A guide to green energy options available from the main UK energy companies
Everybody’s getting into green (renewable) energy these days – including the Big Six energy providers. Here’s a rundown of the various green tariffs available from the energy giants.
Typically, green tariffs fall into three main categories: energy match, green fund and carbon offset. See Confused.com’s Guide to Green Tariffs: Eco-Friendly Energy Consumption for more information on these categories.
The Big Six’s tariffs
British Gas has two green energy tariffs: Future Energy and Zero Carbon.
Future Energy matches every unit of the normal electricity you use with a unit of energy from renewable sources such as wind farms and hydroelectric plants, which British Gas then feeds back into the National Grid on your behalf.
Zero Carbon matches your electricity usage with renewable energy. It also offsets 100% of the carbon emissions from your gas usage.
npower’s Juice tariff matches the normal energy you use by buying an equal amount of energy from renewable energy sources, primarily from North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm. The company then feeds the renewable energy back into the National Grid.
EDF’s Green tariff matches your electricity consumption with equal amounts of wind, wave and solar power, which is then fed back into the National Grid.
The slightly higher cost of the Green tariff is put toward an EDF Green Fund for investment into renewable energy projects.
Scottish and Southern Energy
Scottish and Southern Energy is comprised of SWALEC, Scottish Hydro Electric and Southern Electric, all of which offer the Power 2 and Better Plan tariffs.
Power 2 is one of the greenest tariffs on offer from amongst the Big Six. It directly supplies customers with 100% hydro power the company generates itself. The company also plants five trees every year on your behalf to help offset your gas consumption’s carbon emissions.
Better Plan aims to help you reduce your energy usage by 10% a year. It gives you a free electricity monitor to watch your usage and matches each unit of normal electricity you consume with a unit of 100% hydro power. This too is fed back into the Grid.
E.ON’s Go Green tariff matches every unit of electricity you use to one produced by renewable sources like hydro and wind power.
As with most of the other tariffs, Go Green is also offered as a Dual Fuel tariff, with your gas consumption carbon-offset by the company.
ScottishPower’s Green Energy H2O matches the amount of electricity you use with an equal supply of hydro power, sourced from its own stations in Lanark, Galloway and Cruachan. It then feeds that renewable energy back into the electricity Grid.
Raising its green credentials even further, in May 2009, ScottishPower flicked the switch at its Whitelee Windfarm, the largest onshore wind power facility in Europe.
The Green Energy Fund allows customers to donate their dual fuel discount to a fund, which supports renewable energy projects across the UK.