Renewable Energy: How To Choose The Right Supplier

How do you switch to a renewable energy supplier? Which energy supplier do you choose? Expert, Rhian Evans, shares her advice on comparing and switching to renewable energy suppliers in the UK.

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Renewable energy. We’ve all heard of it by now, but why exactly is it so important?

How do we switch to a green energy supplier?

And is renewable energy much more expensive?

Making the shift to using a renewable energy provider is actually one of the easiest, greenest changes you can make to embrace a more sustainable life.

Why Is Renewable Energy Important?

Renewable energy is crucial for combatting climate change for several reasons.

Renewable energy such as wind, solar and hydro (water) does not deplete the earth’s precious and finite resources. That’s because it is naturally derived and replenishes itself.

Fossil fuels, in comparison, are finite.

They replenish more slowly than humans use them, and they produce greenhouse gasses that warm our planet as well as creating harmful, toxic smog in our air and water supply.

Renewable Energy: How To Choose The Right Supplier

For starters, there are plenty of renewable energy suppliers to choose from.

Anyone can make a sustainable statement with their energy bill and reduce their household carbon footprint.

To help you compare the best green energy options, I’ve done all the hard work for you.

Scroll down for more information on the best renewable energy options in the UK.

How Does Renewable Energy Work?

When we talk about renewable energy, we are generally referring to renewable electricity.

In the UK, sources of renewable electricity include solar, hydro and wind.

Solar, Hydro And Wind Energy

As an island, the UK does particularly well at generating renewable energy from wind. It has both onshore and offshore wind energy capacity, and this is growing rapidly.

Wind and hydro sources offer a fairly steady supply of energy.

Solar, on the other hand, has peaks and troughs.

Currently, a combination of existing technologies and exciting new renewable energy options are being developed.

As a result, renewable energy is a much better option in the UK than burning fossil fuels which of course, leads to high carbon emissions.

What Is Green Gas?

Green gas is another form of renewable energy that has become available in the past few years.

Green gas is most commonly sourced from anaerobic digesters and biomass units.

The gas is produced as a by-product of waste bio materials breaking down or being burnt.

At the moment, it’s harder to produce and gather this gas in high quantities than it is to work with sources of renewable electricity. This means that many green energy suppliers commit to providing just a proportion of their gas supply from this source.

Some 100% green gas tariffs are available, but they do come at a cost.

Because it is difficult to derive 100% of our energy from renewable resources most fully renewable suppliers invest in carbon offsetting schemes.

In doing so, they balance out the emissions produced by their customer base.

How Does Renewable Energy Reach Your Home?

To get renewable energy into our homes do we all need to install solar panels and wind turbines?

Don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything so drastic in order to get a clean energy supply.

Due to the way energy in the UK works, you unfortunately won’t be getting renewable energy sent directly from turbines or solar panels to your sockets and laptop.

Renewable energy first enters the National Grid.

From here, it is distributed to homes and businesses.

Once the energy has been transported into the grid, it’s not possible to tell what has come from sustainable sources and what hasn’t.

So what difference does it make?

As more people purchase from renewable energy suppliers or choose green tariffs, the suppliers have to go out and source renewable energy to meet the demand.

This leads to an increase in demand which, in turn, leads to an increase in the supply of renewable energy entering the grid. So, the energy we use as a country will be cleaner.

As with many sustainable choices you can make, switching to a renewable energy supplier is altruistic.

It requires many people coming together to make a real, noticeable difference – but it all starts somewhere. With you.

How To Choose A Renewable Energy Supplier

Once you’ve decided to make the switch to renewable energy, you’ll find that there are a few options available.

Some suppliers specialise in renewable energy supply, whereas others offer green tariffs and plans.

Best Renewable Energy Suppliers In The UK


Along with Good Energy, Ecotricity is one of the oldest renewable energy suppliers in the UK. It is also considered one of the greenest, because it:

  • Invests in and works directly with renewable generators themselves.
  • Offers 100% renewable electricity generated in the UK, as well as green gas options.
  • Markets itself as the only energy supplier in the UK that is recognised by The Vegan Society. Ecotricity monitors its supply of ‘vegan energy’ to ensure that no animal by-products, like slurry or manure, are used to generate gas in aerobic digesters and biomass.

Good Energy

Good Energy is on a par with Ecotricity as one of the cleanest UK energy suppliers. Good energy:

  • Has a focus on local supply chain.
  • Works directly with renewable generators and invests in them.
  • Ensures a fair price for generators and reduced emissions.
  • Offers 100% renewable electricity generated in the UK, as well as green gas options.

Good Energy and Ecotricity come at a slightly higher price point, but they are considered to be the greenest, most ethical suppliers to switch to, since they actually work to increase renewable energy generation capacity for the UK.

Other Green Energy Suppliers In The UK

  1. Octopus Energy. Owned by Octopus Investments, this is the UK’s largest investor in solar energy.
  2. Pure Planet. Like many of their pure green competitors, Pure Planet say no to nuclear and fracking.
  3. OVO Energy. This energy provider allows cost-conscious consumers to pick semi-green tariffs. It offers 33% or 100% renewable electricity on all of its plans.

How To Compare Renewable Energy Suppliers In The UK

Ultimately, you have to do the research to find out which renewable energy supplier is right for you.

Every energy supplier has to display their fuel mix on their website, so you can see a breakdown of where all of their energy was sourced in the past year.

This is a great way for you to get an understanding of a supplier and how much work they’re putting into being sustainable.

Many price comparison websites now let you filter your quotes to show only the ‘green plans’. This is another helpful tool for finding an affordable, sustainable supplier.

We like:

  • Big Clean Switch – Big Clean Switch are a B Corp and their mission is to switch every home and business in the UK to clean energy.
  • Compare The Market – Compare renewable energy suppliers at one of the UK’s biggest comparison sites.
  • Money Supermarket – Check out the renewable energy options on every tariff in the UK.

When you do decide to switch, it will only take a few minutes of your time but the planet will thank you for years to come!

Rhian Evans is a writer who has spent time in the renewable energy industry and wants to help people understand it better.

Interested in cutting back the carbon?