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05 Feb 2009 05:02:13

Green tariffs must show additionality

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!"



Discussion Thread  

Tony Beal wrote:

11 Feb 2009

Perhaps Mr Vince would explain how his windmills get compensated for the relatively carbon friendly wind energy generation. Now, I thought you were able to sell your ROCs to the Big Power Companies at a premium which BY LAW they are OBLIGED to incorporate a certain number in the mix. About 8 or 9 % currently.

Perhaps then you would like to explain how the Green Tariff Electricity provided by Ecotricity makes any further 'real' difference - and indeed why anyone should buy it rather than from the main providers ?

Perhaps then we will explain 'Greenwash' as applied to Ecotricity's (Standard) Electricity Offering .. is it better as a cover than WHITEWASH ! Obviously, you are not keen on this approach for the same reason 'Turkeys do not vote for Christmas' ! On Carbon, we MUST get past 'spin'. The next time I see a Carbon Zero Taxi, I may daub 'CON' in 'Red Paint' all over it.

The Advertising Standards Authority CLEARLY NEEDS ALERTING so Companies are NOT ALLOWED to say anything is saving Carbon Emissions or any terms like "Carbon Friendly" etc UNLESS IT IS. However, it will need some GOOD SCIENCE GRADUATES to understand what is OK and what is not. Perhaps the I.C.U. will help here as a level playing field.
See www.internationalcarbonunits.org

Discussion Thread  


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