Thursday, 10 October 2019

Green electricity

Readers of this blog are wise enough to know that there is no difference at the point of use between electricity supplied by the Big Six and by smaller companies, including green providers. This has not stopped some of the less scrupulous self-styled green companies fibbing, according to a recent Which? report. The magazine

called seven firms whose websites we felt were unclear about how their renewable tariffs work, posing as a potential customer. Four said we would get renewable electricity directly to our home. One of these said it ‘buys it in advance from suppliers and then redistributes it through the lines to your property’ - at best an example of staff ignorance.

Nor are all green companies the same. Some fulfil the requirement by buying REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origins certificates) which match renewable electricity already put into the system to what their customers use. Only seven buy renewable electricity direct from generators, and only four (Ecotricity, Engie and Good Energy) both own renewable generation and are 100% renewable providers. Long-time readers of this blog will know that I am with the third of these. A bonus for me is that there is a single simple tariff. Good Energy will also benefit if the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project goes ahead as originally conceived.

Another fact that stood out from that Which? report was that, notwithstanding the occasional news item to the effect that "all our electricity requirements today were met from renewable resources", well over 60% of our power over the year still comes from unambiguously non-renewables (gas, nuclear, coal, oil and other fuels). There are full regular government statistics (BEIS) of which this appears to be the latest report (pdf).

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