British Gas Makes Green Energy More Affordable

Published: 7 June 2011 By Peter Thompson 1 Comment
Updated: 7 June 2011

With only 2% of UK households on ‘green’ electricity tariffs, price rather than the environment is the biggest influence on our energy buying. But could this be about to change?

British Gas energyshareBritish Gas has introduced a new green electricity tariff, which it hopes will boost demand for renewable energy and create funds for eco-friendly community projects.

The ‘energyshare’ scheme provides electricity at the same price as the British Gas standard tariff, but also gives you additional benefits. They include:

  • A free energy saving gadget on sign up
  • £10 donated annually to support renewable energy community projects
  • The opportunity to vote on how the community fund is spent.

The community renewable energy project scheme has been set up by British Gas in partnership with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, and will support groups wanting to create green energy. Solar panel installations and small wind turbines are likely to be popular choices.

But there’s a catch. Although the energyshare scheme is accredited by the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme, it doesn’t mean that you’ll only be supplied with electricity from renewable sources.

That’s because British Gas’s electricity is supplied through the National Grid, where renewable electricity is mixed with power generated by natural gas and coal.

At present, only 7% of British Gas’s own electricity supply is generated from renewable sources, so energyshare customers will be matched to that part of its energy mix – meaning non-renewable energy will continue to dominate the market for some time.

MoneyHighStreet.com comments: “Energyshare is a welcome addition to the tariffs on offer by British Gas, but it won’t eliminate the tough choice consumers face between economy and the environment when choosing their energy suppliers.

“It’s not easy to convince customers to switch energy supplier and, with the increasing financial squeeze on households, lower prices will continue to be the biggest motivation for changing. In this market, most consumers will choose to protect the environment by saving energy to reduce their household bills.”

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