Our Quick Comparison Guide to Clean Energy Suppliers
Here at Love Energy Savings we’re passionate about helping our customers save money on their energy bills. But for many price isn’t the only priority.
When looking to switch suppliers, more and more customers are also interested in finding out which sources suppliers get their energy from – whether it’s from renewable, nuclear, coal, natural gas or another source. Or to put it another way: how clean the energy is. And it isn’t just homeowners. Businesses are also taking this into consideration when selecting a supplier.
In fact, we recently carried out a survey of 1,001 consumers to gauge opinion on clean energy, whether businesses have a responsibility to use it, and where they stand on how this affects their decisions when picking energy suppliers:
- 40% of respondents said they believe businesses should use renewable energy
- 33% said they would pay more for renewable energy
While not a majority, these consumers represent over a third of the market – and increasingly energy suppliers are putting environmentally friendly energy at the centre of their businesses.
Where does our energy come from?
Since the introduction of the 2005 Electricity (Fuel Mix Disclosure) Regulations, energy suppliers have been obliged to disclose the sources of their energy – their fuel mix. Each supplier has a different combination, made of:
- Renewables - energy that comes from sustainable sources, including hydro, wind and solar power, biomass and landfill gas
- Natural gas
- And other sources, which include non-biodegradable wastes, oil, coke oven gas, blast furnace gas, and waste products from chemical processes
How clean is the energy from the main energy suppliers?
The below chart shows the percentage of the energy each of the big six suppliers gets from renewable sources, compared to the industry average.
Of the big six, E.ON supplies the most ‘clean’ energy, at 40.4%. Below you can find a breakdown of all the energy sources of each supplier.
British Gas, known as Scottish Gas in Scotland, is the UK’s largest energy supplier and owned by the Centrica Group, which funds gas and oil exploration in the UK, Europe and North America.
33% of the energy it supplies comes from renewable sources. Nuclear and natural gas accounting for 34% and 30% respectively, with just 3% coming from coal and other sources.
France-based supplier EDF supplies around 5 million customers in the UK and has a strong focus on low-carbon electricity, energy production and nuclear investment. EDF has invested heavily in nuclear power since acquiring British Energy in 2009.
EDF’s investment in nuclear energy is clear: 64.3% of the energy it supplies comes from nuclear sources. The remainder is split between coal (14.5%), renewables (12.3%), natural gas (8.6%) and other sources.
E.ON was born from the merger between German industrial groups VEBA and VIAG in 2000, and in 2007 the company also took over Powergen to become a big player in the industry.
An impressive 40.4% of E.ON’s energy comes from renewable sources. Natural gas provides 27.2%, coal 15.7% and nuclear 10.7%. The remaining 6% comes from other sources.
Part of German power group RWE and a household name, Npower supplies in the region of 5.1 million homes and businesses.
The energy it supplies comes predominantly from natural gas (66%), with renewables (16%) and coal (16%) the next biggest sources. Nuclear and other sources make up a further 1% each.
Big renewable energy supporters, Scottish Power became one of the UK’s largest suppliers in 2007 when they formed part of the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola group.
Natural gas (36%) and coal (34%) are the main sources of Scottish Power’s energy. 26% comes from renewables, with nuclear (3%) and other sources (1%) making up the rest.
SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy Plc)
The best known of the big six suppliers for their support of renewable energy, SSE are currently the second biggest supplier of natural gas and electricity in the UK.
SSE gets 37% of its energy from renewables, with the other major sources being coal (31%) and natural gas (27%). The rest comes from nuclear (3%) and other sources (2%).
Want to find out more?
Read more in our guide to green energy deals.