Press release:

New year, green you?

  • uSwitch reveals the reality of the nation’s commitments to being ‘greener’ in 2020
  • A third (34%)[1] of New Year’s resolutions involved caring for the environment – but just 29% of resolutions have made it past 21st January[2]
  • Less than a quarter of consumers (23%)[3] would switch to a renewable energy tariff if it meant paying more
  • Consumers saved an average of £267[4] by switching to green tariffs last year
  • New uSwitch Green Energy Deals Checker allows people to quickly see the cheapest renewable energy deal depending on where they live.

New data from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service, shows that of the 36%[5] of people trying to make changes to their lives in January, only a third[1] of those commitments are focused on helping the planet.

A uSwitch.com poll of 2,000 UK adults showed that the most popular environmental resolution was reducing plastic waste (46%), closely followed by carrying a reusable shopping bag (38%) and a reusable water bottle (31%)[6].

However, only 29%[2] of those green intentions have made it past 21st January – the critical date at which point many people believe a resolution will turn into a habit, if you’ve managed to stick to it for 21 days[7].

When it comes to helping the environment around the home, 44% of energy switches in 2019 were to a tariff marketed as a ‘green energy plan’[4]. However under a quarter of those surveyed (23%) would switch to a deal which came entirely from renewable energy generation if it meant paying more[3]. Of those who were willing to pay extra, only a third said they would be prepared to pay above £5 a month more[8].

Committing to a green energy plan is often considered a pricier option — but there are renewable energy tariffs which now compete on price with other deals, and six of the ten cheapest plans available right now are green[4].

To monitor the country’s progress towards making the green switch-over, uSwitch.com has created a Green Energy Deals Checker. This allows consumers to see how green their part of the country is compared to other areas of Great Britain, and find the cheapest green tariff for their region.

With climate change featuring so prominently in the news agenda throughout January, the popularity of green tariffs has continued to grow. Londoners were keenest in 2019 when it came to switching to renewable energy deals, with 53% of switches in the capital going to a green plan[4]. Hot on their heels were Manchester (49%)[4] and Aberdeen (48%)[4].

Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “What’s great about switching to green energy deals is that it benefits the planet while putting money back in consumers’ pockets too. Households who switched to green deals last year saved nearly £270 on average[4].

“But even though green tariffs are becoming more popular, our research shows that many people are still uncertain about giving them a go.

“The pressure to consume consciously is only set to grow in 2020. That’s why we’ve created the Green Energy Deals Checker, so they can see how where they live stacks up against the rest of the country, as well as finding the cheapest green tariffs on the market – making it both quick and easy to go green.”

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research conducted online by Opinium between 14-17 January, among XXX adults responsible for energy bills, weighted to be nationally representative.

  1. When those who made a New Year’s resolution were asked “Were any of your New Year’s resolutions linked to caring for the environment or climate change?, 34% of respondents answered ‘Yes’
  2. When those who made a New Year’s resolution were asked “Have you kept going with your main 2020 New Year’s resolution?”, 29% of respondents answered ‘Yes’
  3. When asked “Would you be willing to switch to an energy provider who produces energy solely from renewable resources, if it means that your monthly energy bills were higher?”, 23 of respondents answered ‘Yes’
  4. Source: com data
  5. When asked “Have you kept going with your main 2020 New Year’s Resolution?”, 64% of respondents answered ‘I did not make any New Year’s resolutions.’ 100-64 = 36%
  6. When those who made an environmental resolution were asked “Were any of your New Year’s Resolutions about the following sustainable actions?” 46% answered ‘reducing plastic waste’, 38% said ‘carrying a reusable shopping bag’, and 31% said ‘carrying a reusable water bottle’
  7. Source: Forbes, 15/4/13, on misinterpretations of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s research on habit forming
  8. When those who would pay more to switch to a renewable energy tariff were asked “How much more would you be willing to spend per month  on energy which solely came from renewable resources?”, 33% selected either “Above £5”, “Above £7.50” or “Above £10”

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About Uswitch

Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. Launched in September 2000, we help consumers save money on their gas, electricity, broadband, mobile, TV, and financial services products and get more of what matters to them. Last year we saved consumers over £373 million on their energy bills alone.

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