Our expert panel assigns each green tariff a Bronze, Silver or Gold level, depending on a range of factors (covered below).
Each tariff is given a badge when it’s been assigned Bronze, Silver or Gold status, so look out for those badges on the results table when you compare energy deals.
|Renewable electricity||0% (generated renewable energy matching your energy use is sent to the grid)||42.9% (minimum), or 33% (if green gas included)||100%|
|Renewable gas||0%||Maybe some - check tariff for details||10% (minimum)|
|Renewable energy projects funded by providers||No||Not necessarily||Yes|
A Bronze tariff is often the most affordable level of green tariff. However, this is because you won't receive energy that comes from renewable sources. Instead, that renewable energy is generated and sent back to the grid for others to use.
To meet Bronze Standard Green Accreditation, tariffs must include the following:
Electricity that is matched with renewable generation certificates (REGOs)
Suppliers buy these certificates to show that renewable energy has been generated and placed onto the energy grid, although this renewable energy is not assigned to the tariff. Any energy plan that is labelled as green must meet this requirement as a minimum.
A Silver tariff goes a step further than a Bronze tariff. Customers' fuel mixes on a Silver tariff will feature at least 42.9% electricity sourced from renewable sources or at least 33% electricity sourced from renewables if there is some green gas in the mix as well.
To reach Silver Standard Green Accreditation, tariffs must include the following:
At least 42.9% of electricity bought from renewable generators under power purchase agreements (PPAs)
At least a third of electricity bought via PPAs if they include some green gas (biomethane) or the gas is carbon offset to a world-class quality standard
All Silver Standard Green tariffs have to meet Bronze Standard to be considered.
A Gold tariff is the greenest possible tariff that Uswitch offers. Customers will receive 100% renewable electricity and at least 10% green gas. Gold tariff suppliers will also be contributing towards long-term renewable energy projects.
To reach Gold Standard Green Accreditation, tariffs must include the following:
100% of electricity bought from renewable generators under PPAs and at least 10% of green gas, with all emissions from gas being offset.
Provide a meaningful contribution towards increasing and/or promoting renewable energy.
The independent panel has reviewed these tariffs and handpicked the ones that can truly be called market leading in their environmental credentials.
All Gold Standard Green tariffs have to meet the Silver Standard to be considered.
The panel set the criteria that all tariffs are being assessed against, and will review the criteria annually, to ensure it reflects current market conditions, making sure you can always trust you are choosing a tariff that reflects best practice at the time.
Maxine Frerk is an associate at Sustainability First and is the founding director of Grid Edge Policy and Visiting Fellow at Oxford Martin School Integrating Renewables Programme. Maxine has a wide range of regulatory experience, including previous roles as senior partner at Ofgem and head of regulation at BT.
Dr. Hannon is a senior lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde’s Business School and a member of Scottish Power Energy Networks’ Customer Engagement Group. He is also an elected council member of the British Institute for Energy Economics, chair and trustee of environmental and energy charity South Seeds, and an honorary member of the Green Angel Syndicate.
Dr. Hardy is currently a senior research fellow at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, as well as non-executive director, Public Power Solutions and deputy chair of UK Power Networks Customer Engagement Group. Dr. Hardy was previously head of Sustainable Energy Futures at Ofgem.
Rosie McGlynn is currently director at Mentone Energy Consultancy. Rosie has over twenty years' experience in the energy industry, having worked for energy suppliers and Energy UK.
Richard is head of regulation at Uswitch. His expertise in consumer and market regulation with Uswitch is unrivalled, having extensive experience in the communications industry, including previously working for the sector’s regulator.
Chris is trustee of Severn Wye Energy Agency and was previously head of regulation at Bristol Energy and policy and regulatory affairs director at Good Energy. Chris has over 25 years of experience in energy, with particular focus on energy regulation, decentralised generation and renewable energy.