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Simplifying greener energy

Good Energy played a pioneering role in bringing clean energy to UK homes – and now the supplier is making green living even easier
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Solar panels on a roof in the Cotswolds

This article first appeared in our Earth Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 22 April 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

We’re all familiar with Good Energy; it was a pioneer in delivering renewable electricity to homes and businesses, and today the supplier continues to evolve by offering everything else you might need to power your life with greener energy.

25 years ago only about 2% of electricity in the UK came from renewables, so the idea of an energy company offering customers 100% renewable electricity seemed extraordinary.

But that didn’t stop Good Energy’s founder, Juliet Davenport, from pursuing the idea.

Juliet knew that customers wanted to help combat climate change and support the growth of renewables; at the time the only way it could be done was by approaching the relatively small number of renewable generators and asking if their power could be bought in order to supply Good Energy’s customers.

This was how Good Energy was born, back in 1999. Juliet visited renewable energy generators around the UK and agreed contracts for their power.

The company offered electricity backed by power from the renewables renegades who had built wind, solar or hydro power stations.

What is green energy?

If you switch your energy supply to Good Energy today it still works the same way; every kilowatt hour you use will be backed by one Good Energy buys from one of over 2,000 renewable generators up and down the country.

This includes community energy schemes like Wedmore Community Power Cooperative, visionary individuals like Jo and Bev from Tongue Gill Hydro, small businesses such as Albourne Estate and farmers repurposing waste, as is the case at Fre Energy.

This approach differs from the way most energy suppliers do ‘renewable’ electricity; power is more commonly bought from the wholesale market in a mix of all sources, including fossil fuels, and then backed with separately sourced certificates to meet Ofgem’s requirements around green energy claims.

Good Energy’s approach is truly green and helps to grow renewables; about 50% of the new generators it contracts with are new connections to the electricity grid, providing clean power for the first time.

This provides vital support to the smaller scale renewable generators that are essential to decarbonising our energy system.

Support for solar

This support for small-scale generation is at the heart of what Good Energy does, and it extends right down to the smallest solar power generators that put power into the electricity grid.

Way back in 2004 Good Energy became the first energy company to pay people with solar on their roofs for the electricity they share.

The company’s pioneering ‘HomeGen’ scheme paved the way for the UK government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), which was responsible for supercharging solar to over 860,000 installations.

Good Energy remains the largest voluntary administrator of the Feed-in-Tariff, with over 180,000 generator customers.

Today the supplier is doing even more to support solar, and bringing solar tariffs into the modern age with smart export.

Under the Feed-in-Tariff, customers are paid an export payment of an assumed 50% of what they generate, a legacy of the pre-smart meter energy world.

A fully decarbonised energy grid has to be smart — and it has to include small-scale solar. This is why Good Energy is moving its generator customers over to smart export and offering some of the best rates on the market for export, including for customers who missed out on the Feed-in-Tariff after it closed to new installations in 2019.

For the first time Good Energy is also offering solar installations. The company now offers high-quality solar, storage and EV charger installations across the south of the UK.

It specialises in bespoke systems to suit even the more complex properties, and premium-quality hardware and components.

As an extra bonus, if you install solar with Good Energy you’ll be offered an even better export tariff rate.

Getting off gas

In addition to electricity, Good Energy also supplies gas. If your home is heated with gas — as the vast majority in the UK are — then the gas you get from Good Energy will be greener.

The company supplies 10% green gas, created in anaerobic digestion plants which turn organic matter like food waste into biomethane, which is then injected into the gas grid.

The remaining 90% is carbon offset through Gold Standard schemes which support access to greener energy around the world.

The reason Good Energy supplies 10% green gas is that this is the upper limit of the UK’s gas demand that can be sustainably met from this renewable source.

As a result we need to shift away from gas heating and towards electrification – mainly heat pumps. Good Energy’s helping here, too.

A heat pump from Good Energy starts with a bespoke design and proposal; as with the solar that is tailored to suit your home, the supplier is able to work with older, larger or otherwise atypical properties.

Heat pump installations are completed end to end by Good Energy’s own expert engineers, and you’ll get great aftercare, too – including a 10-year warranty and remote monitoring to check your heat pump is working as it should be.

Good Energy even sends its heat pump customers personalised ‘winter tips’, offering advice for when and how to run the heat pump based on the individual home’s data.

Travel with clean power

In addition to offering EV charger installations, Good Energy has a great EV tariff that offers off-peak charging for under 10p per kilowatt hour, meaning you can charge a typical electric car from empty to full for about £4.

In 2019 Good Energy invested in Zapmap, the UK’s go-to public EV charging app.

Today Good Energy is Zapmap’s biggest shareholder and the EV app now has nearly 800,000 users.

Zapmap allows EV drivers to search for, plan and pay for charging, providing data for the UK’s public EV charging network, which is now more than 50,000 strong.

The premium subscription, which enables Apple Carplay and Android Auto, will soon be available as a free add-on for customers on Good Energy’s EV tariff.

Gold standard energy tariffs

Energy companies don’t really get greener than Good Energy, which is the only energy supplier to be top ranked as a Which? Eco Provider for the last three years running. All tariffs are accredited with the Uswitch Green Tariff Gold Standard.

Yet being green doesn’t come at the cost of customer service; Good Energy is the highest-rated energy supplier on TrustPilot, with five stars.

Its heat pump installations are approved with the Which? Trusted Trader stamp and solar installations with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code.

The Chippenham-based business does right by its people as well. It has long been a Living Wage employer, but for the past two years it has been ranked as a ‘World Class’ employer by Best Companies, based on the ratings of its employees.

A clean energy revolution

Good Energy has been pioneering renewables for 25 years, and now it’s powering all fronts of the clean energy revolution — from renewable supply and solar generation to green heating and electric transport.

As a fellow sustainable pioneer, it makes perfect sense for Good Energy to partner with My Green Pod, the magazine for everyone looking to live a greener lifestyle.

Keep an eye out for future features on Good Energy and related trends in the world of clean power.

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