Criteria for real green electricity providers
Green electricity providers and their tariffs must be included in our list of the best as many of the following criteria as possible fulfill:
- The green electricity is produced from 100% renewable energies.
- The green electricity provider is represented with a tariff in the EcoTopTen green electricity. You can find the EcoTopTen criteria here.
- The green electricity provider was last with Öko-Test very good, Well or satisfying rated.
- The electricity provider does not have a stake in a nuclear power plant and has not acquired a direct stake in a coal-fired power plant after 2016.
- In comparison, the electricity provider actively promotes the expansion of renewable energies and confirms this with green electricity seals, among other things.
In doing so, we take into account, among other things, the most important green electricity seals that we identify with the individual green electricity providers, but also the green electricity tariff list of the Öko-Institut (EcoTopTen). Where we have the results of the Öko-Test magazine, we state them in the detailed information from the providers. The (house) bank through which a green electricity provider conducts its business does not currently play a role in our assessment – although it is of course desirable if it is an eco bank.
Why this list? Anyone who calls up one of the well-known portals for comparing electricity providers can compare the price of electricity tariffs there (with lots of hooks and eyes that only become apparent at second glance), but they still have no real green electricity for a long time. Even if you set a corresponding filter there, the probability is high that you will find a subsidiary there that “also” has green-washed electricity on offer
Green electricity comparison from Utopia
Since 2021 we at Utopia have been offering a calculator for the Green electricity comparison at. Similar strict criteria apply to this comparison calculator as to the list of the best you are currently on: Only providers with reliable seals and recommendations are listed there.
Enyway: a different kind of green electricity provider
It is not directly a green electricity provider, but it should not be left unmentioned: Enyway is Germany’s first „online marketplace“ for electricity directly from the producer. Think of it as a peer sharing platform à la Airbnb, on which green electricity is sold directly from person to person.
- Producer: Anyone can become an electricity provider on Enyway and sell their energy from wind, sun, water or biomass directly to other households.
- Consumer: Every user of the online marketplace can select their personal electricity supplier based on liking, price, region and type of electricity with a click of the mouse.
- New measurement or communication technology is not required, according to Enyway. According to the company, the change works easily and without problems.
Enyway has been around since November 2017. The company employs around 50 people. One of the three founders is Heiko von Tschischwitz, successful founder and longtime CEO of LichtBlick.
Beware of sham packaging: recognize real green electricity providers
The energy transition is in full swing and, thanks to the EEG, we are all already participating. But when it comes to “eco”, electricity providers also differ greatly: While some electricity providers simply buy green electricity abroad, other green electricity providers are actively working on expanding the production of renewable energies in new power plants. Of course there are also some black sheep in the industry.
Green electricity from old, written-off systems is of no use to the energy transition
A common strategy of alleged green electricity providers: cheap electricity from old hydropower plants from home and abroad is sold to us as green electricity.
A real benefit for the environment can only be achieved if electricity from new renewable energies power plants displaces conventionally generated electricity from the market.
And that only happens when the green electricity provider obtains as high a proportion of its electricity as possible from new power plants and preferably also in one high proportion of new, environmentally friendly green electricity power plants invested.
Nuclear companies disguise themselves as green electricity providers
Many “green electricity providers” have ownership ties to the four big nuclear companies. There is no other way, because
- EnBW and
As the most important electricity provider, they produce almost 80% of the electricity in Germany. By participating in hundreds of regional energy suppliers and by founding apparently “green” subsidiaries, the old nuclear companies are hiding behind green-washed tariffs.
The green electricity from these providers was also obtained from renewable sources – and is already sustainable in itself. But those who choose such a tariff give their money to those companies that continue to invest in nuclear and coal-fired power plants and often actively lobby for them (and against renewable energies).
Real green electricity comes from green electricity providers who actively expand renewable energies – for example from Naturstrom, EWS Schönau or Greenpeace Energy and the other providers on our list above.
Stadtwerke as a green electricity provider?
The local public utilities also often have a green tariff on offer and are therefore recommended as a regional green electricity provider. But municipal utilities also operate nuclear power plants, and the “big four” are involved in many municipal utilities. Therefore, you should inform yourself exactly before switching (see: How good is green electricity from public utilities?).
Green electricity price comparison?
When it comes to green electricity, you shouldn’t just go by price. However, if financial matters are particularly important to you, the easiest way to find the affordable tariffs is via our interactive one Green electricity price comparison.
Do many labels make a good green electricity provider?
Yes and no. Green electricity seals certify certain properties of a tariff or a provider. For example, labels such as green electricity or ok power only exist if the green electricity provider invests sufficiently actively in the expansion of renewable energies. What is right and important.
But. Green electricity seals cost money. Some TÜV labels cost a low flat rate in comparison, with others the green electricity provider has to surrender a percentage of the profit per kilowatt hour, which is of course more expensive. That is why not every green electricity provider can afford all the seals: Providers with green electricity and ok-power labels plus the TÜV mark are certainly good, providers without these labels are not necessarily bad.
Utopia advises: Don’t make things more complicated than necessary. Regardless of which green electricity provider you choose from the Utopia best list, you are making a good choice. When comparing, also pay attention to the user ratings.
Naturstrom, Greenpeace & Co: the green electricity providers on the list of the best
- Greenpeace Energy, Natural power and The Bürgerwerke have been independent green electricity providers for many years, active nationwide on the market and are recommended without reservation by environmental organizations.
- Pole Star and Man natural energy are two new real green electricity providers who deliver nationwide, but for which regionally different prices are due. Also Green power plant is a new recommended provider. The company is particularly committed to the regional supply of green electricity.
- Entega is also in the Utopia best list, as the company has been offering affordable green electricity for several years and is no longer associated with gray electricity providers.