Government launches greenwashing crackdown

Under the new rules, available ‘green’ tariffs will be reviewed to explore the extent of greenwashing in the retail energy sector

Pathway to COP26 report

The government has today announced its intention to tighten rules around green tariffs.

That comes just two days after circulated reports about new plans to halt energy suppliers’ greenwashing. 

The new rules will mean that green electricity tariffs will be reviewed amid concerns energy companies could be exaggerating their environmental credentials.

The review aims to understand whether there is currently sufficient transparency around where the supplied energy comes from.

Currently, energy firms can offer tariffs marked as green, even if some of the energy is sourced from fossil fuels as long as this is offset with certificates called Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO).

These certificates determine the proportion of the electricity they source from renewables.

The government aims to explore whether the mechanism around REGO needs to be smarter and whether suppliers have to provide clearer information to consumers about their green tariffs.

These details could include what type of renewable energy they use, where the renewable power was generated and when.

The government has also published a call for evidence to explore whether a regulatory framework for price comparison sites, auto-switching services and non-domestic brokers is needed.

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth 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.

“Part of that is ensuring companies are being as transparent as possible on where their power comes from. That way, every family in Britain can rest assured their choices are helping to contribute to our world-leading target of eliminating our contribution to climate change by 2050.”

According to a YouGov poll featured in a recent ScottishPower and Good Energy report, almost 62% of consumers admit their purchasing decisions are influenced by how eco-friendly an energy tariff is.

However, nearly 75% believe suppliers should be open and transparent about their tariffs.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast