05 Feb 2009 05:02:13
Green tariffs must show additionality
Energy companies will have to prove they are creating environmental benefits beyond those already mandated by law to receive accreditation for their 'green tariffs'.
New guidelines set down by energy regulator Ofgem will require companies to prove additionality that they have improved the environment beyond what would have happened anyway.
All of the Big Six energy firms signed up to the guidelines, as did Good Energy the only provider that sources 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables.
Under the terms, for domestic customers, the energy companies must prove either a one tonne of carbon dioxide offset or other "material" benefits, such as helping a community renewable energy scheme and a lower carbon emission reduction.
For small businesses the amount of carbon reduction will be scaled up.
While Good Energy provider Juliet Davenport welcomed the guidelines and said they would "allow customers to differentiate between genuine green tariffs and mere 'greenwash', Ecotricity founder Dale Vince disagreed.
He said his company had not signed because "this is a greenwash and we simply won't be a party to it".
Mr Vince added: "Green electricity tariffs should be about green electricity, first and foremost. In these guidelines Ofgem are accrediting everything you can imagine except the thing that really counts green electricity. Of course we believe in planting trees, protecting wildlife and cutting carbon, all of these things have an important role to play but not in green tariffs!"http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Media/FactSheets/Documents1/green...