The UK's Best Green Energy Suppliers in 2022
Electricity is an essential part of our lives. We cannot do without it, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the planet to keep it running. The demand for cleaner energy continues to rise, and so do the choices available. With all of these options, it can be difficult to find the best green energy supplier and decide which is right for you. To make your choice easier, we will show you how to be green and save cash in the process with our guide to the best green energy suppliers.
There are many ways to be a greener consumer, but for most people, the easiest way is to get a green tariff for your electricity and gas. Whilst many green energy suppliers have gone bust in recent months, there are still many suppliers that offer plenty of options to choose from, and can help you save money with their simple green energy tariffs.
What is Green Energy?
Green energy is a broad term that encompasses various methods of harnessing renewable sources to produce electricity or gas.
Some examples of green energy are solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power, and bioenergy. These sources do not deplete the earth’s resources but actually replenish it by using renewable resources and can be used in different ways. For example, solar panels use sunlight to generate electricity. Wind farms use the wind to generate electricity.
Renewable energy is the future of our planet. We all know that fossil fuels are finite, and we’re quickly approaching the time when oil and natural gas runs out. However, renewable energy, like solar and wind, will never run out. The sun always shines and the wind always blows.
Traditionally gas and electricity have been produced using harmful carbon-emitting fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, due to their abundance and availability at a lower price.
However, as green technologies have developed in recent years, and with government investment in renewable energy schemes, green energy has become just as inexpensive - if not cheaper - than their fossil fuel equivalents.
In addition to using renewable sources, some green energy suppliers also claim to provide green energy by purchasing carbon offset certificates. However, you should take into account that this is actually just compensating for carbon emissions, instead of producing truly green energy.
A word on green gasGreen gas is achieved through a process named ‘anaerobic digestion’, brought about by the breaking down of biodegradable materials, such as farm animal manure, crops and human waste. As green gas is not yet widely available, very few suppliers can actually offer truly 100% renewable gas plans. Many ‘renewable energy’ tariffs will offer just 10% green gas, with the production of the remaining 90% compensated through carbon offsets.
We are all responsible for the pollution happening in our environment and we must take action in reducing the use of fossil fuels and finding renewable energy sources to power our homes, businesses, and cities.
Why should we use renewable energy?
Climate change and the environment are hot topics these days, particularly with COP26 having just taken place in Glasgow. The problem is that many people complain that they don’t fully understand climate change and how it affects their lives. This is where you come in. You can help them understand the basics of renewable energy and why it’s important.
You can also learn some climate change lingo with our Buzzword Buster.
There are three main reasons for switching to a renewable energy supplier:
- Environmentally friendly: Renewable energy is a sustainable resource that is not depleting like fossil fuels. This makes renewable energy better for the environment because its carbon emissions are negligible when compared to fossil fuels.
Energy from coal, natural gas and oil power plants releases carbon emissions that have a negative effect on the climate and air quality. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources can help keep the harmful effects of climate change in check.
- Reliability: In general, once the infrastructure is in place it will produce clean energy as long as there is enough wind or sun. Fossil fuel sources such as coal and natural gas can run out unexpectedly if not managed. Though there are many concerns about the environment and climate change, renewable energy is inexhaustible and sustainable.
- Stability: The UK cannot meet all of its energy needs on its own. It has to rely on natural gas supplies imported from other countries. 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.
Are the best green energy suppliers more expensive?
In the UK, energy prices have risen for 13 consecutive years. This is because the government and Ofgem deregulating the energy market. They have been doing this to encourage competition between energy suppliers.
But what effect does competition have on prices? Does it mean that more expensive suppliers might be better at producing green electricity? It definitely doesn’t mean that. Competition doesn’t make prices lower, it just makes them more volatile. There are many companies that claim to be green energy suppliers, but few of them truly are.
When you are looking for a green energy supplier, you should be looking for companies who use renewable energy sources and carbon credits. This will make sure that you’re not paying more than you should for your electricity, while at the same time reducing your carbon footprint.
