Energy (with a focus on GB)

In Britain the government has created a market in energy, where the customer has a choice who they purchase electricity & gas from. It is a scam really but still better to play market than ignore it. Basically you will most likely pay less if you switch from existing supplier as well as often getting better level of service. Also you have option to choose to choose a contract that ensures more of money you pay goes to environmentally friendly generation of electricity. But it seems now the amount of renewable energy produced will be determined more by enforced government targets than green consumer demand.

Before changing utility supplier check out what Martin Lewis has to say at Money Saving Expert.

There are various price comparison sites. Citizen's Advice, Customer Focus and Energy Watch before that directed the public to these and Citizens Advice may still provide a list of them.



U Switch

Simply Switch

Bulb now owned by the Government after it became insolvent. It offers 'green' energy as standard.

Green Star Energy (now Shell Energy) have large renewable mix, and their service no problem with me when I used them as Green Star.

Cooperative Energy is a coop but now seem just be rebrand of Octopus Energy.

An environmentally friendly company called Good Energy (spotted when it was previously Unit-E) is used by local project I was involved with, which actually delivered savings for them as they were on unsuitable tariff with old supplier. But I think for most home users they won't save much over even the expensive previous monopoly supplier.

Another electricity company that is investing in new renewable supply is Ecotricity which I switched to but they made a mistake mixing up night and day readings and did not send me a new bill quick enough before I got fed up and switch to Ebico.

Many years back I have previously signed up with Powergen (now called EON) for their green option which has undergone several reincarnations now over the years, as they had a free light bulb and money back deal when I signed up. A friend had a long drawn out incorrect billing experience with them.

After Powergen I switched to Scottish Hydro to save money.

After switching to some other suppliers including some that were greener and some that were cheaper but Scottish Hydro were only ones had a good customer service experience matching the low level complaints they get; they seem to be only company that produced a correct bill by not mixing up readings or getting address wrong. And good customer service is vital if you are not to waste lots of time having to deal with energy company. Looking back over past bills from many companies on some very unclear as to dates reading were from. This has improved in recent years especially with OFGEM new rules on providing more information on bills. But lots of improvements could be had in this area, especially with giving annual day/night split.

By 2021 when most people hit the price cap and then at end of 2022 the Energy Price Guarantee it is the government setting the prices in the UK. But making a real mess of it with Economy 7

Friends Of the Earth did a report on the supply companies: Another source of info is

An interesting look at effect of choosing green tariff was produced by ethical consumer.

It took a while for companies to start marketing their green options much. At start they offered them just for show and seems they don't really want people to take them up. The government can wash it's hands of problem and say look it is up to customer to choose. But as time went on an climate change has gone up agenda they are using them in marketing more, but now with harder government targets I think even less reason for customer to choose them. The market does not deliver, but my view is better to play it for best deal while it exists than not.

I have had long history of mis billing with many suppliers, that often took a long time to sort out. Do keep all communications from your energy provider and records to help if you need to complain. Complaints can be made with help of Citizens Advice, or Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) in Scotland.

If you don't have gas and wish to get a quote for a new connection then who you contact depends on area you live in. For Scotland it will be SGN or if in the North of England it maybe Northern Gas Networks, for elsewhere see list of Gas Transporters (and Utility Infrastructure Providers) via OFGEM's website

If you need to obtain the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) for your Gas supply then Xoserve provide a service to look it up call Find My Supplier or call them on 0870 608 1524.

Your electric (MPAN) can be obtained from your Electrical Distribution company.

Shifting demand from peak to off peak is rapidly developing opportunity. There are many sources of finding out the carbon intensity of the electrical grid at present and forecast. There is an app from National Grid ESO for GB and for whole of GB now grammes of CO2 (equivalent) per kiloWatthour:

live GB grid intensity gCO2/kWh


Sustainable Energy - without the hot air Sustainable Energy - without the hot air
by David MacKay

This book is full of interesting figures. I found what it presented about heat pumps of much interest.

Turn Down Your Boiler flow Temp

Energy Links:

If looking for off grid power to replace dirty generators the you may need Power Up Services.

Modal shift in travel links:

There is a debate about future ownership of energy companies, resourses and other utilities. See the campaign We Own It.

Phone Service (UK)