In a UK first, OVO Energy has announced it will stop investing in renewable energy generation of origin (REGO) certificates, in a bid to stop misleading consumers over the environmental benefits of their tariffs.
From May, the supplier will stop offering 100% renewable tariffs backed by REGOs, and redirect investment into smart metering, home energy efficiency improvements and schemes that support consumers to use energy at times when the grid is greener.
The time to tackle greenwashing is well overdue. Research conducted by the supplier reveals that consumers with 100% green tariffs overwhelmingly think their home is powered only by green energy. 89% of people surveyed believe their own homes are powered physically by renewable electricity, when the reality is that the energy used under a REGO-backed green tariff is no greener than the energy used through a non-renewable tariff.
REGOS don’t drive renewables growth
Additional research conducted by Cornwall Insight and commissioned by OVO reveals that REGOS have very little impact on the development of the current GB renewables fleet, and trading in REGOs is not expected to drive additional renewable generation buildout in the future.
Despite this, 81% of consumers surveyed by OVO incorrectly believe that REGO-backed “100% renewable” tariffs are helping to fund new renewable energy projects, when there is little positive effect on the environment at all.
We need a more transparent approach
The current system is failing carbon-conscious consumers. And without major reform, the UK will fail to meet net zero.
So, at ENTRNCE, we welcome OVO’s announcement and hope it will be the catalyst for an industry-wide shift. “Green” tariffs must be transparent and comparable, so consumers can make informed choices. And they must directly support additional renewable power generation.
In the UK non-domestic sector, we have been long time advocates for giving consumers greater transparency over their energy sourcing. That’s why we developed the Matcher – a powerful data platform which reveals where an organisation’s energy is coming from, every half an hour.
Crucially, it has a unique modelling function that helps organisations simulate the addition of clean energy solutions into their portfolio – such as CPPAs, onsite solar PV and battery storage. Armed with this data, organisations can clearly see which investments will best suit their consumption profile – and create a greenwash-free clean energy strategy.
We see a future of carbon free energy, 24/7. Organisations don’t need to wait for the system and industry to catch up. We’re giving them data that helps them take real, practical steps towards a decarbonised energy supply - that's a game-changer.