Our previous article explored the advantages of renewable energy tariffs, but what are the risks and how do we avoid greenwashing?
Here are some key factors to consider:
1. Source of Renewable Energy: Verify that the renewable energy being supplied is from reliable and a certified UK source. Look for transparency in the documentation of renewable energy generation, such as renewable energy certificates (RECs) or guarantees of origin (GOs).
2. Additionality: Ensure that the renewable energy being supplied is in addition to the standard grid mix and not just a reshuffling of existing renewable energy sources. This means that the energy supplier is genuinely increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix.
3. Renewable Energy Certificates: Check if the energy supplier has valid renewable energy certificates for the amount of energy being supplied. This helps to ensure that the renewable energy is not being double-counted or claimed by multiple suppliers.
4. Carbon Offsets: Determine if the energy supplier relies on carbon offsets to compensate for non-renewable energy sources. While carbon offsets can play a role in reducing emissions, they should not be the sole basis for claiming a renewable energy tariff.
5. Clear Communication: Look for clear and transparent communication from the energy supplier. They should provide detailed information about the renewable energy sources, the percentage of renewable energy in the overall energy mix, and any third-party certifications or audits they have undergone.
6. Independent Verification: Consider if the energy supplier has undergone independent verification or certification by reputable organizations. This can provide assurance that their renewable energy claims are legitimate and based on power purchase agreements with renewable energy generators, and not just greenwashing.
By considering these factors, consumers can make more informed choices and support renewable energy tariffs that genuinely contribute to a greener future.