The Big Green Energy Guide

Using energy is like breathing – we can’t live without it. Reducing your energy use and buying green gadgets is all well and good, but even just using electricity is consuming coal and other non-renewable resources and harming the earth. There are many ways to reduce the energy you use or consume but there are also ways to use energy that has come from a renewable, green source. Life Goggles aims to cut a swathe through the complexities of all this and give you a guide to using energy, the green way.

Renewable resources can be wind power, solar, wave, hydro, geothermal or biomass power. Below is a table from The Independent newspaper which compares green energy tariffs from providers in the UK to help you make an informed choice. Scroll down beyond the table to find helpful links if you live elsewhere.

Company British Gas ecotricity EDF Good Energy Green Energy UK npower Powergen Scottish and Southern Energy
% Renewables* 3 17.4 3 100 58 5 3.8 8.4
Tariff Green Electricity New Energy Green Fund Standard UK 100 Juice Go Green RSPB
Details Same price as ‘brown’ energy, plant one tree for every 10 customers 25% from renewable energy, rest from coal, gas and nuclear. And plants a tree 0.42 per unit (about £13 ayear) funds community renewables projects 100% renewable energy from small and medium projects 100% wind, solar, hydro-electric, organic waste and biomass power 10% annual donation to Juice clean energy fund, no price premium Matches 100% renewable electricity to customers and offsets carbon emissions from gas £10 starting donation to RSPB to fund nature reserves
Price** (Kwh) £9.19 £9.60 £10.02 £11.69 plus 17p daily charge £11.48 plus 14p daily charge £9.08 £8.94 £8.96
Extra cost*** £0 £34.47 £43.03 £116.69 N/A £18.19 £24.98 £32.23
Verdict*** Nothing beyond obligations except the trees Does more than most Good practice but supply only meets legal minimum The best for “pure and simple” clean energy A serious attempt but renewables credits “sold on” Supply goes no further than legal obligations New service – unknown No additional environmental benefits, other than the trees

So which do you choose? Well that’s up to you but the clear winner seems to be Good Energy as 100% of their supply comes from renewable energy. Although what they’d do if everyone suddenly signed up with them is anyone’s guess. A website that will help is . It also helps you to choose green tariffs if you live outside the UK. For example:
If you live in Canada try here.
America: here.
Japan: here.
Australia: here.
Ireland: here.
Switzerland: here.
Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, or Sweden: here.

If you know of another provider or tariff that will help people make a green choice, please let us know.


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