False advertising

Why does bulb say it sources 100% of their electrical energy from renewables when on average only a third of the grid is supplied by renewables and the rest from gas. Needs to reflect more accurately please.

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Don’t know what Bulb do but many companies use “carbon offsetting” to reduce their carbon footprint.
Always feels a bit odd to me but….
Also remember the nuclear input to Uk electricity, currently around 10% I think moving upwards in the near future.

Hi @david.morin :wave:

Bulb does supply 100% renewable electricity to all of our members. You can read about how we do this and more info on our fuel mix here: Our Fuel Mix | Bulb

-Luke :bulb:

So why is bulb hiking their prices.

This has been discussed before, but it’s basically down to the fact there is “one” price for electricity on the market.

Imagine, if you will, a coal plant being able to generate energy at 30p/kWh and solar at 10p/kWh. Every single provider will then try to buy the power from the solar plant (as it’s cheaper for them) - and the only way this can be balanced is for the “wholesale price” for all sources of energy to be set based on the highest. Also during the winter months, Bulb may only be able to get 40% of its energy from renewable sources, but during the summer months it is able to get (or purchase) nearly 200%: so over a year it does level out.

Hi @david.morin :wave:

@RichyB is dead on here - At the moment, there is only one price for gas or electricity in the UK. There aren’t separate markets for green and non-green energy sources.

Unfortunately, the UK is still dependent on gas-fired power plants for a significant chunk of electricity generation. So, when the cost of electricity produced by burning gas goes up, so does the cost of electricity from wind, solar and all other green sources.

You can read more about why energy prices are increasing here on our blog.

If you’ve got any other questions for us, please let us know below :point_down:

Ollie :musical_note:

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Maybe I’m being pedantic, but isn’t it more true to say Bulb BUYS 100% renewable electricity so supports green producers. The actual current my home gets SUPPLIED from the grid is the national mix of fossil + renewable + other.

Bulb only buys around 4.5% of its electricity from renewable generators. The rest (for which it buys REGOs) is bought on the wholesale energy market.

Ah yes, @norman7115 , reading into a bit more I see Bulb’s electricity purchases are mainly wholesale, and they buy Renewable Generation certificates to support the renewables sector. Is that right?

I wouldn’t saying buying REGOs supports the renewables sector. I believe it costs less than £2 per domestic customer per year to buy certificates. Effectively no value to renewable energy generators. You can read more about “greenwashing” in a joint report from Scottish Power and Good Energy entitled “Come Clean On Green”.

@norman7115 to counter that argument somewhat. Buying direct from renewable generator via PPA’s doesn’t guarantee more “support” either. A PPA is a private contract, the price of the energy may be below the wholesale market price so the generator might actually be making less money (perhaps with better long term security) than selling wholesale.

There are a lot of factors to contend. The low price of REGOs doesn’t intrinsically make them bad, it’s a symptom of the open market for them. For me, the length of the REGO balancing window is a key component, the longer that window the less the REGOs actually reflect reality, if they had to be balanced half hourly that would better reflect the true generation and I would imagine the price of them would increase as the supply would drop (at certain half hourly periods).

@geuben “support” was the phrase used by @Beanie, not me. Buying direct from a renewable generator ensures the supply to customers is 100% renewable, that was the only point I was making. Bulb do this for only 4.5% of their electricity. Individuals can decide for themselves whether buying REGOs for the rest means they are supplying 100% renewable electricity.