Green Star Energy: Reviews, Tariffs, Account Login & Contact

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Green Star Energy is a newcomer in the UK energy market. It launched its service to UK residential customers in October 2013 as an expansion of its US holding company; Just Energy Group Plc. With almost 2 million customers across North America, it’s keen to build on its success in the UK, boasting its green energy tariff as “100% renewable and affordable”. But how green and how affordable is it? Customer reviews on cost and service are a mixed bag, so the question remains... Will it retain the success built in the US, or pale in comparison with its UK energy competitors?


About Green Star Energy

Green Star Energy is expanding its activities from North America and Canada to Great Britain. Let’s take a look at where it all began and where it’s headed.

History

Green Star Energy has changed names and so has its parent company. Its evolution since its inception is marked in the timeline below.

Timeline

January 2011 - Ampere Energy Supply Limited incorporated on 11 Jan 2011 as a private limited company. It later changed its company name to Hudson Energy Supply UK.

July 2012 - Just Energy Group was listed as a publicly traded company, consisting of eight brands serving almost 2 million residential and commercial customers across North America. The company entered the European commercial energy market in July 2012 under its Hudson Energy UK brand. Hudson Energy Supply UK created a residential brand called Pioneer Energy Ltd, supplying gas and electricity to commercial customers across the UK.

July 2013 - Pioneer Energy changed its company name to Green Star Energy Ltd established as a supplier of gas and electricity to the UK’s residential market.

October 2013 - Green Star Energy Ltd officially launched into the UK energy market as an Ofgem regulated supplier to UK households.

Present Day

Since its launch into the UK residential market, Green Star Energy supplies gas and electricity to around 300,000 households across the UK. In January 2018 it was chosen by Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, to take on the 10,000 customers of Future Energy after it went out of business.

Green Star Energy is growing its customer base in 2019 and strengthening its reputation as an independent and ethical green-energy supplier.

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Shares and Finance

Green Star Energy is a private company limited by shares. It sources 100% of its electricity from UK-backed renewable electricity generators, including hydroelectric and wind generators.

Although the shares and financial credentials of Green Star Energy are not publicly available, those of its parent company, Just Energy Group, are.

Just Energy Group company information
Company name Just Energy Group Inc.
Registered office address 6345 Dixie Road, Suite 200, Mississauga, Ontario L5T 2E6
Phone 1 9057954206
Sector Companies on the Energy Service
Fiscal Year-end 03/2020
Revenue £2.37B
Net Income £-7.92M
2019 Sales Growth 5.1%

Just Energy Financials.

Green Star Energy in the News

Green Star Energy has had its fair share of negative press recently. This was mostly attributed to poor customer account management and customer service. Let’s find out what has been hot off the press.

September 2018: Payout For Mis-Selling

In September 2018 it was reported that Green Star Energy agreed to pay out £361,415 in compensation to nearly 9,000 households for mis-selling its tariffs. When people visited the price comparison website Utility Discount, they were only offered Green Star Energy tariffs, even though there were cheaper deals elsewhere.

Green Star was accused of having breached its obligation to ensure that the price comparison website clearly informed users that it was acting as a representative of Green Star. This meant that users were unable to make an informed choice. As a result of this breach, Ofgem had fined the supplier £361,415 in compensation to 8,815 customers who had switched through Utility Discount.

Green Star Energy also agreed to pay £317,868 to Ofgem's Energy Saving Trust consumer redress scheme for vulnerable households. This was not just for the purpose of redressing the mis-selling, but also for another breach in failing to issue annual statements to its customers. That’s a whopping total of £679,283 in compensation and payment over this case alone!

October 2018: Overcharhing Customer By A Lot

A string of reports of overcharging and poor customer service have continued to haunt the supplier. In October 2018 the report of one customer who saw her electricity bill go from £492 to £17,354 certainly raised eyebrows. Despite the low usage consumed in her one-bedroom bungalow, Green Star Energy customer, Barbara Turner, was chased for money that she didn’t owe.

February 2019: Green Star Ups its Prices to the Cap

Green Star announced that it will increase the price of its variable tariff to the maximum permitted under Ofgem’s price cap. This means that from 1st April 2019, its customers will see a rise of 10% on their dual-fuel bills; that’s a £116 increase per year for the average household.

March 2019: New Homeowners Not Allowed Settle Old Debt

A similar story was reported in March 2019 when new homeowners were threatened with debt collectors over a bill they weren’t allowed to pay. They had moved into a home supplied by Green Star Energy with a debt remaining on the previous occupier’s account. Despite their repeated calls to the supplier, they were unable to get their names on the account to pay off the debt that wasn’t even theirs. Unable to pay the debt, they were still being sent “increasingly aggressive” demands for payment, including the threat of debt collectors.

Following a flood of complaints from customers of Green Star Energy, Citizens Advice now ranks the firm 31 out of 33 suppliers, with a paltry 2.1 star rating. Previously, it ranked 26 out of 32. Find out how its reviews have been impacted and where it ranks now.

