It’s time to switch to a renewable energy tariff. This is the well-meaning advice given to eco-conscious households across the country that are eager to play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. About 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions are created in the home, so opting for a low-carbon source of electricity could be one of the simplest ways to help the UK move towards a carbon neutral future by 2050. But how “green” are our green energy tariffs? There are three ways an energy supplier can offer a renewable energy tariff even if they do not own any renewable projects. A supplier might pledge to use 100% of the income from their customers to invest in developing renewable energy, or strike a deal directly with an existing windfarm or solar array to buy the electricity they produce. It is the third option that has sparked accusations of “greenwashing” against some of the biggest energy suppliers in the market for offering renewable energy deals backed by certificates that appear to prove the origin of clean energy, but may only be green on paper. In recent weeks, Uswitch became the first comparison site to set standards for green tariffs – gold, silver or bronze – depending on whether the supplier generates its own renewable electricity or how it sources its electricity, to help separate the true green from “pale green” tariffs. The safe bet is to choose a gold standard deal. The four deals that make the grade are all from Good Energy, which sources clean electricity directly from 1,600 renewable energy projects across the UK, and runs its own solar and windfarms too.
Guardian 2nd April 2021 read more »