Renewable resources make up a portion of the fuel mix of every major energy supplier in the UK. But there are now a raft of firms offering electricity generated exclusively from renewable resources and supplying their natural gas with up to 14% biomethane.
As the installed capacity and popularity of green energy has increased, prices have fallen, making green tariffs competitive with, and even cheaper, than those which use fossil fuels. Today 13% of domestic fuel costumers are on tariffs from green suppliers.
Making the energy switch to a green supplier is one of the best ways to reduce your household’s carbon footprint, and your utility bills.
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Green energy is fuel sourced from renewable resources – those which can be naturally replenished during our lifetimes. This is in contrast to non-renewable, traditional fuel sources like coal and oil, which are finite and cannot be replenished. Fossil fuels also cause pollution and release carbon into the atmosphere when burned to generate power.
The UK has made significant progress in decarbonising and ‘greening’ our energy system in the last decade. We now have more than installed capacity for renewable electricity generation than fossil fuel generated. And in 2018, more than a third (33.1%) of our electricity came from renewable resources, including wind and solar power.
Green electricity is generated primarily from the following resources:
‘Green gas’ is biomethane, a carbon neutral gas produced from the aerobic digestion of organic waste. While the development of green gas has been more limited than that of green electricity, the Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) had sold more than 1TWh of renewable gas, enough to fuel 83,000 homes for a year.
Some of the largest green energy suppliers include:
While 85% of the public support the use of renewable energy, just one in eight of us are on green tariffs. When quizzed about why they haven’t made the switch to a green supplier, consumers are most likely to say it’s because they suspect green energy is more expensive than non-renewable alternatives.
And while that may have been true several years ago, the price of green energy has fallen dramatically, as infrastructure has expanded partly on the back of government subsidies and investment, and more consumers look for a way to reduce their impact on the environment. In fact, among customers who have made the leap, many say they did so because the green supplier offered the cheapest gas and electricity.
Even if green energy isn’t the cheapest option on your energy comparison, it may still mean significant savings for you personally if you switch. Fixed rate green energy deals, the type you’ll sign onto, will almost certainly be cheaper than the default or standard variable tariffs from other suppliers, which more than half of Britons are on.
And the reasons you should switch to green energy aren’t limited to your wallet. By switching to a green energy tariff, with 100% renewable electricity and carbon offset gas, households can keep 1.5 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year. Opting for a green energy tariff is one of the most impactful things you can do – along with avoiding flights and driving less – to reduce your personal carbon footprint.