Hello and thanks for taking a look at this our latest Treehouse publication on Green Energy.  Writing this I’m very aware that as we send this newsletter out, COP26 will be underway in Glasgow.  This is widely documented as a final chance for the world leaders to join in real action to, literally, save our planet. 

In the midst of such huge and scary stuff, it’s easy to feel that for us as individuals, there’s perhaps little or no point in ‘living greener’ …. But, every time you have a conversation about climate issues in the pub or share a post about your individual actions, you are creating a culture that signals we can do something about the climate emergency. Every single action you take counts!  

The Treehouse Gang.

Green Energy

One of the most impactful and simple changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint is to opt for a Green Energy supplier for our home and/or business gas and electricity. It is a tricky time to be switching with many of the smaller Green Energy suppliers going under in the last few months.

The high price of fuel has led leading renewable energy suppliers to pause beneficial incentive referral offers and some are actively advising new customers to hang fire with any switch until prices become more stable. But - despite present challenges, tariffs offered by green suppliers are still comparable, it continues to be a savvy move for the planet…. And Green energy providers really need customer demand if we are ever going to move away from burning fossil fuels.  

Green Energy gets its energy from UK renewable sources.  None is derived from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Renewable energy sources include sun, wind, water (rivers, tides or wave power) and biofuels (gas released by rotting food and agriculture).

So how does green energy work? The ‘Big Clean Switch’ green energy comparison website offers a useful explanation and asks us to picture the National Grid like a bucket full of water. When you’re on a renewable tariff your supplier promises to match the amount you take out of the bucket by putting the same amount of clean water back in. The more clean water providers put in, the cleaner the water for the whole of the Grid.  

Many providers now offer renewable energy tariffs but beware; some companies are not as ‘green’ as they claim.  Despite the jargon, most of the big names continue to be major players in the extraction of fossil fuels globally. 

Often a ‘green tariff’ is offered… but in reality to do this they simply transfer more of the green energy sourced from their standard tariff,  making their standard tariff dirtier. In short, there’s a hefty amount of green-washing going on to attract customers looking to make more sustainable choices without a true commitment to truly investing in renewable energy. 

The best way to be sure of the truth behind suppliers is to verify the green credentials of a company. Along with the suppliers own website there are several online resources that have done the hard work for us.

Ethical Consumer and Which? both score and rank the green credentials of the top Green Energy suppliers. To make finding the best deal easier, comparison sites can be a handy resource. USwitch sets standards for green energy tariffs and allows for comparison between green energy tariffs only. The Big Clean Switch comparison site only searches for tariffs from verified green energy suppliers. The Energy Saving Trust offers a handy guide on how to make a switch which is now easier than ever.  

Burning fossil fuels to make electricity is the second biggest source of CO2 emissions in the UK, at 26%. The good news is that electricity from low-carbon sources makes up an ever larger percentage of our National Grid;  43% in 2020. The key is to ensure your supplier can demonstrate that your bill goes entirely towards additional  renewable power rather than just paying lip service to it.  (see: 12daysofcop for more details).  

Further Links:


  • Want to cycle more? Worried about getting back on the roads? Free guided cycle ride (6th November) (from Bollington to Poynton) and bike maintenance (2/3 November) . Book now to secure your place!!
  • Bollington 2030 survey - contribute your thoughts and help create a vision of the future for Bollington in a Town Council / Transition Bollington survey.
  • A FREE Macctastic virtual event on 11 November for anyone in Macclesfield area looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their home - but not sure where to start.
  • Borrow a bag at the CO-OP in Bollington is back
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Treehouse Ecohub · 20 Hurst Lane · Bollington · Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 5LP · United Kingdom

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