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Eon unveils ‘green’ energy tariff – but will it make a difference?

GoGreen tariff carbon offsets the energy you use

Eon has unveiled the latest incarnation of it’s GoGreen gas and electricity tariff, which carbon offsets the energy you use and also offers Tesco Clubcard points.

As its name suggest, GoGreen is a so-called ‘green’ energy deal, but this does not mean the energy you pay for comes from greener renewable resources.

Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron says: ‘Don’t assume that by choosing a green tariff that more of your energy will come from cleaner, renewable resources as a result.

‘The various green tariffs offered by utility companies have different environmental impacts and claims, with this latest offering from Eon offseting the carbon produced by buying greenhouse gas reductions in other parts of the world.’

Green energy tariffs

Green energy tariffs are deals that allow people to make a positive difference to the environment as they consume energy.

However, the word ‘green’ is used to describe a variety of energy deals – with the environmental benefits ranging significantly from tariff to tariff – and this has led to some confusion over the merits of ‘green energy tariffs’.

In an attempt to combat this confusion, energy regulator Ofgem launched its Green Energy Certification Scheme in February 2010 which allows energy suppliers to have their tariffs independently audited and declared officially ‘green’ if they meet certain requirements. These include:

  • matching all electricity used by consumers on the tariffs with renewable energy
  • delivering additional environmental benefits – such as carbon offsetting or investing in new renewable energy sources or energy efficiency programmes.

Eon’s GoGreen tariff is certified by the Green Energy Certification Scheme as it offers carbon offsetting.

500 Tesco Clubcard points

Eon GoGreen is available to dual fuel and single electricity customers only and you must pay by monthly direct debit to qualify.

As well as being ‘green’, customers choosing the GoGreen tariff also get 500 Tesco Green Clubcard Points for each fuel. So if you go for gas and electricity, you will pocket 1000 Tesco Clubcard Points per year.

Not the cheapest

Sylvia says: ‘With GoGreen being on average £99 more expensive than Eon’s cheapest online dual fuel tariff (based on average usage in the Eastern region), we think don’t think it’s not worth the 1000 Tesco Clubcard points. Even compared to British Gas’ Standard dual fuel tariff, Eon Go Green is 3% more expensive (or £32.87 in the Eastern Region).

‘So if you are after a cheap tariff, GoGreen might not be the best deal for you. You can check the cheapest deals using our free Which? Switch comparison service.’

Green energy

In the UK, energy suppliers are obliged to source a certain proportion of their energy from renewables. This amount is set by the government and increases every year. To increase the amount of renewable on the grid, the supplier would have to go beyond its obligation. Some – but not all – suppliers simply ‘repackage’ the renewable part of their supply into green tariffs, leaving other tariffs ‘browner’. So by buying into a green tariff, you could be paying a premium to help that supplier meet its renewable obligation.

Eon’s GoGreen does not seem to go beyond its renewable obligation and in 2009/2010 Eon only sourced 1.4% of its electricity from renewables, the lowest of all suppliers. The ‘added benefit’ of the green tariff is that it offsets the carbon emissions generated by the customer on that tariff. But not everyone thinks that carbon offsetting is the solution. To help you decide, read our guide to carbon offsetting for more information.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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