Green energy plan ratings announced
Ofgem has today announced new energy ratings to help consumers understand green energy plans.
Key features of the ratings are that there will be new voluntary guidelines for low carbon and renewable energy supply, which will be similar to the A to F energy efficiency rating used for household appliances. Green energy supply claims made by companies are also to be verified independently.
Tim Wolfenden, Head of Home Services at uSwitch.com, commented on the new plans: “At the moment there is no clear definition of what exactly a green energy plan is – which is why clarity is so important. Consumers may be more likely to sign up to a green energy plan if they are better able to understand and compare them on a realistic like-for-like basis. Currently less than 1% of people in the UK are signed up to a green energy plan.
“Up until now, choosing green energy has been a lot more difficult than it needs to be – it is especially hard for consumers to compare plans where price and service are not the primary factors in making a decision. A rating system should cut through the haze to make it a whole lot simpler and clearer. It’s good that suppliers will have all of their plans rated, as it provides a consistent approach and yardstick.
“However, if this scheme is to work and consumers are to have confidence in it then it really does need to be mandatory. Otherwise we will see a situation where some suppliers abide with it and others don’t, which will simply confuse consumers even more. Ofgem must maintain control and ownership of this process. If it’s just handed over to the industry further debate and procrastination will creep in.”