Ecotricity is notable not just for being a long-standing provider of renewable energy, but also for being one of the oldest energy companies. In an environment where energy suppliers seem to be in constant danger of going bust, Ecotricity is a dependable option. Using solar, wind and biogas to supply sustainable energy across the UK, any Ecotricity tariff you choose will feature 100% green electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
HQ: Stroud, United Kingdom
Total customers: over 200,000
Ecotricity first started in 1995 with just a single wind turbine. The following year the company was officially founded, becoming one of the first energy providers to offer electricity produced from renewable sources.
Ecotricity claims to be a pioneer of the green energy movement, with its mission statement being to change the way electricity is made and used in Britain. As such, it has remained independently run with no shareholders or investors and has instead channelled its profits into innovations in green energy and sustainable initiatives.
Rather than simply providing green energy, Ecotricity is also invested in creating new sources of green energy and developing infrastructure. Since its original wind turbine installations, Ecotricity has expanded its offerings to include solar panels and carbon-neutral ‘frack-free’ green gas. Currently produced in the Netherlands, another “green gasmill” is soon to be built in the UK.
Ecotricity sustainable energy offerings also extend to charging points for electric vehicles. There’s the Electric Highway, a national network of Ecotricity charging points on the UK’s motorways, as well as charging points in the car parks of shopping centres, helping make a sustainable, easily maintained mode of transport more accessible.
Ecotricity is part of the self-started Ecotricity Group, which contains a series of environmental projects that go beyond energy generation. Ecotalk, a 100% green mobile phone service, uses money from customer bills to buy land, keep it protected and encourage the revitalisation of UK wildlife. Lynch Knoll is just one example, and the first site bought by the Ecotricity Group. The group planted 20,000 trees within Lynch Knoll’s 40 acres and in the 15 years following, birds, badgers, foxes and many other key British animal species have made the area their home. The brand also promotes the Pollinator Promise – a scheme that encourages people to make simple changes to their gardens or to contact their local councils to help save bees from the threat of extinction.
The Ecotricity Group has also invested in its own football club. Forest Green Rovers F.C. are officially endorsed by the Vegan Society, and their home ground, The New Lawn, serves up only vegan fare to fans. There are plans for the team to be given a new home in a wooden stadium which would, Ecotricity hopes, become the greenest football stadium in the world. From its innovations to its charitable donations and partnerships, Ecotricity is fully committed to the future of green energy.
Ecotricity tariffs offer one single annual price on its electricity and gas for a whole year, to make things simple and transparent for all customers. This is based on an Ethical Price Promise – Ecotricity prices are set on October 1st each year and remain constant until the following October, with all customers receiving the same price no matter when they signed up. Electricity is 100% green, gas is carbon neutral and all energy on this plan is vegan, using no animal products.
Pay as you go tariffs are also available, with no contract, no exit fee and 100% renewable electricity, carbon neutral green gas and vegan energy.
This means that prices aren’t fully fixed, but you can leave within 28 days of being notified of a price change, as there are no set contracts or exit fees with Ecotricity. All Ecotricity tariffs are also available on an Economy 7 meter, and customers can also manage their account with the Ecotricity app.
As part of its sustainable energy goals, Ecotricity is joining the smart meter rollout that will see all customers equipped with a device by the end of 2020. Smart meters digitally record how much energy you’re using and send meter readings directly to your supplier. You can keep track of this information on a handheld Smart Energy Display you’ll receive with the smart meter. A smart meter can help you gain more control over your energy usage and bills.
With Ecotricity, a smart meter will allow you to manage your energy using an app, just as with a regular tariff. It also provides installation with its partner meter operator, whilst offering information on what smart meters are and how to use them. If you’re having problems with your Ecotricity smart meter, it also operates a 7-day phoneline for to help as well as a 24-hour automated hotline for topping up your pay-as-you-go meter.
The goal of Ecotricity EV charging is to provide green energy at home and on the road for electric vehicles. As such, Ecotricity offers a Fully Charged Bundle, which provides a discounted electricity rate on EV charging at home or better than half price when charging on its Electric Highway, 39p to 19p/kWh. It also offers a discount on the home EV charger if you switch to the EV Ecotricity tariff, which it claims can save you £215 overall in your first year.
With Ecotricity, you can be certain of the environmental footprint of your energy supply – so if the greenness of your energy or the impact of your supplier is important to you then it’s a great choice. Between its no contract/no exit fee approach and its Ethical Price Promise, Ecotricity is still a good option for those who are concerned about flexibility and price.