Green Energy plans: which one to choose

Green energy plans are a good choice if you want to be more environmentally friendly.

If you're one of the growing number of conscientious people who feels it is important to select a green energy plan then you may know that comparing just how green some energy plans really are can be quite challenging.

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Green energy tarrifs

It can be difficult to know which suppliers to trust, what kind of green energy you're getting and just how much good you're doing for the environment.

All energy suppliers get some of their electricity from renewable sources, and they publish the percentage (known as their fuel mix) on their websites. In the table below, you'll see the fuel mix of some of the major energy suppliers.

You can use the table below to find a supplier who you feel measures up to your standards on green electricity, and then switch to their most competitive deal. You might not end up with either the cheapest or the greenest plan on the market, but it does mean that you can find a compromise that suits both your pocket and your ethics.

Reduced green choices

Towards the end of July 2013, five of the big six - EDF, E.ON, npower, SSE and Scottish Power – announced that they would no longer be offering green energy tariffs to UK customers. In this context the number of plans approved by the Green Energy Certification Scheme (more information below) fell significantly.

Whilst these developments have severely restricted the number of green energy plans available to consumers, a number of energy suppliers continue to offer environmentally friendly tariffs.

Dual fuel green energy plans

It is worth noting that there are other suppliers which offer green energy plans, however, in this table we have focussed on those which provide dual fuel plans.

You can find a full list of 'green' tariffs on the market by running an energy comparison and filtering the results table by "Green and environmental plans."

Supplier Tariff name Renewable %* Renewables matching** Additional info
good energy Good Energy 100% Yes
  • Fully verified by the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme.
  • Energy produced by solar, wind, water and sustainable biogeneration.
ovo Cheaper Energy Fixed 15% No
  • 12 month fixed price plan.
  • If account is in credit, you earn 3% interest on the relevant amount.
ovo Greener Energy Fixed (Online) 100% Yes
  • 12 month fixed pice tariff.
  • If account is in credit, you earn 3% interest on the relevant amount.
ovo Better Energy Fixed 15% No
  • 12 month fixed pice tariff.
  • If account is in credit, you earn 3% interest on the relevant amount.
woodlandtrust Green Energy Plan 100% Yes
  • Prices fixed for 12 months.
  • 2.5% of customer bills will be donated to creating and protecting UK woodland.
woodlandtrust New Energy Plan 15% No
  • Prices fixed for 12 months.
  • 2.5% of customer bills will be donated to creating and protecting UK woodland.

* The percentage of overall fuel mix from renewable energy sources. ** Does the plan promise to match your usage with 100% renewable energy.

Last updated August 2013.

Switching to a Green Energy plan

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Just like normal gas and electricity tariffs, some green tariffs are cheaper than others. Some suppliers, including new kid on the block Ovo, have tried to make their renewable energy plans more affordable.

We incorporate green dual fuel plans in our results table, just pop your postcode into the box below. You can see a full list of all the green energy plans approved by the Green Energy Certification Scheme so you know which ones to look out for.

You can also compare prices on green electricity tariffs with uSwitch - just put in all your details as normal, and when you get to the results page, select the 'Green electricity' tab.

Doing a comparison will also help you to see the difference between the cheapest overall plan and the cheapest green plan, so you can judge whether or not you can afford the difference.

Remember that you can split the difference too, by opting for a green electricity plan, and offsetting the expense with the cheapest gas deal you can get. Unlike electricity, gas can't be produced from renewable sources like solar or hydro, so your conscience can remain relatively clear.

However, you will miss out on things like the dual fuel discount, which can knock a reasonable amount off your bill.

Green Energy Certification Scheme

It's possible to check how 'green' your energy plan is, with the help of the independent Green Energy Certification Scheme (GECS). It is worth noting that since 2013, a number of plans which were certified under the GECS have been axed.

To help you make an informed choice of green energy plan, the Green Energy Certification Scheme gives a green energy plan a stamp of approval if it meets certain standards, so you can be confident in your choice of green plan.

The Green Energy Certification Scheme independently checks that the electricity you use comes from a renewable source and that the energy supplier is going above and beyond the existing regulatory obligations to deliver additional environmental benefits as part of the plan.

Read more…

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