Which? research finds flaws in tariffs claiming to be green

Many companies claiming to sell renewable electricity are not doing what customers presume, Which? research has found.

It published its research on 27 September, following an examination of 355 energy tariffs on sale in June 2019 that claimed to have renewable electricity credentials. Which? noted this was up from 9% just three years ago. However, from the 40 suppliers selling tariffs described as 100% renewable options, Which? stated that many were not generating renewable electricity themselves nor had contracts in place to purchase renewable electricity directly from generators.

Instead, Green Star Energy, Pure Planet, Robin Hood Energy, So Energy, Tonik Energy and Yorkshire Energy were all revealed to be selling green tariffs backed up by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origins (REGO) certificates.

While Ofgem rules currently allow suppliers to sell 100% renewable electricity without having to generate it themselves or have contracts in place, Which? said that a third of customers believed an energy tariff marketed as “green” or “renewable” would supply 100% renewable electricity to their home. Furthermore, 11% expected the supplier to have generated some of it itself while 8% thought a supplier would generate it all. Based on this, it called for greater clarity on how “renewable energy is defined and marketed”.