Determinants of the green electricity tariff uptake in the UK

Publication type

Research Paper


Ronnie MacPherson and Ian Lange

Publication date

Series Number



A number of countries offer domestic consumers the option of buying their electricity supply through a ‘green tariff', whereby the supplier typically guarantees that all or part of the supply has been generated using renewable energy sources. Various studies have sought to identify variables describing and/or predicting why domestic consumers choose to purchase a green tariff. This study builds on previous work by reviewing the UK market in particular. Using data from the Understanding Society Survey (USS), a number of variables were tested for their predictive power. This included variables identified as statistically significant within other studies, and variables that - to the authors' knowledge - have not been tested through other work. Results find that individuals in the highest income quartile, those with higher qualifications, those supporting the Green political party, those exhibiting strong environmental behaviour and those households not in receipt of winter fuel payments were all more likely to have purchased green tariffs. Significant to a lesser degree were strong environmental attitudes and those households with some form of renewable energy technology.


Environmental Sociology and Households


Related Publications

  1. Determinants of green electricity tariff uptake in the UK