Demand for ‘green’ energy grows

50% of energy switchers choose green energy tariffs this year

Wind turbine farm

Just under half of people living in the UK care more about climate change than Brexit, with growing numbers switching to green energy tariffs to help the environment.

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More than seven out of 10 (71%) people said climate change would overtake Brexit in terms of importance in the long-term future, according to research by ComRes commissioned by Christian Aid, with 49% stating they already care more about climate change than the UK’s departure from Europe.

Many people are keen to reduce their impact on their environment by being more energy efficient and switching to green energy tariffs.

These are tariffs where the supplier agrees to match some or all of the energy you use with renewable energy, which is then fed back to the National Grid.

According to price comparison service energyhelpline.com, ten years ago just 8% of its switchers moved to green energy tariffs, compared to 50% this year.

Separate research from comparethemarket.com found that one in seven households (14%) have already switched to a green tariff, while almost a third (31%) are committed to, or considering switching to, a supplier that offers a renewable energy tariff.

“There are things we can all do to make a difference,” said Victoria Arrington, spokesperson for energyhelpline. “Avoid plastics when possible – which not only add to waste, but also emit toxic gasses during production. This includes opting for natural fibres in clothes, white goods, and other textiles, rather than synthetic fabrics, which can leach into the environment. Aim to get an electric car (which are more affordable than ever), use public transport, cycle or walk.

“Choose a renewable energy tariff, which could actually lower your bills by hundreds versus a standard tariff. Above all, support companies big and small who make a genuine effort to improve their impact on the environment.”

How green is your tariff?

If you’re interested in switching to a renewable energy tariff, it’s worth doing a bit of research to find out exactly how green the tariff you’re thinking of moving to really is.

E.ON last month became the first Big Six supplier to provide renewably generated electricity tariffs for its 3.3m customers. However, according to energyhelpline, only three energy suppliers in Britain generate both their gas and electricity entirely through renewable energy sources. These are Engie, Green Energy UK, and Green Star Energy.

Separate research by Comparethemarket.com found that the majority of energy suppliers’ green efforts focus on electricity, with 37 of the 54 dual fuel green tariffs analysed by the comparison service offering 100% electricity supplied from renewable sources. In comparison, 30 of the tariffs do not provide any gas at all from renewable sources.

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Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said: “Climate change issues are increasingly becoming front of mind for environmentally conscious consumers, and many people are considering ways in which to limit their carbon impact. The energy market clearly has a way to go before it is able to offer all consumers a truly green option. The challenge is for the energy market to meet that demand.”