Green Network Energy: Really Green Energy?
Green Network Energy entered into the UK market in 2015. With around 300,000 customers in the UK in 2019, they hope to earn revenues of £300 million. In their home country of Italy, they’ve become one of the country’s biggest suppliers since opening in 2005 and have reported sales of $2.4 billion (£1.8 billion).
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Green Network Energy Reviews
Green Network Energy is one of the newer national energy providers. Its slogan is “our customers are our family” - so how do they treat their relatives?
Green Network Energy reviews are generally positive, showing their commitment to customer service. There are some unhappy cousins amongst the reviewers, usually frustrated with waiting time or with problems using the Green Network Energy mobile app. However, the majority of users are happy with their service, citing excellent customer service and a simple switching process.
On Trustpilot, Green Network Energy has received 54% 'excellent' reviews and 24% 'great'. Combining those with smaller percentages of lower reviews, they have an average of 4 stars. On Google they have a somewhat lower 2.7 average. Both numbers are comparable to other energy companies, for example, Good Energy Reviews are similar with an average of 4 stars on Trustpilot and a slightly lower 2.3 average on Google.
It’s worth mentioning that Green Network Energy has a referral scheme that may unduly influence reviews. Customers receive £30 for successful referrals, so some of the glowing reviews may be an effort to convince friends, rather than an unbiased evaluation.
Green Network Energy’s identity as an Italian company is a key part of their customer service and overall strategy here in the UK; they’re very proud of their “Italian touch” and claim to treat customers like family.
This attitude is reflected in the reviews of their customer service, which is frequently mentioned in their 4 and 5 star reviews.
While generally having positive feedback on the quality of their customer service, it’s worth noting that their efficiency in responding to their customers is below average, with an estimated delay of 14 minutes before answering phone calls and a full 11 days to respond to emails.
Their customer service is available in English and Italian, and catering to the Italian speaking population residing in the UK is a key part of their business strategy.
Fuel Mix: Truly a Green Energy Network?
As you may guess from the name, Green Network Energy has made their image as a renewable energy provider (energy from solar panels, wind farms, biomethane, geothermal, etc.) part of their brand. But how green are they really?
Green Network Energy frequently mentions 100% renewable energy tariffs, but it’s important to realise that only their Family Green tariffs are actually certified as 100% renewable energy. The rest are standard tariffs.
Like all UK power suppliers, Green Network Energy is legally required to provide their fuel mix to the public.
Looking at the Green Network Energy ratio of fuels, we can see that contrary to their green image the percentage of renewable energy, at 23.6%, is actually below the national average of 29%. That means they’re using less renewable energy sources than the average UK energy supplier.
Their percentage of fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) energy is also higher than the national average. And their greenhouse gas emissions, with 282g of CO2/kWh, is also slightly higher than the national average.
Their claim of offering a 100% renewable energy tariff is based on a 1-to-1 guarantee that for every unit of energy used, they’ll buy a corresponding unit of energy from renewable energy sources. But this is only true of their Green Family Tariffs.
Contrary to their image, most of their tariffs use a slightly lower than average percentage of renewable energy.
Green Network Energy does invest in renewable energy power stations across Europe. Green Network Group companies have built solar panel installations in Rome and Romania and wind farms in Puglia, in addition to other renewable energy projects. But the greenest among us may be unsatisfied with their efforts after seeing their disappointing fuel mix.
Green Network Energy has multiple home energy tariff options, and like all suppliers their prices vary by region
Green Network Energy's four principle tariffs are their ‘Italian Touch V21 GNE Fix’, a fixed tariff; the ‘GNE Family Green 18 Months Fixed V25’, a 100% renewable electricity fixed tariff; ‘GNE Standard Var V1’, their variable tariff and ‘GNE Prepayment V1’, their variable prepayment tariff.
If you’re confused, don’t worry, we have an in-depth guide to help you understand your electricity tariff. The shorter explanation is that variable tariffs change their rate due to market conditions, while fixed tariffs have a set unit price for the length of the contract.
Below you’ll find the TLI (tariff label information) for GNE’s ‘Standard’ variable tariff.
|Region||Elec price per kWh||Elec yearly price||Electricity standing charge||Elec TCR||Gas price per kWh||Gas yearly price||Gas standing charge||Gas TCR||Dual Fuel Yearly|
|North East EN||16.96p||£525.76||28.00p||20.26p||3.81p||£476.25||30.00p||18.90p||£1,002.01|
|North West EN||17.30p||£536.30||26.00p||20.36p||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Merseyside & N Wales||18.21p||£564.51||26.00p||21.27p||3.93p||£491.25||30.00p||19.38p||£1,055.76|
|South East EN||17.62p||£546.22||27.00p||20.80p||4.05p||£506.25||30.00p||19.86p||£1,052.47|
|South West EN||17.98p||£557.38||28.00p||21.28p||4.06p||£507.50||30.00p||19.90p||£1,064.88|
Last updated: March 2019
So how do Green Network Energy stack up when compared to other gas and electricity rates? Based on Citizens Advice and our own research, Green Network Energy’s rates, while not the highest, are not particularly competitive compared to cheaper energy suppliers.
