The dirty secret behind premium ‘green’ energy deals

By Paul Homewood



Britain’s biggest energy suppliers are refusing to stop buying controversial certificates that allow them to sell tariffs as “100pc green” when they are not.

“Green” energy tariffs have typically come at a premium and have been up to £60 more expensive than a standard deal. About 9m households had “green” energy deals in 2021.

But industry experts say that households are being “duped” into thinking their electricity is clean because suppliers can buy certificates that allow them to market tariffs as sustainable.

Energy suppliers can buy certificates, known as Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin or “Regos”, from green energy generators – and still provide their own customers with power generated from fossil fuels.

Suppliers are facing increasing pressure to ditch the practice and it is understood that a regulatory review into greenwashing in the sector could be restarted later this year.

Meanwhile, Britain’s major energy companies have spent nearly £2bn on the certificates over the past five years.

Archie Lasseter, the head of sustainability at Utilita, said: “The problem is industry wide. Almost all suppliers are offering tariffs purporting to be ‘100pc renewable’ or ‘zero-carbon’ electricity.

“Households on these energy tariffs have been duped into thinking the energy they use is 100pc renewable when it’s not.

“It’s unbelievable that suppliers have been willing to do it for so long, but even worse, the regulator and the Government have simply watched on and done nothing.”

Last month Ovo Energy said it would stop buying Regos, because they allow suppliers to “greenwash” their environmental credentials without boosting the supply of renewable energy.

Telegraph Money approached all of the major energy suppliers, but not one would commit to stop the use of Regos.

Regulator Ofgem issues the certificates to energy generators, which can include wind and solar farms, who then sell them on to suppliers, without the green energy created.

In 2019 certificates could be bought for as little as 22p per customer, but the cost has recently risen to £5 as energy prices have risen – making them increasingly unviable for suppliers.

Personally I don’t have the slightest sympathy for anybody who has fallen for this scam. In reality, if they want green energy they should be paying the full cost of the subsidies thrown at it, instead of all of us having to pay the bill.


May 8, 2023 at 05:25AM

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