Fuel Mix of Green Star Energy

The green energy supplier prides itself on minimising its carbon footprint in the supply of energy to its customers. That means that their fuel mix will have a strong emphasis on renewable energy sources as far as possible. Let’s see what this means for their fuel mix in both electricity and gas supplies.

Electricity

Green Star Energy only offers electricity from 100% renewable generators. Half of this comes from hydroelectric plants and a large proportion from wind energy. Its fuel mix is displayed below along with how it compares against the UK average.

Energy Source Green Star Energy UK Average
Coal 0% 17.00%
Natural Gas 0% 32.30%
Nuclear 0% 23.70%
Renewables 100% 24.30%
Other Fuels 0% 2.50%
Total 100% 100%

Green Star Energy: Fuel mix score - ★★★★★

Gas

Does Green Star Energy Supply Green Gas?

There’s not a lot to say about the “greenness” of Green Star’s gas supply. That’s because, unlike electricity, the carbon content of gas is more or less the same no matter where it is sourced. However the supplier states that it’s “actively looking” at ways to offer its customers so-called “green gas”. We know how green gas is created and how it’s renewable.

It can be from one of several renewable energy sources. But since Green Star Energy doesn’t say exactly how they will source theirs, we’ll be waiting to see what they pull out of the bag.

Where is Gas Sourced Anyway?

Around 43% of gas supplied to the UK homes comes from the North Sea. Gas is mostly sourced from Norway with smaller amounts from the Netherlands and Belgium. The remaining proportions come from more distant sources including Qatar and North Africa, in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas. The chart below displays the various sources of gas from around the world which are piped to UK homes.


Customer Perks

Green Star Energy rewards its customers, who are on qualifying tariffs, with points every three months. These points can be redeemed for either:

  • Smart energy products to help reduce your energy usage, or
  • Gift cards from popular shopping, dining and entertainment retailers. These include Sainsbury’s, Love2Shop, Argos and many more.

You can redeem your points for perks in three easy steps

  1. See the list of rewards on their website here.
  2. Pick the perk you want.
  3. They’ll deliver it to your doorstep.

They’ll even throw in a free power bank when you sign up with them, so that you can charge your gadgets on the go.

How are Points calculated?

The amount of points you receive will depend on your tariff:

Tariff Initial Points Quarterly Points Bonus Points upon Perks account activation
Fix for Longer tariffs 1,250 (per commodity) 250 (per commodity) nil
Smarter Home tariff nil 500 (per commodity) nil
If you've joined Perks mid-contract 1,000 (per customer) 500 (per customer) nil

Source - Green Star Energy Perks.

Environmental initiatives

green energy

Green Star Energy claims to “invest in initiatives in the Amazon Rainforest” as part of their environmentally conscious plans. They claim on their website that they have already planted over 60,000 trees. However it’s difficult to verify these claims since little information is provided about what they’ve achieved or how.

Its American parent company’s own charity, the Just Energy Foundation, has certainly put its green fingers to work in the United States. But no mention is made of these fingers stretching to the Amazon Rainforest. Are their reforestation initiatives real or fake? We’ll have to keep an eye on their website or other credible sources to find out!

Discounts on energy-saving gadgets

Green Star Energy has partnered up with SaveMoneyCutCarbon, a specialist in sustainable technologies. It offers customers discounts on a range of energy-saving devices. The idea is to help Green Star Energy’s customers cut their consumption and their energy bills. The products’ features and benefits offered by SaveMoneyCutCarbon's include:

LED Lighting: LEDs could use up to 80% less energy compared to halogen bulbs, thereby lowering electricity bills significantly. Their extended lifespan of up to 50,000 hours means that you get five years of continuous use!

Eco Showers: Eco showers are fitted with fixed showerheads and hand showers. Accessories include shower arms, shower hoses, shower sets and wall bars. You can use up to 60% less water, that’s up to 4,380 gallons per year. So your lower carbon footprint also saves you money on your water and electricity bills.

Eco Taps: Eco taps are fitted with tap aerators to lower flow rate. They shape the water stream coming out of the spout, producing a straight and evenly pressured stream. While still getting the same pressure, you’ll use less heat and water. This in turn lowers both your electricity and water bills.

Green Competitive Tariffs

Green Star offers four different energy tariffs. They’re reported as being highly competitive in part due to a strategic supply deal with Shell, established in 2013. On average, Green Star claims it can save customers £176 per year if they switch away from a member of the big six and onto one of its products.

TARIFF NAME: Save Money Cut Carbon 36m v2

TERM: Three Years

WHAT YOU GET: An Enviropack containing energy and water efficiency products, which they claim are proven to reduce your annual bills. See below for full list.

BENEFITS:

  • Avoid price changes in the wholesale energy market through price caps.
  • Receive rewards and reduce your carbon footprint which could all add up to a saving of up to £570.

