Research

UK Research

Energy Criteria

We evaluated the green credentials of UK energy providers against three key criteria:

  • What proportion of their electricity supply is from renewables?
  • How do the energy suppliers procure their renewable energy?
  • Do they supply green gas or carbon offset the gas they sell?

The greenest companies, awarded 4 or 5 stars have the following characteristics:

  • A high proportion of the electricity they sell, often 100% is classified as renewable i.e. wind, solar, hydro
  • A significant proportion of the renewable energy they supply, often over 40%, will be from direct agreements they have with renewable energy producers. These agreements are known as PPA’s. We believe that energy suppliers that have a direct relationship with producers i.e. wind farm owner, are more effective in driving further growth of renewable energies.
  • The gas they sell to consumers will either be renewable gas or carbon offset

Energy Sources (links)

Ofgem, Which, Electricity Info, Utility Week, Ethical consumer, Uswitch, This Is Money, The dirty secret behind your ‘clean’ energy deal, Baringa, Renewable tariffs in the UK: what makes a tariff green?, UNEP, Frankfurt School, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020, Energy Intelligence, Green Utilities Report 2020


Energy Scoring

1 out of 5 – no or limited green tariff option, limited investment in renewable capacity, gas not offset

2 out of 5 – less then 40% of electricity sourced either directly from generators or through the wholesale market, limited investment in renewable capacity, gas not offset

3 out of 5 – over 40% of electricity sourced either directly from generators or through the wholesale market AND/OR moderate investment in renewable capacity, gas offset or recycled gas used

4 out of 5 – over 60% of electricity sourced either directly from generators or through the wholesale market AND/OR high investment in renewable capacity, gas offset or recycled gas used

5 out of 5 – over 70% of the electricity sourced directly from generators, high investment in renewable capacity, gas offset or recycled gas used


Bank Criteria

Each of the main UK based retail banks have been awarded a green rating based on whether they or a parent company is still investing in fossil fuel businesses. Recommended providers have a clear policy of not investing in fossil fuels.

Additionally, for each of the recommended providers we also assessed a range of other criteria including investment in green industries and business banking facilities. As with energy companies, our objective is to inform consumers how green their bank is and what other services they provide, allowing them to make a clear choice between different recommended providers.

Finally, a note on methodology – our research and evaluation draws on a range of sources including government, company, and industry research.


Bank Sources

Rainforest Action Network, Banking on Climate Chaos, Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2021, Reclaim Finance and Urgewald, CITY OF COAL: The Climate Crimes of UK Finance, May 2021, Current Account Switch, BACS part of pay.uk, Hamerkop, Ethical consumer, Tiny Eco Home Life, Fossil Free Funds, CNBC


Bank Scoring

1 out of 5 – direct investor in fossil fuels

2 out of 5 – indirect: parent company invests in fossil fuels

3 out of 5 – no noted investment in fossil fuels but an absence of a clear policy against them

4 out of 5 – a clear policy prohibiting investment in fossil fuels

5 out of 5 – a clear policy prohibiting investment in fossil fuels PLUS a focused green investment strategy


US Research

Energy Criteria

In the US energy is deregulated in certain states. That means that you have the option of procuring your own energy provider. We have compiled a list of providers for your state and we have graded them from 1-5 based on where they rank relative to other providers in your state. A grade of 5 means that the 100% of the energy comes from renewable resources while a grade of 1 means that 20% or less comes from renewable resources.  For inquires please contact the Switch It Team.


Energy Sources

In the US each state has their own energy commission website. For those states in which people are free to procure their own energy provider, we accessed the state’s energy commission website to find out how much of each providers’ energy was coming from renewable sources.


Energy Scoring

1 out of 5 – less than 10% renewable

2 out of 5 – 10%-24% renewable

3 out of 5 – 25%-50% renewable

4 out of 5 – 51%-99% renewable

5 out of 5 – 100% renewable


Bank Criteria

Each US based retail bank has been awarded a green rating based on whether they or a parent company is still investing in fossil fuel businesses. Recommended providers have a clear policy of not investing in fossil fuels.

Additionally, for each of the recommended providers we also assessed a range of other criteria including investment in green industries and business banking facilities. As with energy companies, our objective is to inform consumers how green their bank is and what other services they provide, allowing them to make a clear choice between different recommended providers.

Finally, a note on methodology – our research and evaluation draws on a range of sources including government, company, and industry research.


Bank Sources (links)

BankTrack – Banks and fossil fuel financing, Banking_on_Climate_Change__2020_vF.pdf (ran.org), Sustainable banks in the U.S: what they are and a list of eco-friendly options | Mighty Deposits, 7 B Corp Certified Green Banks (So You Can Match Your Money With Your Values) (thegoodtrade.com)


Bank Scoring

1 out of 5 – direct investor in fossil fuels

2 out of 5 – indirect: parent company invests in fossil fuels

3 out of 5 – no noted investment in fossil fuels but an absence of a clear policy against them

4 out of 5 – a clear policy prohibiting investment in fossil fuels

5 out of 5 – a clear policy prohibiting investment in fossil fuels PLUS a focused green investment strategy

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Alternate energy supplier choice is not available to residents in:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin

While these states may allow large industrial or commercial customers to choose their suppliers, residential customers have no access to retail energy providers.

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