GoEco Explains: What is a Green Energy Tariff?

The world is moving toward electric as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. But with electricity traditionally coming from unsustainable sources such as gas and coal-fired power stations, how can you make the electricity in your home more sustainable? How about a green tariff provider?

What Does Being on a Green Tariff Mean?

Your green energy tariff supplier will match some or all of the electricity you use with the amount they obtain from low/no carbon sources.

First up let us alleviate any home DIY, re-wiring nightmares you may be having; your electricity will still come from the national grid when you switch to a green energy provider. The difference is that your supplier matches some or all the electricity you use with the amount they obtain from renewable or low carbon sources, such as wind farms, hydropower, solar panels and nuclear power stations. So, the more people on green energy tariffs, the greener the energy in the national grid.   

Are All Green Energy Tariffs Created Equal?

In short? No. Although you’ll find most energy suppliers now have a green tariff on offer, some are more sustainable than others, and this comes down to their ‘fuel mix’, or the amount of energy they are sourcing from each renewable/low carbon generator.

Not all green tariffs are created equal; understanding a company’s fuel mix is crucial to assessing their green credentials.

For example, a company that predominantly sources their green energy from renewable solar and wind power will be more sustainable than a company that gets the greatest percentage of its green energy from nuclear power stations – a low rather than no carbon source.

All companies are by law required to publish their fuel mix and it must be updated once a year, so you can easily find out which suppliers are greener with a quick google search. 100% renewable is, of course, the greenest option, and some companies even go one step further by donating to green community projects or supporting initiatives such as tree planting or carbon offsetting.

If we’ve convinced you and your keen to switch, check out the green tariff providers that we recommend here.

Are Green Energy Tariffs More Expensive?

While green tariffs remain a little more expensive, their cost is sure to continue to drop as the renewable energy sector grows.

In general, yes, green energy tariffs tend to be a little more costly than non-green ones. However, renewable energy has grown hugely over the last decade and prices have come down. Additionally, some non-renewable tariffs can be more expensive than green ones, particularly if they are standard variable tariffs. We recommend comparing different suppliers, preferably the greenest ones, to find the best price.

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