Greenwashing — Bulb Community

Greenwashing

So, as one of my final pieces of (dead tree) mail from Good Energy following my switch, I got their latest news booklet (and information on their latest price increase... :mrgreen:)

Within this booklet they once again mentioned "greenwashing" where suppliers apparently simply buy REGO certificates but don't actually purchase any renewable electricity (https://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/2017/08/15/green-tariffs-and-regos/).

Presumably there aren't any more REGO certificates than units of green energy being created, so isn't this basically a non-issue?

On a related note however, for Bulb to "purchase" their energy from the renewable generators listed on the fuel mix page, do they simply contact them to buy all of their REGO certificates directly?

Am I missing something obvious in my post-new year tired state?

Comments

  • It's something of a non-issue in our minds. REGOs are sold at market value and there is only one REGO per MWH of green energy. So the more popular green tariffs become, the higher the cost of the REGO and so more money goes to renewable generators. That said, we buy our REGOs from same generators that we buy our power from.

    The article didn't mention additionality. For a tariff to be advertised as green it also needs to do something else to go above and beyond for the environment. We supply 10% green gas and we donate to a charity called Trees For Cities as our additionality.

    We feel that the more people on green tariffs, the better. But that said, we think it's best to go with a supplier that's 100% green, rather than any supplier with a green tariff. Regardless of who you're with, a proportion of your fuel bill will go towards helping that supplier get more people to join them, so it's better to give it to suppliers that will only help other people go green too.
  • It's something of a non-issue in our minds. REGOs are sold at market value and there is only one REGO per MWH of green energy.

    Glad to hear I'm not miles off the mark. Can REGOs come from other countries, in the same way that power is imported (some of which may/will be renewable)?
    That said, we buy our REGOs from same generators that we buy our power from.
    Is there a benefit to this aside from establishing a relationship with the generators?
    We feel that the more people on green tariffs, the better. But that said, we think it's best to go with a supplier that's 100% green, rather than any supplier with a green tariff. Regardless of who you're with, a proportion of your fuel bill will go towards helping that supplier get more people to join them, so it's better to give it to suppliers that will only help other people go green too.
    Agreed. Good Energy also did a blog post about why it's important to go with a 100% green electricity supplier.
  • @mowcius Out of interest, how much more were you paying with Good Energy? I've just done a comparison and my bill would be 55% higher! Maybe that's why they try to frighten the environmentally conscious with stories of greenwashing.
  • edited January 2
    @xxx, my leaving/joining figures as folows (Yorkshire):

    Supplier Gas SC Gas Unit Rate Electricity SC Electricity Unit Rate
    Good Energy 29.80 4.013 26.89 15.27
    Bulb 24.56 2.516 24.56 12.03

    So not 55% but not insignificant. Their price increase will have changed this though.

    I do believe that Good Energy do and have done a lot of good, but they seem very rooted in old ways, are pretty poor with technological adoption, and aren't open in the same way that Bulb seem to be.
  • edited January 3
    mowcius said:


    Glad to hear I'm not miles off the mark. Can REGOs come from other countries, in the same way that power is imported (some of which may/will be renewable)?

    Yes. All EU member states are required to have a guarantee of origin (GOO) scheme. Our's are REGOs. Ofgem is required to recognise foreign GOOs for fuel mix disclosures, so yes, we could buy foreign GOOs instead of REGOs. Here's a bit more info on it if you're interested - https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/rego/energy-suppliers/guarantees-origin-goos

    We're looking into whether we want to have some of our power backed by EU GOOs, but we haven't made a firm decision yet.
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