You have a choice today on the type of energy that is supplied to your home. Most of the larger UK energy suppliers offer a Green Energy tariff. There are also a few independent green-only energy providers in the UK. These are Ecotricity, Good Energy and Green Energy. Green energy may not be the cheapest gas and electricity on the market, but it does have the benefits of being a “cleaner” form of energy.
What is green energy?
Green energy can be classed as energy generated by “green” or renewable sources. Typically the energy you will get from a UK energy supplier can fit into two categories:
Green-only energy suppliers like those mentioned above generate most of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind power or hydroelectric power.
UK energy suppliers generate a percentage of their overall energy from green or renewable sources.
Choosing Green Energy Tariffs
When choosing a green energy supplier you have a number of choices as to the type of green tariff they provide. This can be split into three types
The energy you use will be matched by an equivalent amount of renewable energy generated into the national grid.
Green energy is generated from suppliers whose main source is energy that comes from wind power or hydroelectric power.
Green fund energy schemes that will contribute to either environmental schemes or donate money to green organisations like the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) or Green Peace.
Green Energy Ratings
We give each energy supplier a green energy rating. This is shown on our website results page and also used to filter the green energy tariffs by showing the green suppliers’ highest of all.
The green energy rating is derived from looking at each UK energy supplier’s fuel mixture. This shows the breakdown of the amount of energy that is generated from different sources such as renewable energy, nuclear energy and coal and gas-fired power stations.
Details of the fuel mix can be seen at http://www.electricityinfo.org/.
Electricity is generated using the wind to drive wind turbines in wind farms. These wind farms can be seen in some coastal areas and hillsides with the good prevailing wind.
This renewable source of energy has great potential in both onshore and offshore wind farms. Wind power is one of the cleanest and safest of all the renewable commercial methods of generating electricity.
Hydro Electric Power
Hydro Electric power is generated basically in the same way a water wheel works. The energy potential of moving water has been used for thousands of years, originally using water wheels to drive mills and machinery. Hydro Electric Power currently produces 2% of the UK’s electricity needs.
Most of the Hydro Electric Power comes from hydroelectric dams built many years ago.
Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to produce electricity. This form of renewable energy is not widely used but could be a good renewable source for future generations.
One such project is called the Wave Hub off the south coast of England. Details can be found here http://www.wavehub.co.uk/
Biomass or Wood Pellets or Burning Boilers.
Biomass heating is again a local thing to your home and not something your energy supplier would use to generate the energy for your home. In order not to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it is important that the wood burned as a fuel comes from sustainable sources.
This means that as trees are felled to be used as fuel, more trees should be planted. That way, the carbon released during the combustion of the wood is reabsorbed by the new trees growing and the process is carbon neutral. Wood can be used as logs, wood chips and wood pellets in wood/pellet burning stoves or wood chip/pellet boilers for space and water heating.
Solar Power and Solar Panels
Solar power is not used to generate electricity to supply your home from an energy supplier but is can be a more local thing to help reduce the costs of your heating bills and electricity by having solar panels installed in your home.
There are cost and payback times to this but once the payback is completed you will have no more bills for heating or electricity.