02 Sep 2008
One thing to check is how much renewable you are truly buying
I believe that a true "green" tariff is one where the supplier de-commissions a % of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) over and above the governement legislation. The obligation amount for 2007/08 was 7.9% and I belive that even the greenest tariffs out there only add a further 5% of ROCs. I think of all power itself (without the ROC) as "brown" power, all lost in the wash and prices at the market rate. Suppliers may present REGOs but they cost the supplier nothing and I do not believe that they create additionality. Ask your supplier what % of end use is matched by ROCs over and above the supplier obligation.
I must state my interest in that I work for a UK electricity supplier
What is true, is that if the "green" energy companies make more profits (as they are increasing your prices but do not have matching increased costs), they can invest in more renewable energy projects. This may be higher on their agenda that providing stable power prices. It seems fair to me. Some of the "green" energy suppliers can offer you fixed prices for a period which may better suit your requirement for better budgeting