all the carbon released from your gas consumption is offset elsewhere.
Despite the buzz surrounding green energy and the efforts made by different brands in a variety of markets to do their bit for the environment, not all energy suppliers offer green power. This article highlights the best renewable energy companies to turn to if you want a greener way to power your home.
Most green tariffs come from smaller suppliers, but you can find a selection of green tariffs with some of the big six – here’s what’s currently out there:
|Supplier||Tariff||Term||Exit fee||Green electricity||Green gas (carbon offset)|
|British Gas||Green Future Jan 2022||Fixed until January 2022||£40 per fuel||100%||6% (100%)|
|SSE||All tariffs||Varies||£30 per fuel (fixed tariffs only)||100%||0% (0%)|
|E.ON (business)||SSE Green Electricity and SSE Green Gas||Varies||Varies||100% (Green Electricity only)||100% (100%) (Green Gas only)|
|ScottishPower||All fixed tariffs||Varies||£0-30 per fuel||100%||0% (0%)|
E.ON is the first of the big six to offer 100% renewable electricity on all its tariffs, including its two prepayment tariffs (EnergyPlan with Smart PAYG, and E.ON EnergyPlan with Prepayment).
Many green energy companies are on the market offering renewable electricity, while some offer varying amounts of renewable gas (with some or all of the rest carbon-offset) too:
|Supplier||Tariff (type)||Green electricity||Green gas (carbon offset)||Exit fee|
|Bristol Energy||BE Super Green (fixed, 24 months)||100%||0% (100%)||None|
|BE Simply Green (fixed, 12 months), BE Standard Green (variable)||100%||0% (50%)||None|
|Bulb||Vari-Fair (variable)||100%||10% (90%)||None|
|Ecotricity||All tariffs||100%||0% (100%)||None|
|Good Energy||All tariffs||100%||10% (90%)||None|
|Green Energy UK||All tariffs||100%||100%||None|
|Green Network Energy||All tariffs||100% (fixed), 33% (variable)||0% (0%)||£25-30 per fuel for fixed plans|
|All other tariffs||100%||0%||None|
|OVO Energy||All tariffs with OVO Beyond Upgrade (£6/month)||100%||0% (100%)||Varies|
|Pure Planet||All tariffs||100%||0% (100%)||Varies|
|Shell Energy||All tariffs||100%||0%||Varies|
|So Energy||All tariffs||100%||0%||£5 per fuel|
|Tonik Energy||Greenest Future (24 months)||100%||10% (90%)||£30 per fuel|
|Go Zero Carbon (12 months)||100%||0% (100%)||£30 per fuel|
|Go Green (12 months)||100%||0%||£30 per fuel|
|Utility Warehouse||Green Fixed* (12 months)||100%||0%||£25 per fuel (exit fees for other services may also apply)|
*Only available as part of a broader bundle with broadband, landline, and mobile services
Most green suppliers support prepayment meters and provide the same amount of renewable electricity as their standard tariffs.
Green energy is fast becoming standard for energy suppliers in the UK, with many offering it to customers at extremely competitive prices. If you are looking to go green while still enjoying the best value on your power, then fixed-rate plans from these renewable power companies may be a smart choice.
For dual-fuel plans, it is worth knowing that green gas is more expensive to create and therefore not offered as often by suppliers. At the current time, only Green Energy UK and Octopus offer a 100% green gas tariff with most competitors opting to choose cheaper carbon-offsetting measures.
Whichever supplier you choose, it is now easier than ever to be more environmentally friendly through a simple energy switch.