Best green energy suppliers

·4-min read
 (Pixabay)
(Pixabay)

Getting your gas and electricity from renewable sources helps you reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment.

Here’s our ranking of the four best green energy suppliers.

 (Bulb Energy)
(Bulb Energy)

1. Bulb

Green mix score: 4/5

Cheapest green tariff: £1,057.40 (variable rate tariff)

Online energy-saving advice score: 5/5 stars

Our Verdict

Bulb offers electricity from 100% renewable sources (78% wind, 18% solar and 4% hydro) plus gas from 4% renewable sources. Bulb offsets its carbon emissions with no nuclear waste. The supplier’s website features extensive energy-saving advice. The trade off is that its cheapest green tariff is on the more expensive side.

 (Octopus Energy)
(Octopus Energy)

2. Octopus Energy

Green mix score: 4/5

Cheapest green tariff: £963.67 (variable rate tariff)

Online energy-saving advice score: 3/5

Our Verdict

All of Octopus’ Energy’s electricity comes from renewable sources (75.3% wind, 21% solar and 3.7% hydro), plus the supplier offsets its carbon emissions. While it produces no nuclear waste, Octopus does not offer green gas. Visitors to its website can find plenty of energy saving advice.

 (Outfox)
(Outfox)

3. Outfox the Market

Green mix score: 3/5

Cheapest green tariff: £908.49 (variable rate tariff)

Online energy-saving advice score: 1/5

Our Verdict

All of Outfox the Market’s electricity is generated from wind, and its cheapest green tariff is competitively priced. However, there’s no green gas to be had from the supplier, it doesn’t offset its carbon emissions and its website is somewhat lacking in energy-saving advice.

 (goto.energy)
(goto.energy)

4. goto.energy

Green energy mix score: 3/5

Cheapest green tariff: £932.28 (variable rate tariff)

Online energy-saving advice score: 3/5

Our Verdict

Goto.energy doesn’t supply green gas, but its electricity comes from 100% renewable sources (66.71% wind, 16.64% hydro, 16.64% solar and 0.01% other). The supplier doesn’t offset its carbon emissions but it also doesn’t produce any nuclear waste.

Methodology

How are the suppliers ranked?

We looked at UK green energy suppliers and scored them according to their green credentials – including the sources they use, the carbon they emit and offset, plus whether they produce nuclear waste.

We also looked at how expensive their cheapest green energy tariff and how good the energy-saving advice on their websites was.

How we define green energy

Green energy is gas or electricity that is generated using least in part by alternative, renewable sources. This includes solar, wind, tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal and bioenergy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is green energy supplied?

If you sign up for a green energy tariff, you’ll still get your electricity from the National Grid, just like someone who isn’t on a green deal. Power generated from various sources, from coal to solar, and fed into the National Grid.

When you choose a green deal, the supplier will match some or all of what you spend on electricity with the amount they buy from renewable sources. This means that the more people who choose green tariffs, the more renewable energy goes into the National Grid mix.

Is a green tariff more expensive?

When they first hit the market, you had to pay a premium for an environmentally friendly energy tariff. These days, there’s less difference between green tariffs and standard tariffs. British Gas, for example, charges £3 extra per month for its Green Future tariffs. Green tariffs are often cheaper than most suppliers’ standard variable tariffs.

Who are the UK’s 100% green energy suppliers?

From the rankings above, you can see that several energy companies tick the box when it comes to being able to supply electricity from 100% renewable sources. Wholly green providers of gas, in contrast, are more difficult to find. While several providers offset their gas emissions, GEUK claims to be the only provider to produce 100% of both its electricity and gas supplies from renewable sources. The latter coming from anaerobic digestion.

How do I get a green energy tariff?

You can switch to a green energy deal using our energy comparison service.

Green energy jargon explained

Brown electricity: Electricity generated from non-renewable sources.

REGO certificates: Energy regulator Ofgem issues documents called Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGO) for every 1 MWh (megawatt hour) of renewable energy an organisation generates.

These organisations can sell the certificates to energy suppliers alongside the renewable electricity (or separately). Suppliers then submit the certificates to Ofgem to prove how much electricity they buy from renewable sources.

Green washing: Some energy suppliers claim to provide 100% renewable energy, but are buying unused REGO certificates without buying any renewable energy.

Power Purchase Agreements: Long-term contracts between generators and energy suppliers that agree on a set amount of power.

Green funds: A fund that supports renewable energy projects paid for by a premium on certain tariffs.

Read More

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