Best green energy suppliers in the UK

10 min Read Published: 24 Jun 2021

Best green energy suppliers in the UKIn recent years, more and more of us have made the conscious decision to be kinder to the environment. The burgeoning climate crisis has forced many to consider the impact of their day-to-day activities, such as driving a car or purchasing “fast fashion” clothing, on the world around us. If you're one of the millions trying to live a more climate-friendly lifestyle, getting your electricity and gas from renewable or carbon-neutral sources is one of the easiest ways to make daily life kinder to the planet.

What is green energy?

Green energy is one of the solutions to help mitigate the negative impact of human activities on the environment. It is energy which is generated using naturally-occurring resources - like wind, sunlight, and wave power - to either minimise or completely eradicate the carbon emissions offset during typical energy production with fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. Green energy utilises natural, “renewable” resources which will not deplete over time and have a minimal negative impact on the environment around them.

Some energy providers, though not using these renewable resources, pay additional fees to offset the carbon emissions they already make through traditional energy production, usually by planting more trees in an effort to cancel out their carbon emissions. This is called carbon-offsetting, with the aim to be entirely carbon neutral - meaning you have generated absolutely 0 carbon emissions - throughout the energy extraction and production process. Carbon neutrality is also a key component of the movement towards greener energy use.

With greater awareness and concern for the environment, increasing numbers of energy providers have begun to offer green and carbon-neutral tariffs, so that members of the public can get involved in the mission to reduce carbon emissions while also still getting what they need from the process: energy. 

There is a vast selection of green energy tariffs on the UK market, and there will likely be many more in the years to come, so we’re going to walk you through where to go to find the best and cheapest deals, offer our top 5 picks, and give you a bit of advice for what to look out for before you make a decision.

Where to find the cheapest green energy tariffs

The best place to go to find the cheapest green energy tariffs is a price comparison website, such as Big Clean Switch, which collates the best deals on the market, based both on their price point as well as their green energy credentials.

There are often well-founded concerns about the cost of green energy, so if that’s something you’re worried about, it’s best to go for a fixed rate deal to avoid any price fluctuations. However, there are some firms - such as Bulb - which only has a single variable-rate tariff, but is nevertheless competitively-priced and historically has minimal variation in price.

There are currently only 22 tariffs in the UK that are certified as having 100% renewable electricity and gas, so while you’re browsing the options available to you, keep an eye out for these names to get the greenest deal:

  • Bristol Energy
  • Bulb
  • Economy 7 Energy
  • Ecotricity
  • Foxglove Energy
  • Good Energy
  • Goto Energy
  • Green
  • Green Energy UK
  • Green Star Energy
  • HUB energy (Gulf Gas & Power)
  • Igloo Energy
  • iSupplyEnergy
  • London Energy
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox the Market
  • Pure Planet
  • Shell Energy
  • So Energy
  • Symbio
  • Tonik Energy
  • Yorkshire Energy

The top-5 green energy tariffs

Below is a list of our top-5 green energy tariffs, with some key points on why each one should be on your shortlist:

Tariff Provider Average Cost (per month)
Summer 21 Variable v2 Outfox the Market £79.04
supergreenOctopus Octopus Energy £94.78
Pay Monthly Bulb £111.90
Sparkling Tariff Green Energy UK £114.93
Green Electricity & Green Gas Ecotricity £125.00

Prices based on a typical family household just outside of London, correct as of 23/06/2021.

Summer 21 Variable v2 - Outfox the Market

  • Green electricity: 100%
  • Green gas: 0%
  • Renewable resources: Wind
  • Customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot
  • Average cost: £79.04 a month for a typical household just outside London

All energy wholly generated from offshore UK wind farms - benefitting not only the environment, but the UK economy too.

supergreenOctopus - Octopus Energy

  • Green electricity: 100%
  • Green gas: 0% - but 100% carbon-offset
  • Renewable resources: Anaerobic digestion, wind, solar, hydro
  • Customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot
  • Average cost: £94.78 a month for a typical household just outside of London

Fixed rates for 2 years and no exit fees, plus completely carbon-offset gas.

Pay Monthly - Bulb

  • Green electricity: 100%
  • Green gas: 10% - but 100% carbon-offset
  • Renewable resources: Wind, solar, hydro
  • Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot
  • Average cost: £111.90 a month for a typical household just outside of London

Keeps it simple with just this one tariff to choose from, 10% renewable gas, and has a handy app to track and manage usage.

Sparkling Tariff  - Green Energy UK

  • Green electricity: 100%
  • Green gas: 100%
  • Renewable resources: Solar, wind, hydro
  • Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot
  • Average cost: £114.93 a month for a typical household just outside London

No exit fees and fixed rates for 2 years, plus 100% renewable dual energy.

Green Electricity & Green Gas - Ecotricity

  • Green electricity: 100%
  • Green gas: 0% - but 100% carbon-offset
  • Renewable resources: Solar, wind, hydro
  • Customer rating: 3.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot
  • Average cost: £125 a month for a typical household just outside London

Approved by the Vegan Society, run by anti-fracking campaigners, and no exit fees. 

Things to keep in mind before choosing a tariff

When you look for a green energy tariff, it’s not always as simple as going straight to a self-described green supplier, as even the firms with “green” in their name may offer non-renewable or non-carbon neutral tariffs. You should take the time to check the details of the tariff that you’re considering, paying attention to terms such as “renewable electricity”, “renewable gas” and “carbon-offset gas”, to make sure that you’re actually going to get the green energy that you’re looking for.

Remember that all green tariffs have different credentials, and some will be more green than others. Most offer 100% renewable electricity, but that’s where some of them stop; 100% renewable gas is currently considerably harder to generate than electricity, so can be much less common across the green options on the market. This is why most providers will offer some renewable gas with the rest compensated by carbon-offset gas, or even just 100% carbon offset gas. Although this is less optimal than 100% renewable energy across both electricity and gas, at least making sure that the carbon emissions from production are offset as much as possible is still better for the environment than not bothering at all.

You can even offset the cost of your chosen green energy tariff by installing a renewable energy source at your own home. Adding solar panels to your roof, for example, can allow you to generate electricity that you use at home. If you generate enough, you can even sell some back to the grid. Though installing solar panels isn’t cheap, if you’re genuinely committed to renewable energy, it can be a rewarding exercise that will eventually pay back. You can even save up to £330 a year with a home solar panel system, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

More ways to go green

If you're interested in other climate-conscious initiatives, check out our reviews of ethical investment platforms such as The Big Exchange and tickr. Or, for the best places to go to switch your provider, visit our article "Compare the best energy auto-switching services in the UK – save money on utilities without even trying".

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