Greenwashing Concerns Raised

The Department for Business has opened an investigation to assess how green energy is being produced and marketed, with concerns being raised that some companies are misleading consumers. As increasing numbers of people – 9 million households at present – focus on the environment and switch to renewable energy, the government is reviewing whether more transparency is required.

What’s The Issue?

Renewable energy is a growing market and consumers and businesses are making the decision to switch from fossil fuels to a greener alternative. However, the government is concerned that consumers may be misled by energy companies who are purchasing a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate to offset their fossil fuel usage.

At present, renewable energy companies are allowed to sell their energy and certificates independently and for every unit generated by the wind turbine they can sell the certificate for around £2 per year. Fossil fuel companies can then claim to sell green energy because they have purchased the certificate.

Climate and Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said, “Millions of UK households are choosing to make the green switch and more and more of our energy comes from renewables, but I want people to know that when they sign up to a green tariff, they are investing in companies that make a conscious choice to invest in renewable energy.”

Government Intervention

The potential issue with the current market is that it’s not transparent for consumers who wish to only purchase renewable energy. Furthermore, the UK has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 and “greenwashing” could hinder that objective.

The suggested plan is to legislate that companies selling energy are required to detail when, where and how the renewable power was generated. Renewable suppliers may not be allowed to sell their electricity and REGO certificates separately in the future too.

For some of our customers, they want to know where their energy has been generated and that it’s from renewable sources. We helped one client source only renewable energy that was produced locally. If we can help you source green, renewable energy that’s been generated locally please get in touch – we would be delighted to help.

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