First Utilities buyout by Shell and validity of REGOS

In the past couple of weeks we have learnt that Royal Dutch Shell have bought out first utility. Almost overnight the energy mix has gone from 3.7% renewable to 100% renewable. To me this seems like a con. It seems like a massive exploitation of the rego system used to help energy minnows guarantee renewables and who don’t have the power to invest themselves in their own renewable energy.

What does everyone think?

Firstly I find it interesting that This is money state that they’re the 7th largest supplier with 700k customers when Bulb now have more than 1M customers.

We're now the UK's fastest growing energy supplier, providing 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas to more than 1,000,000 members across the UK.
(https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6835923/First-Utility-rebrands-Shell-Energy-100-renewable-electricity.html)

To advertise their tariffs as green, Shell have their additionality covered:

We’re also going further to contribute to the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere bycontributing to nature-based carbon capture projects such as forest conservation. For every customer we are making an annual contribution to such schemes globally.

I’m undecided as to what I think. As I understand it, Bulb also buys some REGOs without direct agreements with those renewable generators. If you want the greenest, I think Octopus and Good Energy both have 100% ownership/direct agreements for their energy.

Firstly I find it interesting that This is money state that they're the 7th largest supplier with 700k customers when Bulb now have more than 1M customers.
We're now the UK's fastest growing energy supplier, providing 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas to more than 1,000,000 members across the UK.
(https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6835923/First-Utility-rebrands-Shell-Energy-100-renewable-electricity.html)

To advertise their tariffs as green, Shell have their additionality covered:

We’re also going further to contribute to the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere bycontributing to nature-based carbon capture projects such as forest conservation. For every customer we are making an annual contribution to such schemes globally.

I’m undecided as to what I think. As I understand it, Bulb also buys some REGOs without direct agreements with those renewable generators. If you want the greenest, I think Octopus and Good Energy both have 100% ownership/direct agreements for their energy.

I find your point of view intresting. However bulb claim they purchase 100% renewable electricity (attached) it implies that they don’t require REGOs

However, out of Intrest are you doing anything else other than being a bulb member to reduce your carbon footprint?

One thing I’ve decided to do is to ‘earn’ leisure drives in my car. Basically any pleasure drives I have to have cycled to work enough to earn those miles.

I find your point of view intresting. However bulb claim they purchase 100% renewable electricity (attached) it implies that they don't require REGOs
Yeah, no. https://bulb.co.uk/generators/

As I understand it, REGOs are always purchased for renewable energy, but it basically boils down to whether you have a direct agreement with a renewable supplier to buy their energy or not.

Bulb have agreements with some generators, but the biggest is 588MW, which with 1MW apparently being enough for 750 homes, that’s only 441K homes if Bulb buy all of their energy (which seems unlikely as Bulb only started working with them this year).

It would be interesting to know how much of Bulb’s energy comes from direct purchase agreements, but I’m going to guess it’s quite a lot less than 50%.


However, out of Intrest are you doing anything else other than being a bulb member to reduce your carbon footprint?
I primarily cycle, very rarely buy material goods (and when I do I ensure I buy for life and second hand if possible, and repair as much as I can), and I'm in the process of insulating my terraced house as much as realistically possible. This year I'd like to buy less packaged food and cook more, and get myself a travel cup for coffee.

@mowcius I do similar things. I’ve decided to eat less meat too. A for my personal health and B for the planet a bit. Cycle more as its my primary form of exercise leisure riding.

I hate throwing things away and was gutted in trying to get my fridge repaired at 4 engineer visits and 5 weeks later it needed replacing anyway.

And to your other point, do you think shell are exploiting Regos to try and justify their tariff. This was an intresting read.

And to your other point, do you think shell are exploiting Regos to try and justify their tariff. This was an intresting read.

We need to talk about green energy tariffs | Regen


Absolutely (see Good Energy’s blog post), and I think that page you posted has one of the better graphics I’ve seen on the issue. It clearly demonstrates how a company can invest in energy production that’s not green but yet still offer a green tariff based on other people’s renewable generation.

Good Energy would fit into the first box, and Bulb would fit somewhere close close but not actually in any of the examples.

Anyone from Bulb fancy being bold enough to tell us what percentage the direct purchase agreements with generators actually makes up?

Anyone from Bulb fancy being bold enough to tell us what percentage the direct purchase agreements with generators actually makes up?

I found that link from a sponsored good energy post on twitter and someone commenting it. (just didn’t want to post a good energy link here) yeah I’d be intrested in the rego side of bulb.

I think Shell have also bought Bulb!

I think Shell have also bought Bulb!

Why think they have bought Bulb, give sources it will give credence to your comment?

I think Shell have also bought Bulb!

Shell have not bought Bulb. Thanks for the flag @Allanr

Anyone from Bulb fancy being bold enough to tell us what percentage the direct purchase agreements with generators actually makes up?

@“Eleanor at Bulb”, that’ll be a no then?

Whoops, sorry @mowcius

We’ve talked about our direct PPAs previously on Community: http://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/26641/#Comment_26641

In January, around 16% of our energy was through direct PPAs. That was over six months ago, so I’ll check with our Renewable Energy Manager whether that number has changed.

[UPDATED]
The percentage varies with demand. We track it weekly and it is always above 15%.

Whoops, sorry @mowcius

We’ve talked about our direct PPAs previously on Community: http://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/26641/#Comment_26641

In January, around 16% of our energy was through direct PPAs. That was over six months ago, so I’ll check with our Renewable Energy Manager whether that number has changed.

[UPDATED]
The percentage varies with demand. We track it weekly and it is always above 15%.

"… above 15%… " can mean anything between 15.0000000001 % and 100%.
It looks rather like you’ve given a reasonably honest answer the first time around, and then updated it with a quote
for public consumption.

The short answer to all of this appears to be that Bulb is indeed a greenwashing company, and that the 100% renewable claim
is misleading. And you know it.

Me ? I read that Which report, as reported through the Daily Mirror. The Mirror appears to have reported it faithfully.
On reading the report, I realised that my current supplier Green Network Energy makes heavy use of REGO’s whilst claiming
100% renewable. I promptly decided to change to Bulb…

You appear to be just the same. You’re misleading customers.

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Direct Generator vs Wholesale Market