In the UK, households with ‘green’ suppliers – those only offering electricity tariffs backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGOs) certificates – increased from less than 20% in 2017 to 65% in 2021, according to a new study released by Cornwall Insight.
This percentage would be even higher if green tariffs from suppliers that also offer standard non-green also or ‘brown’ supply were included. The below graph highlights the growth in green supply.
Oliver Archer, a senior analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: “This boom in green tariffs is in part being driven by consumers doing their bit to reach net-zero with renewable credentials increasingly being factored into decision making when switching energy providers. For example, Ofgem’s Consumer Perceptions of the Energy Market survey showed that in Q119, 9% of respondents gave green energy as the main reason for switching supplier. In Q420, this had risen to 19%.
“However, switching trends do not tell the whole story. Nearly 80% of the increase seen between 2019 and 2021 can be attributed to a few large suppliers re-branding as 100% green through 2019 and 2020. It is also difficult to tease out the relative contributions of price, service, and renewable tariffs to the fast growth of green challenger brands such as Octopus Energy and Bulb.
“The low price of REGOs has made it possible to be labelled a green supplier without heavily sacrificing on the main tool for attracting new customers – cheap tariffs. As a result, more than half the suppliers in the market are now green.
“Critics would say the current system makes it hard for consumers to understand which suppliers provide truly additional support for green generation. As green tariffs become more ubiquitous, the government plans to consult this year on reforms to give consumers more transparent information, including quantifying the additional benefit of tariffs marketed as green.”