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Renewable vs Non-Renewable Energy: What's The Difference?

Daniel Hill |

June 2023

Bruce Mars Fwvmhua Wby Unsplash Copy

Green energy has been growing in profile every year, but how is it different to non-renewable energy? And should you care? These questions and more are answered here.

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Being green is a good look for any forward-thinking business, and how a company sources its business energy can bring a boost to its eco credentials.

That’s where renewable energy comes in. It’s been on the up for a while now, with Opus, OVO and Octopus being amongst the big names offering green energy tariffs.

But you might be asking yourself ‘is there any point going with a renewable energy supplier?’ and ‘is it much different to a non-renewable supplier?’. Well, what you read below will answer those questions and more.

How Is Renewable Energy Different?

The big thing that differentiates renewable energy suppliers from the rest of the pack is the source; where and how it gathers its energy. We’re talking about wind, water, the sun, even plants.

Meanwhile, non-renewable energy comes from coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear energy; finite resources that can’t be replaced once they’re used up.

Is Renewable Energy More Expensive?

Nope, quite the opposite. In the main, renewable energy is cheaper than non-renewable energy. The difference can be marginal, but it can be close to £200 over the year.

The table below outlines the unit price and annual cost for both types of energy, along with the price difference.

Business Size

Renewable Electricity Price (p per kwh)

Non-Renewable Electricity Price (p per kwh)

Renewable Annual Cost

Non-Renewable Annual Cost

 Difference of annual cost

Micro business
(up to 5,000kWh)







(5,000 - 15,000kWh)






(15,000 - 25,000kWh)







(25,000 - 50,000kWh)







Very large







Updated June 2023. These numbers are indicative of the banding’s top rate, based on a two-year contract, and pull from suppliers across the UK.

Why Would You Want To Switch To A Renewable Energy Tariff?

Sustainability is a big part of the answer to that question. Coal, oil, and gas will become more and more expensive, so drawing upon a source that is potentially endless like wind and sun means homes and businesses won’t face a day where the lights refuse to switch on.

There are other factors and situations though where switching to a renewable energy supplier makes more sense.

When the time comes to replace your boiler or central heating system, this is a great chance to shift away from a fossil fuel heating system like a gas boiler.

For anyone living in an isolated rural property with no mains electricity, opting for hydro or a mix of wind and solar could be the most reliable off-grid supply.

If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, switching to a heat pump, a large wind turbine or large solar PV system could be the way to go.

Which Suppliers Offer Renewable Energy?

The list of energy suppliers that can switch your business to a renewable energy tariff is always growing and changing. As it stands in 2023, these are the energy suppliers that can help you go renewable:

Large suppliers

Independent suppliers

British Gas





OVO Energy


Good Energy

Scottish Power

Octopus Energy


Opus Energy

How Can I Switch My Business To A Renewable Energy Provider Today?

So you’re onboard? Excellent. Chances are you’ll want to compare the options first and our free online comparison tool can help you find the best renewable energy deal.

Simply tell us your postcode and a few details and we’ll take it from there.

Enter your postcode and compare today

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About the author

Daniel has been writing for over 10 years and has a passion for helping businesses and households reduce their utility bills. He has a wealth of experience in professional services, so he knows the importance of business efficiency.

In his spare time, Daniel can be found catching touchdowns playing American Football and spending his Sundays watching the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL.