Green energy suppliers

Green energy suppliers supply gas and electricity from renewable resources. Green electricity sources include biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, bio and hydroelectric (US Energy Information Association). Green gas sources are biomethane, bio-propane, and hydrogen (Green Gas). Nuclear energy is regarded as clean energy as it has low emissions, but is not a renewable energy. 

Where does green energy come from?

In the US in 2020, 79% of the primary energy consumption was fuelled by fossil fuels; natural gas, petroleum, and coal. 10% was nuclear energy. Only 12% was renewable energy (EIA). 

In the UK, fossil fuels fed 76.5% of energy consumption in 2021. 14.9% of energy came from renewables, 6.6% was nuclear and 2% was unknown (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – PDF). 

Green energy suppliers in the US

Here are some of the biggest green energy suppliers in the US and a few points about what each of them is doing to reduce their carbon footprint and increase renewables. 

Duke Energy, consistently ranked in the top utility companies in the U.S. has been increasing renewables over the last 5 years. The company set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50% for electricity generation and reach net zero on natural gas by 2023. Scope 1 carbon emissions are down 44% on their 2008 level. They are also aiming for 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2025. In 2021, they produced 10,500 MWs, an increase of 20% on 2020.

NextEra Energy operates in 49 states across the US and boasts lower than average customer bills in their flagship Florida scheme. In 2021, 27.2% of their owned generation was renewable wind and solar energy. They have reduced their use of oil by 99% and shut down coal units, reducing these to 0.1% and 2% of their owned generation.Their targets are a 67% reduction in carbon emissions from an adjusted 2005 base level and an increase in renewables and battery storage to 3,600 gigawatts (GWs) by 2050. 

American Electric Power has ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% before 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. They plan to add renewables into the portfolio that will generate up to 16 gigawatts (GWs). 68% of energy generated in 2022 will be from coal and natural gas, 7% from nuclear energy and 23% from hydro, solar, wind and pumped. AEP has retired coal fuel generation to the tune of 13,700 MW since 2011.  

Tennessee Valley Authority is one of the largest public power providers in the United States. By 2020 they had achieved a 60% reduction in carbon emissions vs 2005. Their target is 70% by 2030. Currently the majority of their capacity is nuclear. They also produced 7,044 MW of renewable energy and provided access to community solar projects to over 1m people. The solar projects produce 1600 megawatts of electricity. 

In 2021, 88% of Iowa energy from MidAmerican Energy was renewable. Of this, 7,300 megawatts was from wind turbines and 141 megawatts from small scale solar projects. The company aims to be net zero by 2050 which will mean investment in wind and solar projects. 

Calpine Corporation’s fleet can generate 26,000 megawatts of electricity. 2.8% of this is 100% renewable. Much of the rest is natural gas. They also have the largest geothermal plant in California, producing 48% of geothermal power to the state. 

Bulb is a B-Corp based in Texas. Their electricity is 100% renewable from wind and solar. In fact, they are the country’s largest wind energy supplier. They estimate they save each customer approximately 8.42 tons of CO2 a year. 

Green energy suppliers in the UK

Green energy suppliers in the UK have a real focus on electricity. There are not many (if any), green energy suppliers who provide a renewable alternative to gas supply.

Bulb is also available in the UK. 100% of the electricity supplied by Bulb is renewable. Their fuel mix is 88% wind, 11% solar and 1% hydroelectric. Their gas is 3% renewable and 97% bought on the open market, but they offset the emissions of their gas supply. Bulb UK entered administration in November 2021 and there are currently a number of bidders to take it over, including Octopus Energy (their biggest competitor). 

All of Octopus Energy’s electricity tariffs are green and 100% renewable. They offset their gas supply. Octopus invests in or purchases electricity from wind, solar and hydro power producers. That includes individual homeowners with solar panels. They power 1.2 million homes and plan to increase that by a factor of 50 by 2027. 

Good Energy supplies 100% renewable electricity which they buy from their community of over 1700 generators. The fuel mix is 49.41% wind, 32.71% biogeneration, 13.6% solar and 4.28% hydro. 10% of the gas from Good Energy is supplied by renewable biogas or biomethane, the rest is offset with ClimateCare. 

OVO Energy uses anaerobic digestion to make their green gas which makes up 15% of their gas supply, 100% of which is carbon neutral. They supply 100% renewable electricity as part of their standard tariff and have reduced their carbon footprint by 23% in 2020 (vs 2018). In 2020, they trialed a V2G scheme where EV owners who were OVO members could charge their cars and sell any excess electricity back to the grid. 

Ecotricity’s electricity (try saying that out loud in a hurry!!) is 100% renewable and 1% of their gas is too. The rest of their gas is offset. The electricity fuel mix at Ecotricity is offshore wind 81.6%, onshore wind 14.63%, solar 2.4% and hydro 1.37%.  Ecotricity have been campaigning for clean energy for 25 years and they are currently working on green gas mills in order to achieve 100% green gas. 

SO Energy actually lets their users vote on what type of energy source they want, whether solar, wind, biomass or hydro. Their electricity is 100% renewable and last year the fuel mix was 36% wind, 27% solar, 23% biomass and 14% hydro. They don’t supply green gas at all. 

Cheapest green energy supplier UK

The cheapest green energy supplier in the UK in 2021, according to Forbes is Outfox the Market however they do not offer green gas nor do they offset their carbon emissions. The cheapest green energy supplier for both gas & electric in the list is Octopus Energy but there is not a lot of difference in the tariffs. 

Green energy suppliers – last tips

The most important thing to remember with green energy suppliers is to do your homework. You want to know that the company you use for your home energy supplies is transparent and accountable. Look for an energy company that is clear about their fuel mix and how much of it comes from renewables. Also look at how they are trying to reduce their own carbon footprint under scope 1, 2 & 3 and whether they are offsetting any energy that is not renewable. Both these factors will tell you a lot about what the company is doing to combat climate change.

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