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UK households shun green energy

Survey finds just one percent are on a green tariff

Energy providers are being urged to do more to promote green energy after a survey revealed just 1 per cent of the population is on a green tariff.

Despite years of education and falling costs for green energy options consumers still say renewable energy isn’t a priority.

The poll, conducted amongst energy bill payers and commissioned by ENGIE, revealed:

  • Half of consumers don’t consider green energy tariffs because they think their bills will rise - while a third say they’ve never even been offered a green energy tariff
  • 80 per cent say price is the main consideration when choosing their energy tariff
  • 90 per cent say environmentally-friendly tariffs don’t influence their choice of energy provider
  • 80 per cent say money is more important than the environment
  • Even in London only 1 in 10 rate the environment above saving money
  • A fifth have done absolutely nothing to be environmentally-friendly in the last year

 Yet increasingly green tariffs are affordable. ENGIE, the largest new entrant to the UK home energy market for 15 years, has led the way by offering 100 per cent renewable electricity on all of its tariffs at no additional cost. Plus, customers can also receive 100 per cent green gas guaranteed at minimal extra cost – one of the few plans of its kind on the market. Recent research by uSwitch has also revealed that green tariffs are becoming increasingly affordable.

Renewable energy tariffs are backed by 100 per cent green electricity – meaning that, for every unit of electricity used, the same amount is produced and put back into the grid from a renewable source.

Paul Rawson, CEO of ENGIE’s home energy business, says: “With so few people choosing green energy tariffs, it is the responsibility of energy providers and the wider industry to offer solutions which appeal to and persuade consumers.

We don’t believe customers should have to make a choice between saving money and choosing a green option and we are optimistic that increasingly they won’t have to.”

There was some good news in the poll results, which also revealed:

  • More than a third say they would spend more for green energy (even though the evidence suggests they won’t)
  • 8 in 10 have done something to be more environmentally-friendly
  • Almost half of households have increased the amount they recycle
  • Two-fifths have cut energy consumption


In other positive news, June saw the UK experience a new renewable energy record with a remarkable 70 per cent of its electricity coming from low-carbon sources at one stage.

Paul Rawson adds: “By working collectively we can take a more sustainable approach to energy consumption to the benefit of ourselves and future generations.”


31st January 2019

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