TARIFF NAME: Fix for Longer 24m v4

TERM: Two years

BENEFITS:

  • Price protection for 24 months.
  • Flexible payment and billing options.
  • Customer Perks which allow you to earn 2,500 Perks points (both fuels) and an additional 500 points (both fuels) every three months while you’re a Green Star Energy customer.

TARIFF NAME: Fix for Longer 36m v4

TERM: Three Years

BENEFITS:

  • Price protection for 36 months.
  • Flexible payment and billing options.
  • Customer Perks which allow you to earn 2,500 Perks points (both fuels) and an additional 500 points (both fuels) every three months while you’re a Green Star Energy customer.

TARIFF NAME: Standard PAYG

TERM: None

BENEFITS:

  • Flexibility as there are no ties with Standard Pay As You Go. You can cancel at any time.
  • Remain in control of your usage by topping up your prepayment meter with a gas card and electricity key.
  • Freedom to change from a prepayment meter to a credit meter.

Schemes to help reduce bills

The Warm Home Discount and the Feed In Tariff are two schemes that Green Star Energy advocate and support, despite the latter's exisitence drawing to a close.

Warm Home Discount

What is it? Find out what the Warm Home Discount is all about and how you can get money off your electricity bills.

Does Green Star Energy offer it? Yes, the green supplier does offer the Warm Home Discount, but you’ll need to know whether you’re eligible and how to apply for it.

Feed-in Tariff

What is it? Find out here what the Feed In Tariff (FIT) Scheme is all about, the lower electricity rates you could benefit from and the payments you could receive for generating renewable energy and sending it back to the national grid.

How to qualify for 2019? You can’t! As of 31st March 2019 the FIT Scheme has stopped accepting new applicants. If your home was receiving FiT, you will see no change in their benefits.

Smart Meters

What are they? Smart meters are small electronic devices that help you keep track of your energy consumption and receive accurate bills. Discover the benefits of having a smart meter at your home and in your business premises.

How do you get one? You may be aware of the smart meter rollout plan, which is a bit haphazard to say the least! The government wants every home to have one by the end of 2020. But to ensure you retain its smart functionality, you’ll need a SMETS2, which are in short supply. Green Star Energy are currently trialling their SMETS2 smart meters, but they claim that “very soon” their customers will be able to register to get one installed. We’ll just have to watch this space for updates!


Green Star Energy’s Tariffs

What types of tariff are available?

Plan Save Money Cut Carbon Fix for Longer Standard PAYG
Customer benefits Green Energy + Perks + Enviropack Green Energy + Perks
 
Fixed price bills
 
 
 
Fixed term 36 months 24, 36 months
 
Online communications
 
 
 
Tariff name(s) Save Money Cut Carbon 36m v2 Fix for Longer 24m v4
Fix for Longer 36m v4
Standard PAYG

Green Star Energy Plans

Top tip

The Tariff Information Label (TIL) gives you the key details relating to each tariff for gas and electricity. This will help you compare each tariff against each other. To find the TIL, simply click here, enter your postcode, then click on the green 'See our tariffs' button. You’ll see the TIL for each available plan.

greenstar form

How do Green Star Energy prices compare to the market average?

What’s the market average? The market average of household energy expenditure is based on Ofgem’s figure of what an average household would pay if it were being charged the maximum price cap for dual fuel tariffs. The price cap is currently at £1,254.

What would I spend with Green Star Energy? Based on a three bedroom household in London with medium fuel consumption on a standard tariff, a household could expect to pay around £1,446.62 per year on gas and electricity bills.

How does Green Star Energy compare? Green Star Energy is £192.62* more expensive than the market average.

Green Star Energy: Price score -

*Comparison based on a 2-3 bed flat with three occupants in central London. Figures will vary depending on the region, house size and number of occupants, as well as the actual tariff.


How can I contact Green Star Energy?

Green Star Energy offers many ways to contact them. Whether you have a question or need some advice or information, they’re available to help you. Find out how to contact Green Star Energy.


Green Star Energy reviews and verdict

You should now have a good idea about Green Star Energy’s services, credentials and tariffs. So how does this translate to customer experience?

Green Star Energy reviews

Reviews from customers of Green Star Energy have gone up and down over the last couple of years since its launch into the market and the negative press it has received. How have consumer association websites, including Selectra, rated this supplier? Find out how they weigh up against their competitors to help you decide whether or not Green Star is a good catch.

The verdict

selectra tick

According to Which?, TrustPilot and Selectra, Green Star Energy’s weakest performance area is its online customer service, specifically its complaints handling. This perhaps is no surprise given the common thread among the negative press releases commented above.

What let it down the most was its prices - a whopping £192.62 more expensive than the market average. Its tariffs may be green, but they’re certainly not as competitive as they make out.

If you value their green credentials above customer service and pricing, then they would be a great supplier to switch to. Otherwise, keep shopping around for another energy supplier!

Green Star Energy: Selectra's verdict - ★★