Your energy provider matters: One of your biggest household outgoings is likely to be your energy bills. Make sure that money is spent wisely.
It’s easy to fall victim to greenwashing when it comes to your energy supplier. Many of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers offer ‘Green tariffs but are not necessarily generating or delivering renewable energy. They are just offsetting usage using REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) certificates.
REGOs on the surface, might seem like suppliers are purchasing ‘green’ energy to match your usage but there is a loophole in the system that allows REGO certificates to be traded and sold separately from the energy. So a wind farm owner for example, might sell their green electricity to a supplier but then sell the certificate separately to another energy supplier. This practice can lead to double-counting.
There are now so many surplus REGOs in the system that an energy supplier can buy enough certificates to supply a typical household with electricity for a whole year, for as little as £1.50 without putting any renewable energy into the grid themselves. So your ‘Green’ Tarriff is not being used to invest in renewable energy generation and might even be funding fossil fuel generation instead.
Ecotricity have produced an easy guide on how green your electricity really is: https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/greenwashing
So if you’re on one of these ‘Green’ tariffs, check the small print. It might be time to switch. It might even save you money!
True Green Energy Suppliers
There are a number of truly green electricity providers in the UK:
- Ecotricity. Generate renewable energy directly and re-invest profits in building new renewable energy projects. They are one the UK’s greenest energy provider. Watch their video below to see how they work. Visit www.ecotricity.co.uk
- Octopus Energy provides 100% renewable energy much of it sourced directly from renewable suppliers but they also buy electricity and REGOs on from the wholesale market. Visit www.octopus.energy
**We don’t use affiliate links and receive no money for recommending these companies!
You can also visit Ethical Consumer’s guide to ethical energy suppliers to find out how green your current provider is, or find other Green Energy providers.