Green energy tariffs are among the cheapest on the market but common misconceptions about them still remain, uSwitch.com has found.
Despite many believing that green energy is the most expensive, the price comparison website found the 10 cheapest eco-tariffs could save homes an average of £273 if they switch from a big six standard tariff.
The research also found that the cheapest green energy tariff available today comes in at just £859 per year, £278 cheaper than the average big six plan and £354 less than the average price of a big six standard variable tariff.
An impressive 70 per cent of young people in the 18-24 age bracket said they would consider choosing an environmentally-friendly deal.
Furthermore the number of environmentally friendly tariffs has risen to 57, an increase of 21 since summer last year.
Big six supplier Npower now offers a green tariff which is cheaper than its standard plan, while Co-op Energy offers a “green pioneer” tariff with 100 per cent renewable energy meaning there is plenty of choice for consumers looking for eco-friendly tariffs.
uSwitch says renewable electricity and bio-gas are now more plentiful and cheaper as green sources make up an ever-increasing proportion of the UK’s energy mix. This has led to competitive pricing and a greater choice of eco-tariffs as more challenger brands seek to differentiate themselves by promoting their environmentally-friendly credentials.
The result has been to turn more consumers on to eco-friendly deals, with new research revealing that 38 per cent of households would consider switching to a green energy tariff. This is an increase of 10 per cent from 2017.
These are tariffs that, for every unit of electricity used, the same amount is produced and put back into the grid from a renewable source such as wind or solar power, with some tariffs also sourcing some of their gas from renewable sources.
Although there has been a shift in customer attitudes, uSwitch found there are still common misconceptions among energy customers. More than four in 10 people (42 per cent) believe green tariffs are more expensive than other tariffs, rising to 58 per cent among those who said they are less likely to consider switching to a green deal.
Shona Eyre, a uSwitch.com energy expert, said: “With green energy tariffs now featuring heavily in the best-buy tables, planet-friendly deals are no longer an expensive luxury for those who can afford to pay for their principles. Whether it’s using less energy around the home or choosing a green energy deal, these are small changes that make a big difference – both environmentally and financially.
“Huge investment in sustainable gas and electricity has led to almost a third of the UK’s electricity coming from renewable sources. As more suppliers differentiate themselves by focusing on the environment, green tariffs are becoming much more widespread and much cheaper.
“Customers still languishing on the most expensive standard variable tariffs from the big six could save over £260 by switching to a renewable energy deal. This is why it’s so important that policy changes like the energy price cap don’t undermine this expansion by deterring consumers from switching and suppliers from innovating.”
Reasons behind customers remaining unconvinced by green tariffs include a lack of trust compared to better-known suppliers (30 per cent had this opinion).
Interestingly concern for the environment (19 per cent) ranks above smart meter services (14 per cent) when customers look to switch supplier.
A government survey recently found that support for renewable energy has dipped by three per cent from a peak of 85 per cent earlier this year.
In the public attitudes tracker (PAT) wave 26 report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) support for renewable energy was found to be at 82 per cent in July, compared with 85 per cent in March.
Despite the drop this is an increase from the same period last year which found 77 per cent supported renewables. Meanwhile opposition to renewable energy remains very low at just four per cent, with only one per cent “strongly opposed” to it.