The phrase “renewable energy” was interpreted by 43 per cent of respondents to a recent survey to mean energy from sources that are non-polluting, sustainable or carbon neutral.

The poll of more than 2,000 UK energy customers, commissioned by Squeaky Energy, also found 87 per cent would like energy suppliers to specify the origins of their renewable energy.

Only 34 per cent of respondents knew renewable energy includes biomass, while 85 per cent believed renewable to be sourced from solar and wind power, and 75 per cent thought that also included hydro power.

When offered an explanation of what biomass fuel is, only 23 per cent of respondents agreed it could be suitably interpreted as “green” energy.

Squeaky called on Ofgem to develop a clear standard labelling system for energy products “to give customers a simple and clear way to understand energy sources and make informed decisions”, said a spokesman.