What are Green Energy Companies?
To clear this up, we look at what is meant by the term green, which until a few decades ago was simply just a colour. Now, green means that something is concerned with supporting the protection of the environment as a principle. Coal, nuclear and oil are all finite resources that pose threats to the environment, whereas wind, solar, thermal, hydro and biomass are all renewable energy sources that offer a way to protect it.
We are going to look at the Green Energy Companies in the UK, those who pioneer and champion the defence of the environment as a core principle.
Green Energy UK (100% Green Gas)
The Hertfordshire company are progressive by all means of the word. Not only are they the first energy company to offer 100% green gas, but they are also the first to offer an electricity tariff that charges based on the time of day. Their TIDE tariff charges just 4.9p per unit of electricity from 11pm to 6am, and it’s 100% renewably sourced. 4.9p is around a third of the national average price for a unit of electricity. The only prerequisite for this tariff is a smart meter.
Stroud’s most famous export, the Gloucestershire company are famous not just for their incredible windmill portfolio, but for their eccentric vegan ‘hippie’ entrepreneur owner, Dale Vince, and his ownership of Forest Green Rovers FC. They are producing energy from wind, solar, gas from anaerobic digestion and pump-to-shore wave energy machines (hydro). Ecotricity have even installed 300 green energy pumps for electric vehicles up and down the UK, so you can drive emissions free. This service is a free perk for Ecotricity customers, who can waive the £6 per 30 minute charge fee.
Bristol’s OVO Energy are one of the largest and most popular green energy companies, with more than 2.4% of the market share, equating to roughly 700,000 customers. They have two tariffs, one with 100% green electricity, and one with 33% green electricity, all of which is sourced from wind farms in England and Wales. Their CEO, Stephen Fitzpatrick courted controversy when he claimed that the Big Six were increasing prices as the cost of gas decreased, and aimed to disrupt the market prices.
Wiltshire’s Good Energy entered the market in 2003 after being purchased and merged under it’s former name, Ofex. They are reported as having over 70,000 electricity customers and 40,000 gas customers. They are also one of the UK’s largest feed-in tariff administrators, with over 120,000 generation sites! Good Energy offers 100% renewable electricity and is 25% owned by Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity.
Bulb was founded by two young friends, Hayden and Amit, whose sole goal was to empower customers with renewable energy, amazing customer service and competitive pricing. They have just one tariff, and it’s one of the cheapest on the market, offering 100% green electricity and 10% green gas. They are reportedly the cheapest of the green energy companies. Their green gas comes from sewage and manure, gross (but awesome)!
The Warwick-based company entered the energy market in 2010 and since then has won the 2015 EU Sustainable Energy Award. When GB Energy collapsed in November 2016, Ofgem selected Co-Operative Energy as the supplier to transfer the 160,000 customers over to, describing it as ‘a competitive process to get the best deal possible’. They now have over 600,00 customers, and zero shareholders, instead, energy members get a share of the dividends. 33.95% of their energy supply is renewable, a commendable effort, though their customer satisfaction ratings are very low and they were fined £1.8m by Ofgem in 2016 for poor customer service.
Green Star Energy proudly boast that more than half of their 100% renewable energy comes from hydroelectric sources, more than any other supplier on this list. They are still working on getting green gas to homes, so for now they are recommended as an electricity supplier more than anything. The company actually started in the US, and has more than 2 million customers stateside, but successfully entered the UK market back in 2013.
This Hertfordshire based supplier has been on the list of Green Energy Companies since 2009, and can proudly boast about its range of micro-hydro projects and independent renewable energy generators. They don’t just sell energy to homes and businesses, they are a main supplier of renewable energy to other suppliers too, meaning they are producing, trading and selling their green energy. Customers can choose between two tariffs, one with 100% renewable energy and one with 50% renewable energy. They are described as one of the most ethical green energy companies in the UK.
Octopus Energy are a newer entrant to the market, and as such they remain quite small, but they are growing. One of their sites in Devon supplies enough solar power for 12,000 homes, a great sign of things to come from them. They offer 100% renewable energy on one special green tariff, and 50% on their standard fixed-rate tariff.
So, there’s our list of recommended Green Energy Companies. Did we miss any? Get in touch via Facebook and Twitter to tell us all about your green energy company and we will add you to the this if you’re a great fit.
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