Whilst you mught think it's an expensive option, changing to a renewable energy tariff will cause global warming and climate change to slow down, and your bill could actually work out cheaper, or at worst stay the same if you switch to a renewable energy tariff. Switching to renewable energy doesn’t mean you’re going to be spending any more than you would on a gas and electricity tariff produced by fossil fuels. In fact, some of the best green energy suppliers are among the cheapest energy providers on the market.
To prove this, we ran an energy comparison based on a typical three-bedroom household with average energy consumption. Our results found that some of the cheapest dual fuel tariffs available today are green energy plans.
Are all green energy tariffs the same?
When switching to a green energy supplier, it’s worth keeping in mind that not all renewable tariffs are made equal, so some will cost more than others.
For instance, you can be expected to pay a premium if a supplier generates its own green gas, rather than relying on carbon offsetting to label its tariff ‘green’.
Which is the greenest energy supplier?
Some providers like Ecotricity and Ovo Energy rely more heavily on electricity from wind turbines, while others, such as Bulb and Good Energy are able to tap into a larger portion of hydroelectricity.
While Green Energy UK is currently one of the only companies who can currently claim to offer a 100% renewable tariff including gas, this could soon change as Ecotricity is gearing up to increase its current green gas supply through significant investments in green gas facilities in the UK.
Meanwhile, suppliers such as EDF are committed to making their gas supply renewable through carbon offsets while green gas supply ramps up.
Let’s take a look at some of the best green energy suppliers in the UK which offer customers a variety of renewable energy options. These suppliers are committed to helping their customers reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment.
|supplier||Coal||Natural Gas||Nuclear||Renewable||Other||CO2 Emissions||Nuclear Waste|
|Boost||0.00%||49.60%||0.00%||50.40%||0.00%||188 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|British Gas||0.00%||0.00%||25.00%||75.00%||0.00%||0 g/kWh||0.00180 g/kWh|
|Bulb||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|E.ON||1.10%||14.00%||1.80%||81.90%||1.20%||74 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|EDF Energy||1.30%||7.50%||62.10%||29.00%||0.10%||42 g/kWh||0.00430 g/kWh|
|ESB Energy||6.00%||67.00%||8.00%||14.00%||5.00%||352 g/kWh||0.00700 g/kWh|
|Octopus Energy||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|OVO Energy||0.00%||49.60%||0.00%||50.40%||0.00%||188 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|Sainsbury Energy||0.90%||11.80%||1.60%||84.70%||1.00%||62 g/kWh||0.00010 g/kWh|
|Scottish Power||4.00%||46.00%||6.00%||40.00%||4.00%||244 g/kWh||0.00040 g/kWh|
|Shell Energy||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|SSE||0.00%||49.60%||0.00%||50.40%||0.00%||188 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|Together Energy||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%||100.00%||0.00%||0 g/kWh||0.00000 g/kWh|
|Utilita||4.00%||54.00%||7.00%||30.00%||4.00%||277 g/kWh||0.00049 g/kWh|
|Utility Warehouse||6.00%||74.50%||9.80%||3.50%||6.20%||392 g/kWh||0.00069 g/kWh|
|UK Average||2.70%||38.20%||16.10%||40.30%||2.70%||194 g/kWh||0.00113 g/kWh|
Updated December 2021
Which is the cheapest green energy supplier?
As your location and energy use are the key factors in how much you should be paying for energy, it is impossible to determine the exact cost of any green energy tariff.
However, to give an idea of what your energy spend could be, use our handy energy consumption calculator to see how much energy you use per year. Simply enter the number of bedrooms and occupants in your home, whether you use gas or electricity to heat your house, water and cook, and what electric appliances you have, and we can tell you how much energy you use.
I'm on a prepayment meter. Which are the best green energy suppliers for me?
Although you can still get green energy on a prepayment meter, you’ll find your choices are a lot more restricted. The truth is that whether you opt for a green energy tariff or not, customers on prepayment meters usually pay more for their energy with less choice. Therefore, if your financial situation allows it, we recommend switching from prepayment to direct debit on a credit meter.
You can also request a smart meter from your supplier, at no additional cost. Smart meters show you your energy consumption which in turn helps you to reduce your consumption and save money!
Extra energy saving tipsIn addition to signing up to a green tariff, follow these top 10 energy saving tips and cut your costs even further!