A three bedroom flat in Somer’s Crescent, London powered by Green Network Energy could end up spending over £70 per month (or £840 per year!) more than their neighbours with more competitive tariffs.
Although there are more expensive tariffs, Green Network Energy’s prices are comparable to those of Big Six providers. These large providers have tariff rates far higher than those of many of the newer, smaller, independent suppliers.
Before writing off GNE as another sub-par pricey supplier, as we noted in our review section, their customer service is much, much better than that of the Big Six.
What is a smart meter? A smart meter has a digital display that can show you the cost of your energy use in near real time. That means you can see and report and accurate measurement, instead of relying on estimates.
Can you use your smart meter with Green Network Energy?As of now, not really. Green Network Energy is not able to provide smart meters to their customers.
If you already have a smart meter, GNE will treat it as standard. That means their customers will need to report their readings and billing will be based upon estimates. Green Network Energy has stated that it plans on implementing the next generation of smart meters when they become available.
Economy 7 Meter and Measurement
What is an Economy 7 meter? Basically, it’s one that allows you to separate your meter readings between the energy you use at night from what you are using during the day. The Economy 7 meter is built to work with an Economy 7 tariff. That means you’ll have a different tariff rate between night and day, with the night rate being cheaper.
Economy 7 tariffs only make sense if you have an electricity only household, and you use 40% or more of your energy at night. If not, a standard tariff will save you money.
Green Network Energy does have Economy 7 Tariffs available if you have a compatible meter. However, if you do have the Economy 7 meter you are free to choose between an Economy 7 tariff and a standard one.
Direct Debit Guarantee
Green Network Energy recommends that their customers pay their electricity and gas bills with direct debit. Although energy use varies by season (no one is cranking their thermostat in July), Green Network Energy attempts to split their customer’s payments equally across the year.
That means they estimate your future energy use based on meter readings and split the total yearly amount into 12 equal payments. So in a perfect world customers would receive the same bill every month.
The Journal: Lincoln Christmas Market & the Fun Side of Green Energy
One additional feature of the Green Network Energy website is a surprisingly fun, blog-style journal. Perhaps because of their family oriented strategy, the journal is not strictly concerned with energy saving tips and guides, although they do have them. More exciting topics include the the Lincoln Christmas Market and inspiration for Valentine’s Day presents.
MPAN number and Moving Your Meter
One of Green Network Energy’s offered services is moving your meter within 1.5 meters. To move your meter further, you’ll have to contact your DNO or Gas Transporter. They will require your MPAN number, address and a few additional details.
What is your MPAN number? Your MPAN, or Meter Point Administration Number (also known sometimes as a Supply Number or S-Number) is a unique number given to each property using gas. You can find the 21 digit number on any recent electricity bills.
Green Network Energy Login
Green Network Energy’s login is mercifully easy to find, appearing in Google as the Green Network Energy Portal.
The design is simple, nice looking, and continues their theme of treating customers as part of the family.
Once you’ve accessed your account online, you can check your tariff details, see your energy bills and payments and make meter readings online.
Green Network Energy does have a mobile app, but many customers may prefer to take up space on their phone with selfies rather than download it. Functions offered appear rather basic and processing errors are common. The app has scored a 1.7/5 on the Apple App Store and 2.1/5 on the Google Play Store.
Many of the lower reviews complain of limited functionality, technical errors and readings being lost and having to repeat the process again.
Because Green Network Energy has not incorporated smart meters into their services (link to smart meters), the mobile app is at best a slight improvement on the traditional meter reading process and at worst a time consuming nuisance.
Looking to work at Green Network Energy? These are just some of the positions their currently seeking:
- Data Flow Assistant
- Field Sales Agent
- Sales Administrator
Women and women’s advocates in particular may be interested in applying, as part of Green Network Energy’s stated corporate culture is creating a workplace where women feel valued and welcomed. Employees are also offered a free crèche and a nursery for company employees and options for working from home specifically for mums.
Green Network EVP and head of the UK branch has spoken publicly about her desire to help end pay disparity between men and women in the UK and Italian energy sector.
|The Pros||The Cons|
|Well-reviewed customer service||Higher than average energy prices|
|Investment in renewables projects||A not-actually-green fuel mix|
|£30 referral reward scheme||A less than stellar mobile app|
All in all, potential customers must decide if Green Network’s highly reviewed customer service is worth higher tariff rates and a less green than expected fuel mix.
Green Network Energy’s website heavily promotes their investments and projects that project their values: investments in solar panels and wind farms in Europe, creating a women friendly work environment and ending the gender pay discrepancies in the energy sector.
Those may be the added benefits that make Green Network Energy worth the price for some customers. But then again, they may not.
If you’re interested in searching for a new power supplier, be sure to get all the information you need to make the right choice for you. Use our comparison tool, or if you prefer just give us a call and make sure you get the best tariff possible.
Want to get in touch with Green Network Energy? Below you’ll find their contact and social media info.