How green is your energy supplier

Article posted

15th Aug 2022

Read time

6-12 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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The first step your business could take to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch your energy supply to a green tariff. This will mean that your business is accountable for fewer emissions, however, making sure you get the right tariff is also important as not all "green energy" is from clean sources.

What is green energy?

Green energy is energy generated from sources that do not produce any greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and are also environmentally friendly.

A lot of suppliers label their tariffs as "green energy tariffs", however, this can be a bit of a vague term. Green energy is energy that is made from renewable resources. However, to be considered green, no greenhouse gasses should be given off when the energy is being generated.

However, a lot of people when choosing a new energy tariff are being thrown off by the term renewable energy. This type of energy comes from resources that are not going to run out. A lot of renewable energy types still emit greenhouse gas emissions.

A lot of energy types are also advertised as "clean" as it does not produce any harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Clean energy is not always considered green as it can still harm the environment. For example, nuclear energy is considered clean as it does not produce any greenhouse gasses, however, it still pollutes the earth with nuclear waste, and therefore it cannot be considered 100% green energy. A better way to understand this could be:

  • Green energy= renewable and environmentally friendly - no harmful emissions
  • Brown energy= energy generated from fossil fuels
  • renewable energy= energy generated from recyclable resources
  • clean energy= does not emit any greenhouse gasses but is still bad for the environment

Energy suppliers now must show where their energy comes from in an energy mix. This means you can see how much of your supplier’s energy comes from different sources.

green energy can also be split into green gas and green electricity. Gas and electricity are generated and supplied in different ways, so they both vary in the way they are generated.

Green electricity

Green electricity has been generated longer than green gas. This is much easier and cheaper for energy suppliers to generate. Green electricity is usually generated from:

  • solar power
  • hydroelectric power
  • wave power
  • tidal power
  • wind power

Green gas

Green gas usually comes from natural gas, this just means gas generated from renewable resources. This usually comes from biomethane which is a natural product and landfill gas. However, a gas created in this way still emits CO2 and other dangerous greenhouse gasses into the air so cannot be considered green, however, it is renewable.

Another type of green gas is green hydrogen. This is 100% green as it in emits water vapour into the air and no harmful emissions. Green hydrogen will be most commonly used within the travel sector but as its popularity is growing more energy suppliers will be using it as part of their fuel mix.


Green energy usage

As stated before energy suppliers will use a mix of different types of energy to supply power to their customers. This means that all suppliers will put different amounts of energy into the main grid, depending on their customer’s usage. For example, if you get a green energy tariff the energy supplied to you will not have all been generated by green resources.

When you buy a green energy tariff your supplier then has to replace however much energy you use from the grid with green energy. The more people who have green energy tariffs, the higher the energy mix in the national grid will be.



Greenwashing is a term that is becoming increasingly popular as sustainability becomes more important to people. Greenwashing is companies stating that they are environmentally conscious or their products are sustainable when in fact they are not. Some energy suppliers may market that their tariff is better for the environment or even say that it is green, however, this is not always the case.

A lot of suppliers are guilty of selling "green energy", but instead just offsetting fossil fuels by carbon capture or planting trees. Although it is illegal for suppliers to lie to you about their tariffs their wording might mislead you. This is why it is important to pick your supplier and tariff carefully to avoid this issue.

Best green energy suppliers

We will go through some of the best green energy companies and tariffs below to help you when picking your energy tariff:


If you want to stick with one of the big six providers but switch to a green tariff then Npower is probably best for you. They offer 100% green electricity, generated from wind and hydropower. The company also offsets any carbon that they are accountable for. Their price is also reasonable, usually sitting somewhere in the middle of the range.

If you were looking for an ethical company that is committed to sustainability, then they would be great to go with. However, the only downfall is that they don’t supply green gas tariffs.

British gas

British gas is also another big energy company that offers 100% green electricity, generated from mostly wind and solar power. They are also certified by the carbon trust and they have different options on their tariffs to support your business.

British gas also offers carbon-neutral gas. This is gas that has come from biomethane. This cannot be fully considered green as biomethane does release CO2, however, this is counterbalanced by the plants used to create the gas as they take in the same amount of CO2 whilst there growing.

crown gas and power

Crown offer gas contracts at 25%, 50% or 100% biogas. The same as British gas Crowns tariffs are carbon neutral. However carbon natural gas is probably best for business at the moment since there is no cleaner gas appropriate for large usage. This option would be best for businesses looking to ensure that they become more sustainable but possibly don't have the funding available to have 100% green energy.

Total Energies

Total Energies offer a “pure green” energy tariff for business customers. This is electricity that is generated from renewable resources.

They offer 100% green electricity and gas on their business energy contracts. They also offer carbon offsetting if your business would be more interested in this. This could be better for smaller businesses with lower budgets.


Drax is another energy supplier that can offer 100% green electricity tariffs that provide electricity from sustainable sources. With Drax’s gas contracts, although the burning of wood pellets is used to generate energy, the sustainably managed working forests from which the materials are sourced absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere offsetting the emissions.

Start your Net Zero journey today

Reducing your business carbon footprint and accounting for scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions can be difficult. That is why we offer a range of plans and services for your business at Resolve Net Zero. We take into account all your direct and indirect emissions to ensure that you are on the right plan for yourself.

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If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down energy bills then why not get in touch? With our carbon management plans we will give your business everything it needs to reduce consumption and maximise on savings. . Request a free quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.