What is Green Energy?
The move towards a greener, more sustainable future has begun. More and more homeowners and business owners are making the switch from their existing providers to a green energy supplier like Bulb and Octopus Energy.
Between confusing jargon and tariff changes, consumers are finding it difficult to decipher exactly what green energy is and how it can benefit them. Keep reading to explore the different types of green energy tariffs and the best suppliers for eco-conscious individuals.
All consumers need to know about three types of energy: renewable energy, fossil fuels, and green energy. Fossil fuels create the biggest negative impact on the environment. When we burn fossil fuels, we release harmful energy into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that have compounded over thousands of years. Coal and oil are two of the most well-known fossils that we burn for energy.
In contrast, the terms renewable energy and green energy refer to energy sources that are more environmentally friendly. Renewable energy sources like solar energy and wind power are infinite. Renewable energy suppliers can use them for years and years without running out because the source of the energy is always there. This type of energy is not always 100% eco-friendly, but it is a better option than fossil fuels.
Green energy is a type of renewable energy. Green energy suppliers focus on being sustainable and eco-friendly. To be green, an energy source has to produce zero greenhouse gases and use zero carbon. Wind power is a good example of a type of energy that is both green and renewable.
To access green energy, suppliers have to build structures that can sometimes disrupt natural environments. This practice creates some debate about whether or not green energy is truly green.
Green and renewable energy suppliers are the ideal choices for eco-conscious consumers and business owners. These types of energy are proven to be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives.
What is a Green Energy Tariff?
Each energy supplier has to meet certain criteria to label their tariff as a green energy tariff. In 2010, Ofgem created the Green Energy Scheme. Ofgem is the body that regulates everything from consumer to business energy. This scheme is part of a push towards defining and regulating the green energy landscape. Tariffs that meet the criteria below are awarded a certified mark that signals their eco-friendly nature to consumers.
- Suppliers must commit to creating a positive environmental impact for each customer that uses their green energy. They can contribute to energy efficiency programmes or commit to buying Carbon Offset Credits.
- Suppliers must agree to Ofgem’s transparency rules. They must also accept an annual audit and disclose how they generate electricity.
- Suppliers must match the electricity that each consumer purchases as part of their tariff. They can do this by buying or generating renewable energy.
Types of Tariffs for Green Energy
Tariffs are a confusing yet essential part of managing energy bills. Ofgem regularly changes the rules about tariffs. Which? conducted an experiment and found that only a third of their sample group were able to identify the cheapest tariff on the market under Ofgem’s new regulations. Consumers might be able to understand their bill one month and be confused by changes the next month.
Green energy has proven itself to be a viable alternative to fossil fuels. More and more people are making the switch for home and business energy alike. It is more important than ever to understand the different types of green energy tariffs. Here are three of the most common types of energy tariffs on the market.
Standard Variable Rate
Standard variable rate tariffs, which are sometimes called standard energy tariffs, are the default offering from energy suppliers. Suppliers can change the price per unit rate of energy at any time. The price is not fixed, it is variable. They can also change their wholesale energy prices. In most cases, standard variable rate tariffs are the most expensive option.
The main benefit of variable tariffs is that they are flexible. Unlike other types of tariffs, there are no exit fees. Despite the benefits associated with variable tariffs, we recommend avoiding them where possible.
Fixed-rate tariffs are the ideal choice for people who want to lock in a specific price. When you agree to a fixed-rate tariff, you are agreeing to pay a certain price per unit for a specific period. Fixed periods can range anywhere from one to three years. The number of years depends on your supplier and the market.
It is important to remember that fixed-rate tariffs do not mean that you pay the same amount every month. It just means that you pay a fixed rate per unit. If you use more units of electricity or gas from one month to the next, your overall bill will increase.
This type of tariff is usually not the cheapest option on the market. Lots of factors can cause the cost per unit of energy to rise. Consumers choose fixed-rate green energy tariffs to avoid fluctuations in the market.
Dual fuel tariffs offer consumers gas and electricity from the same supplier. Most suppliers will give dual fuel customers a reduced rate.
This type of tariff is perfect for people who want to streamline the number of companies that they have to deal with on an annual basis. However, eco-conscious people often struggle to find a dual fuel green energy tariff. Whereas a lot of suppliers can offer consumers 100% renewable electricity sources, very few companies have 100% renewable gas sources.
Who Are the Best Green Energy Suppliers?
In the modern world, homeowners and business owners are more environmentally conscious than ever before. Being eco-friendly, or ‘going green’, is seen as both a personal choice and a sign of social responsibility.
The landscape of energy is always evolving. Big companies go bust, and thousands of people have to acclimatise to their new carbon or renewable energy supplier. Amidst all the confusing jargon about tariffs, units, and charges, consumers have to contend with new suppliers that claim to be eco-conscious.
When it comes to renewable electricity and gas, a lot of suppliers fall at the first hurdle. When you compare energy with us, we’ll include some great deals for renewable electricity and gas tariffs.
Switching suppliers and bagging a better carbon neutral home or business energy deal has never been easier.
Here are some of the energy companies that have great carbon reduction projects and renewable sources for their tariffs:
Bulb is the best choice for businesses and homeowners who want green energy tariffs. There are lots of reasons why people all over the UK are switching to Bulb. This supplier attracts lots of customers by staying transparent. New and existing customers only have one energy tariff to choose from.
Bulb is one of the only suppliers in the UK that offers consumers both green gas and renewable electricity. The company’s breakdown of energy sources is equally as impressive. Bulb sources its electricity from 78% wind energy, 4% hydro energy, and 18% solar energy. 10% of its gas is green. It offsets the remaining 90% by being involved in carbon reduction projects. This means that Bulb is entirely carbon neutral.
This renewable energy supplier boasts a number of selling points for new and existing customers. Bulb will give new customers £50 to refer a friend, who will also receive £50. Businesses and residential consumers alike can also benefit from the energy information available on Bulb’s website.
When you choose Octopus Energy, you are choosing 100% renewable electricity sources. This energy supplier gets its electricity from 75.3% wind energy, 3.7% hydro energy, and 21% solar energy. Eco-friendly individuals will be pleased to learn that this supplier also uses carbon offsetting.
Octopus Energy is ideal for people who are looking for a comprehensive service. This energy supplier won the title of Which? recommended provider in 2021 for the fourth year in a row.
Octopus not only stands out from the crowd for its green energy but also for its customer service efforts. In an industry that is filled with complicated jargon, it pays to speak to green energy suppliers that are transparent and friendly.
Good Energy is another supplier that offers 100% renewable energy. They produce most of the renewable electricity and gas from wind and solar. The breakdown is as follows: 53.9% wind energy, 4.3% hydro energy, 13.4% solar energy, and 28.40% from a combination of other sources. As the name suggests, this supplier is a good choice for people who want to make an eco-conscious decision.
Consumers love the fact that it is easy to switch to Good Energy. Their hassle-free processes and simple system make switching simple. Once you have made the switch, you can choose from tariffs that offer eco-friendly electricity and gas. Unlike Octopus, Good Energy provides consumers with 10% green gas.
This supplier is exempt from Ofgem’s price cap. Its least expensive tariff is more expensive than alternatives on the market. A recent comparison found that this supplier is 38% more expensive than other suppliers.
Compare Renewable Energy Suppliers
There are lots of different green energy suppliers, all of which offer different tariffs. Most suppliers offer a sliding scale of tariffs that range from inexpensive to eye-watering. Some energy providers only offer one tariff. Whether you choose a provider who uses fossil fuels or renewable alternatives, it is important to shop around.
Put your details into our comparison tool and find the cheapest green energy provider in under a minute.