Switching from fossil fuel-generated energy to electricity, heat and gas that are generated from renewable sources will reduce the carbon emissions from heating and lighting your house – or other buildings, like business premises, schools, hospitals and health centres and community centres – and from heating water, cooking and running appliances.
Switching to a renewable energy supplier is the easiest, cheapest and most pro-social way of using renewable energy.
The Which 2013 energy companies satisfaction survey ranked two renewable energy suppliers as the best energy companies, and two of the biggest as the worst.
Main renewable energy suppliers in the UK
These are Ecotricity, Good Energy and Green Energy UK.
Their fuel mix is:
- Ecotricity: 51% renewable – 33% ecotricity generated, 21.2% other green. 45.9% All brown – 24.0% natural gas, 17.5% coal, 2.6% nuclear, 1.8% other
- Good energy: Wind 57%, Hydro 7%, Solar 30%, Biogen 6%
- Green Energy: Combined Heat and Power 64%, Waste 21%, Anaerobic Digestion 10%, Hydro 4%, Wind less than 1%, Solar less than 1%.
From 1st Feb 2013, BEAT’s arrangement with Green Energy UK is changing. New customers will get the first month of electricity for free. This replaces the previous arrangement, where new customers who signed up through BEAT got a 10% discount on their bills.
BEAT receives £25 for each new customer that signs up through BEAT, if new customers are still with Green Energy after 12 months.
It’s easy and needn’t cost more than fossil fuel energy
Most renewable suppliers will match the cost of the Yorkshire regional supplier for gas and electricity, npower. They will also match British Gas costs for gas. So renewable energy shouldn’t cost more than you’ve been already paying for gas and electricity.
It helps bring renewable energy costs down for everyone
If you switch to a renewable energy supplier that invests money from your gas and electricity bills in more renewable energy generation, this will help reduce the cost of renewable energy for everyone, since the cost per unit of energy comes down as more is produced.
So you’re not just reducing your home or other building’s carbon emissions, you’re helping to make sure that more renewable energy will be generated, at a lower cost. Which makes it more competitive, so more people will use it. A virtuous circle.
The government’s Renewables Obligation requires all licensed electricity suppliers in the United Kingdom to source an increasing proportion of their energy from renewable sources. The graphic shows the proportion of the UK’s renewable energy that different energy companies supplied under the Renewables Obligation in 2011.