Certain so-called green energy tariffs are “misleading” consumers as they are not 100 per cent renewable, according to research from Compare the Market.
The analysis of 54 dual fuel green tariffs found that some energy suppliers are offering customers “green” tariffs with between 15 to 33 per cent energy from renewable sources.
The research also suggests that the market availability of green energy tariffs is failing to meet demand.
Out of the tariffs analysed, only 37 offer 100 per cent electricity supplied from renewable sources. Only six tariffs meanwhile offer 100 per cent renewable energy across both gas and electricity.
A further 12 tariffs provide either 15 or 25 per cent of the gas a household consumes from renewable sources and 30 of the tariffs do not provide any gas from renewable sources.
|Green energy tariffs||Number of dual fuel tariffs|
|100% renewable sources (electricity and gas)||6|
|100% renewable electricity / gas renewable offset||6|
|100% renewable electricity / 25% renewable gas||6|
|100% renewable electricity / 15% renewable gas||6|
|100% renewable electricity / 0% renewable gas||13|
|33% renewable electricity / 0% renewable gas||4|
|15% renewable electricity / 0% renewable gas||11|
|0% renewable electricity / 0% renewable gas||2|
Furthermore an increased awareness of the subject of climate change following recent publicity such as documentaries has resulted in one in seven households (14 per cent) having already switched to a green tariff, with 31 per cent saying they are committed to or are considering switching to a supplier which offers a renewable energy tariff.
Despite the mounting pressure on society to drastically change how we live in order to combat the adverse effects of climate change, more than one in five (22 per cent) are not considering switching to a green tariff to reduce their carbon footprint.
Meanwhile 30 per cent say it is because they are not prepared to pay more for their energy to go green. Currently, people are only prepared on average to pay nearly £20 more to use an energy provider which uses only renewable sources.
Peter Earl, head of energy at Compare the Market, said: “Climate change issues are increasingly becoming front of mind for environmentally conscious consumers, and many people are considering ways in which to limit their carbon impact.
“The energy market clearly has a way to go before it is able to offer all consumers a truly green option. The challenge is for the energy market to meet that demand.
“The most meaningful way to effect significant behaviour change is to create competition in the market. We can see the appetite is there from the customer side.
“However, in the majority of cases, what is currently on offer doesn’t quite meet the mark for consumers and the current labelling of ‘green’ can be confusing.
“We need more renewable energy, more price competition and a greater array of green tariffs that are properly and transparently labelled. People want to change, and it’s time for the energy industry to respond.”
Under market rules suppliers offering green tariffs are required to prove that the electricity they supply to customers is produced from renewable sources.
Suppliers are required to source “Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin” certificates from renewable generators matching each megawatt hour of electricity they supply to customers who are on green tariffs.
This scheme is administered by Ofgem on behalf of government and the regulator also requires suppliers who offer green tariffs to explain to their customers “clearly and transparently” how they source renewable electricity.