Everyone has a different reason to pick renewable energy. It’s important to know that renewable energy consists of electricity coming from solar panels, offshore wind farms, biomass, geothermal sources, hydroelectric power plants and green gas in the form of biomethane. These are sources of fuel and energy that will not run out and that do not negatively impact the environment.
Why should we use renewable energy?
There are three main reasons for switching to a renewable energy supplier:
- Renewable energy is undoubtedly better for the environment because its carbon emissions are negligible when compared to fossil fuels. The simple reason is that fossil fuel energy, from coal, natural gas and oil power plants, releases carbon emissions that worsen global warming and air quality. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources can help keep the harmful effects of global warming in check.
- The UK cannot meet all of its energy needs on its own. It has to rely on natural gas supplies imported from other countries. We have to pay the gas prices they set and negotiating a better deal may not always be an option. By switching to 100% renewable power sources we are one step closer to energy independence. This means not having to rely on other countries to keep our lights and boilers on. Generating our own energy is better for our country in the long run and renewable energy makes this possible.
- Fossil and nuclear fuels require drilling, burning, using and storing hazardous materials. It is surprisingly expensive and potentially dangerous to make energy out of fossil or nuclear energy. The reason we rely on it so much is because power plants are built to what is known as utility scale, namely, they are able to produce industrial quantities of electricity and gas to make it economically viable. If renewable energy sources had been developed to the same large scale over the past 50 years, solar, wind, green gas and hydroelectric would have left fossil fuels in the rear-view mirror of history long ago.
Is renewable energy more expensive?
Many people believe that while 100% renewable or green tariffs may be a good idea, they are also more expensive. The truth is a bit more complicated and it comes down to specific tariffs and your energy consumption.
British Gas ... overcharged customers by 13%
British Gas may seem more attractive because they’re more recognisable than a small supplier but you may be in for a rude awakening when you look at the actual numbers.
We ran a quick test of three different dual fuel (electricity and gas together) energy companies and found some unexpected results. Postcode, consumption numbers and tariff type are the same to see who was more competitive.
This is just an example but it will give you an idea of the differences between two renewable energy providers as well as a well-known big six provider.
British Gas, which still relies on fossil and nuclear fuels, overcharged customers by 13% when compared to Tonik Energy for example. Meanwhile, Green Energy UK, one of the few suppliers that can claim 100% renewable tariffs for both electricity and gas, are not that much more expensive than British Gas.
We have seen this trend across the other Big Six and some independent suppliers too. You may find that your bill could be cheaper or change very little if you switch to a 100% renewable energy tariff.
It’s always worth checking different suppliers using our comparison tool and giving one of our energy experts call on 01704 325069 to see which tariff is best for you.
Depending on the tariff you choose, whether its fixed or prepayment, you may have exit fees to deal with when switching providers. In some cases, these can be as high as £150, especially if you have electricity and gas through the same energy supplier. Some independent companies, like Tonik Energy, do not charge exit fees. Not having exit fees on your tariff gives you the freedom to choose the best energy supplier for you.
Are all 100% renewable tariffs the same?
100% renewable energy tariffs all have some things in common. However, you should not assume they are identical. First of all, there is a different kind of energy mix between electricity and gas tariffs.
Some companies like Ecotricity and Ovo Energy rely more heavily, up to 50%, on electricity from wind turbines, while others like Bulb Energy and Good Energy are able to tap into a larger portion of hydroelectricity. If you feel that hydroelectric dams are problematic, it’s worth knowing the energy mix of the provider you are interested in.
When it comes to Green Gas, you will find some different approaches to reaching renewable goals. While Green Energy UK is one of the only companies who can currently claim to provide a 100% renewable tariff including gas, this may soon change as Ecotricity is gearing up to increase its current 12% green gas supply through significant investments in green gas facilities in the UK. They are also the only UK energy company who has pledged to not use energy from the controversial fracking sites in Yorkshire and Sussex.
Meanwhile suppliers like Good Energy and Tonik Energy are committed to making their gas supply 100% renewable through carbon neutral offsets while green gas supply ramps up, which demonstrates better ethical values than British Gas and other Big Six suppliers.
Renewable Energy Companies
There are many renewable and green energy suppliers to pick from. Here are some key details to help you decide:
Electric Vehicle Tariffs
They are also known as EV tariffs and they are specifically designed for customers who own an electric car choose to charge from home. This kind of electricity tariff is not very common and is often bundled with perks like charging network memberships and energy consumption apps.
Who has the best Renewable Energy Tariff?
While we understand that everyone has different needs when it comes energy, we have looked very closely at all the companies who are making renewable energy a priority. Taking into consideration the renewable energy sources they use, customer service quality, the range of tariffs as well as pricing, we have concluded that the best renewable energy company for your home is Tonik Energy.
Tonik Energy have a strong customer service track record, with more than 75% of respondents on Trustpilot giving them full marks. This means they easily outperform almost every other energy company, from British Gas to Eon, with a Trustpilot score of 8.8/10. Even without their focus on fully renewable energy tariffs, that customer satisfaction score alone makes Tonik Energy worthy of your attention.
While companies like Green Energy UK may offer 100% renewable gas, it comes at a noticeable cost which you will feel when you receive your energy bill. We believe that because Tonik Energy offers 10% of Green Gas and Carbon Neutral Offset for the remainder at no extra cost, unlike Good Energy’s 6% and extra fees, that makes them a better choice for the environment and your wallet.
Additionally, Tonik Energy is at the forefront of revolutionising the UK renewable energy sector at the residential consumer level. They are helping customers install photovoltaic solar panels to generate their own energy. Tonik Energy are also working on home energy batteries called Tonik Battery that will allow customers to save up to 70% on their electricity bill and electric vehicle charging.
New technology like home energy batteries help the national grid to become more sustainable. This will lead to faster adoption of renewable energy across all suppliers, even the Big Six who are dragging their feet. By seeing the bigger picture and helping their customers truly lead environmentally-friendlier lives beyond just switching to a 100% renewable energy tariff, Tonik Energy is easy to recommend as having the best 100% renewable energy tariffs.
FiT (Feed-In Tariff) Can Help You Pay For Your Solar PanelsA Feed-In Tariff is a way for the government to compensate residential and small business customers for investing in solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate their own electricity. You are paid for the electricity you generate and get an energy discount on any energy you end up needing. Feed-In Tariffs are the best way to recoup the cost of owning solar panels and even generate income from them. Most but not all companies offer FiT yet, so it is worth researching suppliers if this is important for you.