Determinants of green electricity tariff uptake in the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Energy Policy


Ronnie MacPherson and Ian Lange

Publication date


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. Previous studies that have sought to identify variables predicting why consumers choose to purchase a green tariff have utilized surveys specifically about the topic. This study builds on previous work by reviewing the UK market using data from the Understanding Society Survey, a general survey of households which should be free from framing or focalism concerns. In addition, this data includes 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, and those exhibiting strong environmental behaviour 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 installed.

Volume and page numbers

62, 920-933





Environmental Sociology and Households


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  1. Determinants of the green electricity tariff uptake in the UK