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Green energy has started to become a popular alternative choice for many UK households.

Customers can choose from a number of dedicated green energy suppliers, in addition to mainstream providers, that also offer green tariff options. This guide will help you understand what a green energy tariff is, and how it’s different from a standard gas and electricity deal.

Green energy tariffs use renewable energy sources and are considered to have a positive effect on the environment.

Now that there are a number of different green energy tariffs to choose from, Ofgem, the industry regulator, is trying to make these deals more transparent and reduce confusion amongst consumers.

Key points


  1. Environmental benefits for green tariffs vary greatly, Ofgem hopes to address this by increasing market transparency.
  2. Green options could prove to cost slightly more, but some customers may see savings.
  3. If you wish to compare green tariffs only, you can do so with Utility Saving Expert, we’ll also provide you with a breakdown of individual product features.

How do I switch to a green energy tariff?

It’s quick and easy to find and switch to a green energy tariff with Utility Saving Expert. Here’s how:

  1. Enter your current details, including your current energy supplier and your postcode
  2. Compare green energy deals by filtering to the ‘green tariffs’ option
  3. Select the green energy tariff that you’re satisfied with
  4. Enter some confirmation details, including your contact and payment details
  5. Select ‘confirm’ to switch suppliers, this will usually take up to 21 days

Remember to review the product details carefully before proceeding. This will help you ensure that you’ve selected the tariff that is most suitable for your needs.

What types of green energy tariffs are available?

There is an increasing number of customers who would prefer to have a green option, whereby the energy supplied to their home comes from a renewable energy source. Renewable energy is considered to be far less detrimental to the environment when compared with fossil fuels.

Renewable energy is energy that is created through natural sources, this includes solar, hydro and wind to name just a few. These resources can be naturally renewed/replenished.

Energy companies may supply your property with 100% renewable energy. Alternatively, some tariffs combine a supply mix of renewable and non-renewable sources. Suppliers should clearly outline what percentage of the fuel mix is green so that customers are aware.

There are some tariffs that customers choose where supplied energy doesn’t come from renewable sources, however, the provider will match each energy unit purchased with a unit of 100% renewable energy, this is later sent back to the national grid.

There are also green energy tariffs which cost more, whereby consumers pay a premium rate and the supplier will make a donation to a ‘clean’ energy initiative.

In many cases, green energy schemes can be found in developing countries. This assists communities by enabling them to install cost-effective solutions to produce sustainable energy, in an effort to boost agriculture and trade.

In the UK, some energy firms also have schemes where they commit to making a contribution towards community centres and educational institutions for each customer who remains on a green tariff, this will generally be for a set period, typically a year. These contributions help to purchase renewable technology such as solar panels, allowing the community centre or school to generate their own green energy.

Some green tariffs may also include added benefits such as loft and/or cavity wall insulation. Check with your supplier for further details. They will be able to provide advice on how to increase energy efficiency within the home.

Are there any disadvantages to green energy tariffs?

The main disadvantage right now is the extra cost for these green options. This is because energy companies have to make additional investment for these renewable and sustainable projects. Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your tariff will be more expensive.

It’s important to note that like most things, this will always depend on your individual circumstances, some customers may end up paying less on their bills through the use of renewable energy.

Are green energy tariffs regulated?

Industry regulator, Ofgem, published guidelines in 2010 that introduced the Green Energy Supply Certificate Scheme. This gives customers the reassurance that their green tariff has a positive impact on the environment.

This scheme has faced some criticism, as not all small energy suppliers pay for this certification. This has meant that some tariffs that aren’t approved by this initiative could perhaps still be environmentally friendly. This, unfortunately, causes further confusion, but things are improving in this regard.

Ofgem investigates green tariffs

Ofgem announced in June 2014, that it would be closely monitoring the green energy tariffs market, and this led to new guidelines coming into effect in 2015.

The industry regulator published voluntary green supply guidelines back in 2009. Five years later, Ofgem claimed that “an increasing number of tariffs that make environmental claims are uncertified, leaving the majority of consumers unable to distinguish between those tariffs with and without environmental benefits”.

These changes were made by Ofgem in an effort to further increase transparency surrounding green energy options.

Ofgem stated that providers need to demonstrate that these environmental benefits are taking place because customers selected a tariff, and not primarily because of any subsidies and or provider obligations that may have previously been agreed and/or put in place. This will help to protect consumers, in addition to helping suppliers find opportunities to be innovative.

Being transparent

Ofgem has requested that providers clearly state if a green energy tariff does not actually provide any extra benefits to the environment, excluding those that customers already have to pay for included through taxation or their gas and electricity bills.

Suppliers must publish a yearly report which demonstrates how it is contributing to environmental benefits or informs customers if it doesn’t provide these. Examples may include the publication of a fuel disclosure mix as well as any other projects that the firm is a part of.

It’s quick and easy to compare a whole range of green energy tariffs through Utility Saving Expert. Find the right tariff most suitable for your needs within minutes.

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