Why “take our word for it” is no longer enough for businesses buying renewable electricity…

Businesses choosing to buy renewable electricity is not a new thing, but the market has grown increasingly complex in recent years. Mike Shirley, Head of Marketing, discusses why transparency and clarity are vital to the growth of renewable supply.

Since summer last year, with the removal of Levy Exemptions Certificates, renewable generation has been evidenced by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates.

Customers buying renewable electricity therefore assume that every megawatt hour they consume is backed by a REGO through their supplier. But with millions of megawatt hours and millions of certificates out there, the risk of double-counting or under-allocating is huge - so is it wise for businesses to just take their suppliers word for it?

We don’t think our customers should have to take on that uncertainty, so as well as backing every megawatt hour supplied with an origin certificate, we also provide our customers with Energy Labels for their electricity supply.

The labels show the source and carbon emissions of their supply, with a breakdown of the generation technologies that make up their particular product. Last week, we issued almost 500 of them to our renewable customers for 2015/16 - a first for the UK!

We are able to do this because we have invested in our Emissions Factor Model. A model, certified by the Carbon Trust to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Standard, that we use to track and allocate every origin certificate to every megawatt used by our customers. No origin certificate can be allocated twice and no supply left unbacked. It is all about providing transparency.

We provide these labels proactively to give our customers transparency and confidence, going above and beyond just “the REGO promise”.

But, of course, don’t just take our word for it!

Hugh Jones, Managing Director Advisory from the Carbon Trust commented that “…The Energy Labels provide businesses with the rigour and traceability they require to navigate the complexities of renewable energy and carbon reporting.”

Also, Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group (pioneers of the energy label concept) said “…It’s great to see one of the leading suppliers of renewable energy building on this work and bringing this much-needed tool to market.”

The feedback from our customers on the Energy Labels has been very positive and we hope that other suppliers in the UK will follow our lead on providing transparency around renewables.

> More about our renewable electricity supply

Watch our Energy Labels webinar (October 2016)