In this post, we are going to share how you can reduce your household emissions by switching to a renewable green energy provider. 

If you are currently on a standard tariff, then you could also save an average £387 a year! 

That’s what I call a win-win!

With the barrage of bad news in the media about the climate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the fight to prevent devastation in the future.

The more significant issues can seem way out of our control and influence so it can become easy to give up on trying.

That’s why here at EcoShoots, we try to highlight things that we can all control and change. See our other blog posts here for more ideas.

Each small step is a positive move and will add up over time if many people make the changes. 

UK household footprint

Households account for around 40% of the UK’s emissions, shown in the below infographic from the Committee on Climate change

For the average home, approximately 50% of the carbon emissions are from electricity and gas usage.

Committee on Climate Change - the fifth carbon budget infographic

How green is green energy supply? 

Let’s take a look at how the ‘Green’ Energy providers stack up in terms of their green credentials.

How do green energy provider plans work?

The energy companies that offer green plans buy wholesale energy from solar/wind/hydro or biomass projects and then resell onto their customers.

Ofgem regulates the whole process by certifying the energy is green and issuing REGO’s (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin).

What about Gas?

Unless you can afford to purchase and install a heat pump, the chances are that you will have a gas boiler installed in your house.

Most of the providers have a percentage of ‘Green Gas’ that they provide and averages 10%.

This gas is generated by small companies using processes such as anaerobic digestion (degrading of waste).

Some of the companies then also make carbon offsets for the portion of the regular gas that they use, effectively making the usage carbon neutral.

But there is one company called Green energy UK which boasts 100% green gas but is unlikely to be the lowest cost.

You can review each companies practices before the switch to ensure it sits well with you and your circumstances.

What are the options? 

The below table from The Switch gives the breakdown of the electricity mix for the primary green renewable energy providers in the UK.

You may need to turn to landscape mode to view all columns if you are using a mobile.

SupplierWindSolarBiomassWater
Ecotricity99.18%0.12%0%0.7%
Tonik68%32%0%0%
Good Energy57%18%20%5%
Pure Planet52%48%0%0%
Bulb51%40%0%9%
So Energy44.81%29.41%6.9%18.88%
Solarplicity34%3%50%13%
Octopus18%32%49%1%
Co-op10.67%45.61%43.28%0.44 %

How do I switch? 

The best and most straightforward way to switch is to use an online service such as USwitch. 

We have detailed the instructions below for anyone that needs help with the process.

All you need before you start is a recent bill from your current supplier, so grab that now and then follow along. 

Once you have selected your plan, Uswitch handles everything, including contacting your current supplier to notify them of the cancellation.

Step 1 

Head over to https://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/journey/home and enter your postcode and email address.

Uswitch homepage switch to green energy provider

Step 2

Select your full address from the drop-down and hit continue

Uswitch address select

Step 3

Choose whether you use gas or not.

Uswitch gas use

Step 4

Choose if you would like a dual fuel plan, i.e. both gas and electricity (This triggers further discounts if you do both)

Uswitch dual fuel

Step 5

Select your current supplier. If they aren’t on the list then select ‘other.’

Uswitch current supplier

Step 6

Choose how you would like to pay for your energy. Monthly direct debit usually offers the most discount and lowers your bill.

Uswitch payment method

Step 7

You will now be shown a list of all the plans that your current provider has. From your recent bill, select the plan you are currently with and the date that it ends if applicable NOTE: if you are in a fixed-term there may be an early exit fee.

Uswitch select current plan

Step 8

If you have a recent energy bill, then you should have a projected annual energy usage so select yes and hit continue.

Uswitch do you know your usage

Step 9

Choose kWh on this screen.

Uswitch usage units

Step 10

Find the personal projection on your bill. It should be something like the below. Then enter the figures on the USwitch site.

Personal energy use projection
Uswitch enter usage information

Step 11

You now have a set of results which should be arranged by the highest savings.

Uswitch energy switch results page

Step 12

Now before looking in too much detail, be sure to hit the filter button and scroll down to ‘plan features’ and select ‘green plans’ then click show results. 

Uswitch green energy provider filter

Step 13

You should now have a list of only green plans. You can click on the plan features to see more information on the plan and company. Once you have decided on the best option, then click choose the plan and follow the remaining steps.

Uswitch green energy provider plan information

Step 14.

Sit back and relax, knowing that within the next 3 weeks your carbon footprint will see a significant reduction! 

Conclusion 

As you can see, switching to a green energy provider doesn’t have to be hard and realistically can be done in 10 minutes.

Why not check your options and plant the seed of change today?

Let us know in the comments and on social media if you make the switch!

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