An Italian energy supplier, Green Network Energy first entered the UK market in 2015 with the same focus on renewable energy and customer service that has made it a popular consumer choice in its home country. The company generates energy from renewables, supplying thousands of businesses and homes with cleaner, greener power.
HQ: Croydon, United Kingdom (Head office for UK market)
Total customers: 300,000 (within the UK), 1 million (Italy and UK combined)
Green Network Energy was founded in 2003. The company’s emphasis has long been placed on offering customers wider choice over their household energy, and from there it has grown to invest in green energy production. In Italy, this takes the form of sources like wind, solar and biogas, along with waste-based production as a by-product of manufacturing.
Green Network’s focus is on a commitment to renewable energy. For every unit that a customer uses, it purchases the equivalent in renewable electricity. The benefit of using renewables is that it decreases harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Where exactly does this power come from? Renewable electricity is generated from a number of sources. You may already know about wind and solar power, but energy can also be generated from wave, tidal, biomass, hydro, geothermal and waste sources. Green Network has a history of developing renewable energy projects in Italy from these types of sources.
Within the UK, electricity is generated both from renewable sources as well as nuclear and fossil fuels like coal or gas. All these sources are mixed together on a single national grid, which means that Green Energy can’t trace the origins of its supply as it makes its way to each customer. So, although it doesn’t currently generate its renewables in the UK, it does back its tariffs with renewable sources. Green Network Energy buys certificated energy called Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGOS) to show how many units it has purchased, in comparison to what has been sold to customers. This balances out to prove that for every unit you use in your home, it buys the equivalent REGOS of certified renewable electricity.
It’s important to understand that not all Green Network Energy tariffs are 100% renewable electricity – if you want this type of plan, look at its description to see if this feature is included. The company’s green tariffs offer this feature for eco-minded customers.
With a smaller size, Green Network Energy keeps its selection of plans quite simple. In addition to the Green tariffs, you can choose from fixed or variable prices. Fixed price deals lock you into an affordable tariff for the duration of your agreement, while variable options include a price structure that may move up or down over time.
No matter the plan, you can pay by direct debit and receive all statements online to reduce paper waste.
While switching from your current provider to Green Network Energy is a simple process, it’s also easy enough to change tariffs if you’re already a customer. For those on fixed term agreements, you have a 49-day grace period at the end of the contract during which time you can switch without paying any exit fees. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the exit fee to switch from a fixed term agreement to a new tariff – even if it’s still with the same provider. This is because Green Network Energy purchases energy at a set price point for fixed rate customers, and if you leave before the end of the contract, its left with unsold energy.
Once you’ve chosen a new plan, you’ll have a 14-day cooling off period. If you find a better deal or change your mind during this time, you can cancel the new agreement without any penalties. Although you can switch during the cooling-off period, you’ll need to cancel the first agreement, wait a few days, and then re-register again with the new tariff. This is to keep records and communication clear.
How does this supplier stack up when it comes to offering different types of meters? At present, it only caters for prepayment and standard customers.
Smart meters come equipped with digital displays, so that you can track your real-time energy use and avoid estimated figures. At the moment, there are no Green Network Energy smart meters available. However, the supplier states that it will implement the next generation of smart meters when available. If you currently have one installed, it will be treated as a standard meter – you’ll still need to report your meter readings to the company.
Economy 7 tariffs are a great way to save money if you use a good bulk of household energy in the evenings. They work with a dual pricing plan, separating overnight meter readings from daylight hour readings to apply the different fuel rates. If you already have an Economy 7 meter installed in your home, you can take advantage of Green Network Energy Economy 7 tariffs.
Green Network Energy customer service is a priority for the brand. Because it’s a smaller company, it is able to provide more personal service. As a result, the reviews are quite positive when it comes to customer service - the company has a four-star rating on Trustpilot. The brand’s identity focuses on its Italian heritage, so customer service is available in both Italian and English.
Direct debit payments and paperless billing are available with all plans, and Green Network Energy offers a mobile app to assist you with basic account functions.
If you’re searching for an energy supplier that does things a little differently, Green Network Energy might hold some appeal. The company is strong in the customer service department, with friendly staff members and a commitment to family values. For those seeking renewable power sources, its green tariffs will hold plenty of appeal. Green Network Energy can’t guarantee that all the power is renewable, but it makes up for this in other ways, such as investing in renewable projects within Italy and beyond.
One downside to Green Network Energy is that you pay a premium for 100% renewable energy tariffs, so if you’re looking for the cheapest option this may not be for you. Right now, it doesn’t work with smart meters, which is also a downside if you’re interested in adopting this technology within the home. It’s best to compare all plans carefully to find out if this supplier is right for you.