On this site, “Green tariffs” are tariffs where the electricity supplied is matched with 100% renewables electricity – generated from sources like wind, solar and hydropower – supplied to the National Grid.
There are three ways a supplier can do this: direct generation; power purchase agreements with renewables generators; or by purchasing 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 some debate about some green tariffs not being as green as others, often with complicated, technical arguments. The regulators have not helped with strange rules over the years on what can and can’t be described as a green tariff. And some suppliers have been guilty of “greenwashing” in providing tariffs that are green in name only.
The reality is that what’s “green” for one customer might not be “green” for another. And if funds are limited, rather than potentially paying extra for the greenest of green tariffs, spending that money on 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.