SCOTTISH consumers are becoming increasingly more interested in green energy, with research from price comparison site Compare the Market finding that two thirds (67 per cent) say they would be prepared to switch to a green tariff.
Most Scottish customers (72 per cent) would also be happy to pay more for their eco-friendly energy, with 60 per cent saying they would be willing to spend up to £50 more on a green deal.
Despite this, statistics show that only 2.5 per cent of Scottish switches over the past 12 months were to green energy tariffs - the lowest of any region in the UK - with price thought to be a possible sticking point.
Peter Earl, head of energy at Compare the Market, said: “It is encouraging to see that so many Scots want to switch to renewable sources of energy.
"However, there is clearly work to be done to turn those intentions into actions.
“As is to be expected, the cost of the energy remains paramount for the majority of people in Scotland.
“Therefore, the priority must be to reduce the cost of green tariffs more in line with regular tariffs to give Scots a better incentive to ‘go green’.”
Green energy tariffs have historically been more expensive than standard energy deals, but the market is changing rapidly.
Tim Dunford of price comparison site uSwitch said: “Green energy tariffs these days are frequently among the cheapest on the market.
"So, customers don’t necessarily have to sacrifice their principles for price.”
For example, the cheapest deal currently available is the Zapp! November variable tariff from Outfox the Market, which comes in at £820.78 a year for an average household on a dual-fuel tariff paying by monthly direct debit.
Bulb, another green energy supplier, also offers a competitive deal. Its Vari-Fair plan is among the top five best buys at £867.49, according to figures from uSwitch.
If you prefer to have certainty of payments by fixing your energy costs, Tonik Energy’s Positively Green v4 costs £867.72 and is fixed for 12 months.
Some consumers worry about the reliability of green energy, but it is supplied in the same way as that from mainstream, providers. Electricity, for example, comes from the National Grid.
The reason green tariffs differ from standard tariffs is that the companies providing it pledge to put enough renewable energy back into the grid to match all or some of your usage.
Kevin Pratt of MoneySuperMarket said: “A green energy tariff makes no difference to the type or quality of the energy that comes through your pipes or wires.
"But you can still rest assured that you are doing your bit for the environment.”
Green energy suppliers come in different shades, so you might want to check out their credentials before you switch.
For example, Green Energy UK guarantees 100 per cent renewable electricity and 100 per cent green gas.
Bulb also offers 100 per cent renewable electricity, but only 10 per cent green gas.
Suppliers also have to publish details of their fuel mix, which might be of interest if you want to support a particular renewable energy source, such as wind farms.
Switching to a green energy deal is just the same as switching to a standard energy tariff.
The switching process normally takes about three weeks and your new supplier will contact your old provider to arrange the switch.
Most comparison websites carry the details of green suppliers alongside traditional firms.
You simply put in information about your current supplier and your energy consumption and you will be presented with a list of money-saving tariffs.
Alternatively, Green Electricity Marketplace searches exclusively for green deals, although it is not accredited by industry regulator Ofgem.
Anyone looking to switch should remember that if they are on a fixed tariff they are likely to have to pay a penalty fee to be able to terminate the contract before the fixed term comes to an end.
It might still be worth moving to a different energy company, but customers will have to weigh up the savings against any penalty.
Fixed terms tend to be for 12-month periods so it may make sense to wait until the term is up before going ahead with the switch.