The National Consumer Council and consumer watchdog Energywatch are calling for honesty over green energy tariffs as the NCC publishes a report looking at the environmental credentials of green utility tariffs.
The report finds that most green tariffs fail to live up to the environmental benefit that they claim to offer.
The two consumer groups say energy suppliers should "be more honest and upfront about their ‘green’ tariffs – and to spell out clearly what the environmental benefits really are".
In a statement, they point out that "no supplier, whether ‘green’ or otherwise, makes it clear that every household in Britain is already supporting renewable electricity to the tune of £7 a year through their normal electricity bills. They add that the complex rules that encourage all energy suppliers to source renewably can mean the electricity’s ‘greenness’ is oversold. Even choosing a green tariff that offers to plant a tree would not contribute anywhere near enough to offset a household’s carbon emissions."
NCC chairman Lord Larry Whitty says: "With consumers increasingly trying to do their bit for the environment, switching to a green tariff should be a simple way for them to make a difference. But our investigation shows that it’s too easy for consumers to be confused and misled. They may think they are helping save the planet, but it’s not clear that they are."