German energy company E.ON will automatically switch its three million UK customers to energy from 100% renewable sources at no extra cost, in a move that has been described as “one of the UK’s biggest green energy switches to date.”

Previously, E.ON’s energy mix was 53.5% gas, 16.7% renewable, 16.2% nuclear, 10.1% coal and 3.5% from other sources. As one of the UK’s largest renewable energy generators the company’s energy will now come from wind, solar and biomass.

E.ON will have to buy renewable energy certificates from the UK government to guarantee that a group’s electricity comes from renewable energy. E.ON is also preparing to hand over its renewable energy portfolio to German company RWE by the end of the year, but has stated that UK customers will still receive renewable energy after this deal is completed.

The company tweeted: “3.3 million homes are waking up to 100% renewable electricity today at no extra cost.”

“All our 3.3m customers’ homes now benefit from 100% renewable electricity as standard meaning millions of people are now part of the renewable journey.”

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By GlobalData

E.ON chief executive Michael Lewis said: “First of all, this is what customers want, but we also want to send a signal to the wholesale market that we want to drive uptake of renewable energy.”

RenewableUK’s Head of External Affairs Luke Clark added: “It’s great to see major companies like E.ON providing 100% clean power for the huge number of consumers who are choosing renewables as their preferred energy source. As well as doing their bit to tackle climate change, it makes economic sense for bill payers too, as wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new power.”

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial welcomed the move, noting that: “The UK is a world leader in renewables. Last year more than 50% of our energy came from low-carbon sources as we move towards net-zero emissions.”