How does SmartestEnergy calculate the emission factors for its products?

Emission factors are calculated for each SmartestEnergy product by multiplying the megawatt hours of power generated by each type of generation technology for a 12 month period up to 31st March each year (to align with the Fuel Mix Disclosure reporting year) by a corresponding emission factor for each technology type.

Emission factors for each technology type are taken from Ofgem, using the published values corresponding to the relevant Fuel Mix Disclosure reporting year. The Ofgem emission factors cover carbon dioxide only, and do not include other Kyoto gases such as methane which may be emitted by some forms of electricity generation.

Ofgem allocates a 0 gCO2/kWh emission factor to all electricity generation classed as ‘renewable’, which includes energy from waste and biofuel.

For wholesale electricity purchased by SmartestEnergy, the UK residual mix emission factor for the corresponding Fuel Mix Disclosure reporting year is used.

What generation sources are classified as renewable?

Our renewable electricity is sourced from Anaerobic Digestion, Biomass, Hydro, Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Thermal, Waste and Wind generation. These technologies all receive Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates if in the UK or Guarantee of Origin (GoO) certificates if imported from the EU for the electricity they generate and are recognised as renewable by Ofgem in their Fuel Mix reporting guidance.

If you would like your supply to be from specific generation sources, our Natural and Specific products will meet this requirement.

> See our 2015/16 fuel mix here

Where do you get the certificates from?

We purchase renewable electricity and associated REGOs from our 2.5GW portfolio of independent generators in the UK. We also purchase renewable electricity and the associated REGOs and GoOs on the wholesale market.

All the certificates are transferred to our account on the Ofgem Renewables and CHP Register which means they are solely owned by SmartestEnergy.

Are Generator Declarations (GDs) included?

GDs are certificates issued to renewable generators in countries outside the EU. Ofgem does not recognise GDs for the purposes of supplier fuel mix reporting, therefore we do not include them in our renewable electricity supply product.

Is a certified renewable product different to a REGO-backed product?

REGOs are one of two contractual instruments to evidence renewable electricity in the UK. Our certified renewable electricity product actually uses REGOs as the evidence of renewable supply rather than being an alternative to them.

Most customers assume that when they buy renewable power it is backed by REGOs but they should ask their supplier to prove this and provide a transparent allocation process.

Do you supply nuclear power?

Nuclear is a low-carbon source of electricity, but it is not renewable because it relies on uranium and produces radioactive waste. Nuclear is not included in our renewable product but can be found in our conventional fuel mix because it forms part of the UK residual grid mix.

Can the product be linked to direct Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)?

If you already have agreements in place with renewable generators to buy their electricity and origin certificates, we can incorporate this into our product.

You would be able to report zero Scope 2 emissions through the PPA and zero Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity when reporting using the market-based method in accordance with the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance.

Why did you choose the Carbon Trust to validate your product?

We chose to work with the Carbon Trust because we believe them to be the world’s leading authority on sustainability and carbon reporting. They have detailed knowledge of our sector and were therefore able to both support the development of our products and certify the end-to-end process.

The work we have done with the Carbon Trust makes it much simpler for your own auditors to verify your renewable electricity as part of your sustainability reporting.

> Read about our Carbon Trust certification here

Why does it cost more to buy renewable?

We pass the majority of the renewable uplift directly onto independent generators by paying for their origin certificates, providing them with an additional revenue stream.

The remainder is retained by SmartestEnergy as administrative cost for the certificate purchasing and allocation process.

Can Energy Labels be issued for calendar years?

Our Energy Labels show consumption, fuel mix and carbon emissions from the April to March period, in line with Ofgem reporting.

On request, we are able to provide a calendar year label which provides these details from both reporting periods (eg. Jan-Mar of reporting period 1 and Apr-Dec of reporting period 2) to support our customers with their sustainability reporting.

More information

For more information, download our Guide to Purchasing and Reporting Renewable Electricity or please get in touch here