While this might be one of the most boring topics I could possibly choose to talk about, trust me Oscar works at a green energy company so I hear about this a lot, it is also super super important, especially when we are trying to reduce our impact.
Paying for energy, whether that be gas or electric is one of those non-negotiable things for most of us. We all have to do it and we may as well be getting the best deal possible right? Yet, so many of us go year after year with the same provider and never switch even after their contracts have ended. If this is you, this is your reminder to check your bills because seriously you could be saving a tonne!
What is it and why is it so important?
Green energy is essentially energy produces through natural and renewable sources, such as wind power or solar power. Simply put, most non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels involve releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
So how does green energy work?
Have you ever been told that the energy you purchase isn’t actually the energy you receive? Chances are it’s not but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t switch to a green energy company. The supplier you are with will purchase the amount of energy you use from the generator to be fed into the national grid. This means that while you might not be the exact person receiving the green energy, the equivalent amount is supplied to the national grid so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter.
Which providers do I recommend?
I would say that on the whole I would avoid what is known as the ‘big six’. Why? Because chances are you’re going to be paying far more than you need to be! It is always better to go for a smaller energy company as they will have more competitive rates to attract customers in, which the more well known companies don’t need to do.
The company I personally use is Outfox the Market. They are just about the cheapest brand out there when it comes to price and have 100% green electricity – created from wind turbines and 10% green gas. I have read online that the customer service is bad but honestly, having used five (yes FIVE) different energy providers in the last four years, I have to say that Outfox the Market were the most helpful people I have been with! Plus their system for submitting meter readings is so easy and the website is kind of funky!
Another option you could go for is Bulb or Octopus energy. I personally didn’t enjoy being with Bulb in the past as they only have a variable tariff and I prefer to be on a fixed tariff and they were more expensive than what I am on now. Octopus energy I have had no experience of however, they are very well known in the green energy sphere.
TOP TIP: Check out Uswitch to find your best deal but make sure to change the filter to “Include plans that require switching directly through the supplier” as well as selecting plan features to be “Green Plans” otherwise you will miss out on the best deals.
Which companies to avoid?
As I said above, definitely avoid the big six as they are notorious for being more expensive. Additionally, unless you are rolling in cash, I would suggest avoiding Green Energy UK. Despite the fact that they are not only 100% green electricity but also 100% green gas, I personally find their tariffs outside of my budget.
Easy ways to save money and the planet
- Air dry your laundry – if you don’t do this already you really should because using the tumble dryer is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your house.
- Don’t leave things on standby and unplug – turn the devices off completely and unplug them when not in use. Standby and leaving plugs on still uses electricity, otherwise you’re just throwing money away
- Wash on cool – Personally, I don’t find that my clothes wash as well at 30 degrees but give it a go and see if it works for you. Either way, washing on 40 degrees will save a lot of energy compared to washing higher and it will also keep your clothes looking better for longer
- Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree – According to uSwitch this could save you over £80 per year!
- Use blankets and jumpers – before putting the heating on, use your trusty blankets or put an extra layer on. I’m not saying don’t use your heating when you need it, simply don’t use it when you don’t
- Use lids on your saucepans – this will help keep heat in your pans and boil food faster, ultimately using less energy up in the process.
- Switch to paperless bills – why use unnecessary paper and ink!
For more information on energy providers see this post here.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post or at least found it useful! I appreciate it isn’t the most exciting thing I have talked about but I really hope it’s given you a kick to rethink your own energy provider. Ultimately, if we can find any ways to reduce our carbon footprint and save money I take that as a win! Speak to you soon.