Green electricity tariffs, as we define them, are tariffs where the electricity supplied to the customer is matched with 100% renewables electricity. That’s electricity generated from sources like wind, solar and hydropower.
There are three ways a supplier can do this:
- their own renewable energy generation;
- purchase agreements with renewables generators;
- buying supply certificates from renewables generators for electricity that has been supplied to the wholesale market.
Suppliers will often use a mix of these as matching generation and supply is a complex process.
There has been debate about some green tariffs not being as green as others. This often involves complicated, technical arguments. And the regulators have not always helped. They have produced some strange rules over the years on what can and can’t be described as green.
The reality is that what’s “green” for one customer might not be “green” for another. And if funds are limited, paying extra for the greenest of tariffs might not be the best use of your money. For instance, buying more efficient options when replacing white goods might be a better way of helping reduce UK emissions.
If you’re vegan, you may want to avoid any supplier that includes anaerobic digestion from farm slurry in its fuel mix.
For a more detailed look at green tariffs, see About Green Tariffs.