Utility Week

UTILITY Week 21st November 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/418443

Contents of this Issue


Page 5 of 31

6 | 21st - 27th November 2014 | UtILItY WeeK People & Opinion Green should mean green Ofgem's consultation on the marketing of 'green' electricity offers is not before time. Chief executive's view Juliet Davenport, Good Energy S o-called green tariffs have been hitting the headlines recently, as a decision is awaited from Ofgem on its con- sultation Improving Consumer Protection in the Green and Renewable Energy Offers Market. I think it's pretty tricky for customers to know if they have found a truly renewable energy supplier. There are a lot of 'green' claims out there, with varying degrees of authenticity, but what does green really look like? And for the record, let me tell you that green is not coal, oil or gas. If you're sufficiently clued up, then individual companies' fuel mix disclosures, required from suppliers as part of their licence obligations, are a good place to start. These figures are a matter of public record and interestingly, our research into this data sug- gests that there aren't many sup- pliers who can truly lay claim to offering a 100 per cent renewable electricity fuel mix. However, you have to be a bit techy to delve this deep into these murky green waters, and we don't think the onus should be on consumers to do all the legwork. Customers shouldn't have to put a lot of effort into working out what a green tariff does and does not include. Working it all out becomes even more challenging if you consider that the data shows some of the bigger generators of renewable electricity are not nec- essarily the top performers when it comes to overall grams of CO 2 per kilowatt hour measurements. It's for these reasons that I fully support Ofgem's final pro- posals to bring some transpar- ency, consistency and clarity for domestic consumers. We always Seeing is believing… Russian state-owned oil and gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom have been rated higher for corporate transpar- ency than the world's leading IT companies Apple and Google in a report by Trans- parency International welcome steps to help make the market simpler and fairer for consumers, and it's only right that customers should have reas- surance that if they are seeking a green tariff, that is exactly what they will get. This is equally as true for business customers. We know that businesses are looking for ways to reduce their carbon foot- prints and are exploring the ben- efits of buying electricity from renewable sources, but they are likely to be faced with some dif- ficulties when it comes to spot- ting a tariff that's truly green. We think they deserve the same transparency. We have always sought to be as open as possible and have been publishing our fuel mix figures and green credentials on our website for a number of years. Our data is verified annu- ally by third party auditors. We think all suppliers should be doing the same. There's been some discus- sion on 'additionality' as part of the 'is it green?' debate, and it's important to recognise that this is not just about purchasing certificates or buying carbon off- sets. It's about creating genuine green tariffs, based on electricity generated from renewables. This requires an open, competitive market where these can thrive. It's about time all consum- ers were able to make proper, informed choices and have the reassurance that they are getting a tariff that's truly green – and does what it says on the tin. "As our global energy system grows and transforms, signs of stress continue to emerge, but renewables are expected to go from strength to strength, and it is incredible that we can now see a point where they become the world's number one source of generation." IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven following the release of The World Energy Outlook 2014

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 21st November 2014