The electricity we use is generated from different fuels, including coal, natural gas, renewable and nuclear energy.
Since 2005, it has been a legal requirement for every energy supplier must provide the mix of fuels used to produce the electricity it supplies in percentage terms for coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable.
They must also supply other environmental information related to the CO2 emissions and levels of radioactive waste generated.
This information must be published annually and customers notified via their bills, statements or promotional material. If you have a pre-payment meter and only receive an annual statement, you will be provided with the particular fuel mix at that time.
So, for example, the fuel mix breakdown of a particular energy tariff may look like this:
Why do we need to know the fuel mix?
Knowing the fuel mix of the energy tariff you are on is important because it can help you understand the environmental impact of the electricity used. If you purchase electricity predominantly generated using natural gas, for example, you are paying a natural gas-fired plant to generate electricity and to feed it into the main power grid, which is more environmentally friendly than using coal for the same purpose.
The higher the renewable energy percentage used, the greener the supplier. Renewable energy comes from sources such as wind, solar and wave power and so has low or no carbon emissions.
Remember that the electricity you use won’t be any different from the electricity anyone else has, even if the fuel mix you have is different from the fuel mix that surrounding houses use. The fuel mix is really intended to inform you where your money is going. This in turn is likely to have an influence on which kinds of electricity are supplied to the electricity grid.
You can compare electricity and gas prices and check the fuel mix of the particular tariff you are interested in online through MoneySupermarket’s energy channel.
Switching energy suppliers is straightforward, so if you find a deal you want to move to you can arrange the switch online.