The decision we make about our energy supplier can make a difference to how our energy is produced. Increased demand will result in more renewable energy.
I have produced this guide to enthuse people to make the switch from non-renewable energy to 100% renewables. If we can get everyone to switch then we can create a Better Century where there are near-zero emissions from all homes.
Step 1: Find out what energy you’re using
You can check your energy bill to find out how much energy you’re using. You usually have an annual statement. I’ve placed an annual statement of both a previous gas and electricity supply below so you can figure out where to find it. In the statement I’ve looked at we’ve used 15,166 kWh in gas and 2,560 kWh in electricity.
As we move to an electricity economy increasingly we will see kWhs (kilowatt-hours) being used to determine the battery capacity in cars determining how far they can travel. We will also see a certain size kW (kilowatt) solar systems being installed. To learn more about kilowatts see this useful Wikipedia post.
Step 2: Research renewable energy suppliers
This is more tricky than you think so I’ve tried to simplify it for people. What I’ve never seen is a list of 100% renewable energy suppliers, so I’ve tried to pull this together so everyone knows what’s out there.
I’ve listed the renewable energy suppliers alongside an indicative cost for each. The figures are based on searching through uSwitch an Oxfordshire address using 5,000 kWhrs of electricity per annum and 15,000 kWhrs of gas with no economy 7 meters, but they indicative and hopefully helpfully to those people choosing an energy supplier.
The first thing I found out was that uSwitch could find a company to improve upon the cost of energy from Bulb, which is incredible, and right - renewable energy costs less to produce so it should cost less to the purchaser to buy it. You should also know that electricity costs change across the country (see this useful piece).
Here’s the analysis:
|Electricity (5,000kWh/yr)||Gas (15,000kWh/yr)|
|Green Network Energy||£784||£572|
|Pure Planet ||£797||£542 |
|Octopus Energy||£808||£576 |
|Green Star Energy||£967||£698|
|Ecotricity ||£1,020||£780 (14%)|
|Good Energy ||£1,040||£852 (6%)|
 Done through a search on their website using the same criteria.
 Don’t do single tariff plans so calculated from dual fuel minus cost of electric
(%) This is where I’ve found out how much of the gas is from renewable sources (e.g. biomethane from farms)
Step 3: Choosing a supplier
One thing I noticed when I was searching through uSwitch was that ‘green’ tariffs didn’t always match up with whether they provided 100% renewables. Be careful, click on further information or go to their website if you’re not sure.
The other thing I noticed was that sometimes prices were better through a search engine. I think it’s a good idea to check both methods and report back here depending on what you find out!
I also note that suppliers such as OVO Energy who have invested in a significant climate change advertising campaign, aren’t 100% renewable, only 33% of their energy comes from renewable sources. Check your supplier properly!
Cost may be king but how much a company is doing to produce renewables may also be important….
Many of the companies listed will just be buying renewable energy to sell it. Bulb is a good example of this as is probably other new suppliers such as Pure Planet, iSupply & Bristol Energy…
Those producing renewable energy include Good Energy, Ecotricity, E.ON and British Gas (to the best of my knowledge). These companies are probably using more of your funds to enhance renewable infrastructure.
What is renewable gas?
All companies I’ve listed offset the carbon emissions from the gas you consume, there are various ways of doing this which discussed here. Some companies guarantee a proportion of the gas they use comes from renewable gas (bracketed in the numbers above).
Renewable gas is captured methane from farms, sewage or can be created through combining gases. If you are using renewable gas then this is burning a greenhouse gas which would otherwise be emitted and is probably the future for zero-carbon gas.
Those suppliers buying that gas are helping improve the renewables infrastructure in our country.
Step 4: Switching supplier and getting support
Usually, this is where customer service counts so check out what people think about their customer experience, from the stories shared on Better Century, and ask some questions if you are feeling uncertain.
Also - a lot of these companies have referral deals so check out with any friends or even people on Better Century whether there is a referral code you could use so someone else may benefit.
Please share your stories of which supplier you’ve used and whether you feel it’s a good deal - help others make the switch to 100% renewable.
If you have any corrections to make to this guide please reply or edit this wiki post, that way we’ll co-create the Better Guide to Renewable Energy Suppliers.
 Data Sourced from 2018 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Provisional Figures (196.6 MtCO2e from energy from the total 448.5 MtCO2e (excluding aviation and shipping)) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/790626/2018-provisional-emissions-statistics-report.pdf
 Extrapolated from the Energy Consumption in the UK July 2018 report https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729317/Energy_Consumption_in_the_UK__ECUK__2018.pdf