You are here: Home - Household Bills -

Energy firms accused of misleading customers over green tariff claims

Written by:
Energy firms are misleading customers with tariffs that are marked “100 per cent renewable”, a report claims.

While some suppliers say they offer “100 per cent renewable electricity”, they do not generate renewable electricity themselves or have contracts to buy it directly from generators, according to Which?

Instead they purchase Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates to match customers’ usage for as little as £1.55.

Which? said the current system allows suppliers who rely exclusively on REGOs to “greenwash” their tariffs while seemingly doing very little to support new renewable electricity generation.

The consumer group found Green Star Energy, Ovo Energy, Pure Planet, Robin Hood Energy, So Energy, Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy were all misleading customers with “100 per cent renewable” electricity tariffs.

Green Star Energy, for example, claims to source all electricity from renewable generators, but neither owns renewable generation or has contracts with renewable generators. It purchases REGOs to match customers’ use.

A survey by the consumer group found one in 10 people believe energy firms who sell renewable electricity generate some of that electricity and 8 per cent that they generate all of it.

However, under current Ofgem rules, suppliers selling 100 per cent renewable electricity must have REGOs to prove it. They are not required to generate renewable electricity themselves, nor have contracts in place to buy it directly from generators.

Richard Headland, Which? Editor-in-chief, said: “As consumers grow ever-more environmentally-conscious, it’s concerning that some suppliers appear to be ‘greenwashing’ their energy tariffs, which could risk misleading customers.

“We believe there needs to be greater clarity on how renewable electricity is defined and marketed. People can only make informed decisions about where to buy their energy from if firms are more upfront and transparent about their green credentials.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week