So it’s confirmed – you can have your cake and eat it - at least in terms of your energy bill. Last week uSwitch published figures which show that consumers can save money and clean up their electricity supply at the same time. It’s great to have this on the record, as there’s still a misconception among some bill payers that doing the right thing could hurt their wallets. uSwitch’s research shows that the 24 cheapest renewable energy tariffs are less expensive than the average standard variable tariffs offered by the main electricity suppliers.
The findings come as no surprise to those of us in the renewable energy industry who have seen spectacular reductions in the cost of wind energy in the UK, with onshore wind now the cheapest form of new power bar none. Offshore wind costs have fallen by a third in 4 years and the technology is on course to be cheaper than new nuclear in this summer’s CfD auction. In short, renewable electricity is increasingly the cheapest way to power the UK.
The last few years have also seen the price of clean energy tariffs tumble, with uSwitch’s figures showing that the cheapest renewable energy tariff is now just £8 a year more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market, compared to £110 a year ago. It now costs only 2p a day to go green, compared to the rock bottom deal.
Clean energy is consistently and compellingly popular, with over three quarters of the public saying that they are in favour of power from renewable sources. The fact that renewables- led tariffs are getting closer to the cheapest deals on the market will enable more consumers, who have always supported renewables in principle, to make their energy bills greener in practice.
The new figures show that more than a quarter of energy customers are now more likely to choose an environmentally-friendly tariff than they were three years ago. This is having big implications for the retail market – the research reveals that the number of renewable energy deals has increased from 13 to 30 in the last year alone. The word on the street is that we will be seeing the first clean energy tariff from one of the large electricity suppliers any day now. The energy market is backing renewables, and this smart investment is repaying consumers, as well as the UK economy.
(This blog first appeared in BusinessGreen)