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Government seeks evidence on value of green tariffs

Posted: 19 August, 2021. Written by Virginia Graham

As part of the drive to achieve Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 against 1990 levels, Government is seeking evidence on how the CO2 content of 'green' electricity tariffs can be made more accurate and transparent.

Many domestic and small commercial consumers sign up to 'green' electricity tariffs believing they are purchasing 100% renewable electricity and thus reducing their CO2 emissions. However, not all 'green' tariffs are backed by 100% renewable electricity, despite the fact that solar PV, wind and hydro now account for some 40% of the UK's electricity fuel mix, up from 10% in 2010 and just 2% in 2002.

Since 2003 each MWh of renewable electricity generated has been issued with a Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate. Generators can sell the electricity generated separately from the REGO certificate. Suppliers can thus back the electricity they sell consumers with REGOs, claiming it to be renewable. However, the renewable electricity could have been sold separately to another supplier. Thus the 'greenness' could have been double-counted. Overstating the 'green' value of a product or service is known as 'greenwashing'.

In parallel the Competition and Markets Authority is looking across a number of sectors, including the energy sector, to better understand the impact of green marketing on consumers, and how consumer protection legislation can be used to tackle false or misleading environmental claims. It will develop principles-based guidance for businesses to ensure that their 'green' offerings are accurate and transparent.

Responses must be submitted by 6 December 2021. You can fiind more information here: