Home energy is the biggest cause for a large carbon footprint after travel, so if you want to be serious about helping out the environment, picking a green provider may be a good way to do that. but what does green actually mean when talking about energy suppliers? How do you know which provider is offering the best value both in terms of how ‘green’ they are and how much will your gas and electricity prices rise under a green tariff?
Green energy tariffs started to appear on the market about five years ago after people started calling out for a way to make their energy usage more environmentally friendly, but not all green tariffs are created equally and because they are offered by smaller suppliers outside our typical comfort zone, it’s not always easy to pick out which one is best. While all of the big providers offer some sort of green energy plan, here’s a more in depth guide to the specific green energy providers that focus only on environmentally friendly energy.
Green Energy – All of the energy from Green Energy is in some way ‘green’, but there’s two different packages available here depending on just how green you want to be. The ‘Deep Green’ package allows you to get all of your energy only from renewable sources such as Hydro, wind and solar power. If you’re not quite willing to take that step yet, the ‘Pale Green’ tariff offers a cheaper option. While the Pale Green energy comes from non renewable sources, it is sourced from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generators which offer much more cleaner and environmentally friendly energy than traditional fuel burning only plants.
Good Energy – There’s only a single tariff available on Good Energy, and it consists of 100% renewable energy sources. This uses only energy from things like wind, solar and hydro electricity. Good Energy receive their energy from over 500 renewable providers in the UK, and even own their own wind farm in Cornwall, so these guys are pretty serious about providing renewable energy for a decent price.
Ecotricity – Ecotricity uses a different business model than the last two, revolving around investment into renewable energy. The company has been investing around £450 per customer on average in the last five years in building new sources of renewable energy across the UK, mostly focused on the development and production of new windfarms. Unlike most other energy companies, Ecotricity boasts a business model that doesn’t revolve around shareholders or investors, leaving the company free to stay true to its goals of pushing for more and more green electricity.
All of these providers offer a tariff where you can get all your energy from renewable sources. Obviously, doing so is more expensive than traditional energy so you will be paying a price for being more environmentally conscious, so it’s up to you how far you are willing to go. For those who care about the environment but simply don’t have the cash to spend on high cost energy bills, the ‘half way’ tariffs offered by Ecotricity and Green Energy are a great option. However, even if you’ve got your heart set on full renewable, it’s worth doing a price comparison because there’s no need to be paying out more than you need too, even for green energy.