Greenwashing has recently been revealed by the consumer group Which? who report that may suppliers are misleading energy-conscious customers by claiming to offer renewable energy tariffs while not actually investing in renewable energy projects.
Which? reports that suppliers are boasting green credentials by obtaining cheap renewable energy certificates via industry loopholes that match the electricity supply of customers while buying the power from other sources.
The energy regulator Ofgem commented earlier this month that it has been made aware of the growing concerns and problems of greenwashing in the energy market and will take action to prevent customers from being misled.
Chief executive of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, commented:
With an increasing number of green tariffs in the market, it’s important that consumers understand how ‘green’ their tariff is in terms of supporting the UK renewables industry.
As it stands green energy developers sell renewable energy certificates with their electricity supply deals so that buyers have proof of the origins of green energy. However, industry rules allow for the initial buyer to sell on the certificates without selling the green energy to the buyer.
Anderson also commented:
There are lots of suppliers running around, slapping a bit of green paint on their logo and trading bits of paper to claim they’re green. But buying and selling certificates doesn’t help tackle climate change – building wind farms and solar projects are what we need to do.
In 2018 Scottish Power sold off all its fossil fuel projects to concentrate on expanding onshore and offshore wind farms, developing a portfolio of solar power projects.
The company will reinvest the money made from green tariffs in the next generation of renewables, “meaning the more people who take up the tariff, the more investment in green energy there will be”.
Currently, only small green energy companies such as Good Energy and Ecotricity generate enough energy to fully supply customers with clean electricity sourced from their own projects.
Anderson went on to say
As the UK’s only end-to-end energy provider, we’re unique in being able to make this commitment. From today, anyone who signs up for our electricity on a fixed-price tariff can be confident that they are buying electricity from truly green sources.
The launch of the tariff comes as it was revealed that 120,000 Green Energy Jobs must be created in the UK by 2030.
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