Energy company OVO will end its investment in renewable energy certification after it noted that these certificates were not actually reducing energy sector emissions.
The initiative involved investing in renewable energy generation of origin certificates (REGO), which certify renewable electricity generation. Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) certificates allow electricity suppliers to demonstrate what percentage of their supply came from renewable sources.
An investigation from Cornwall Insight, commissioned by OVO, found REGOs do not increase the amount of green energy on the grid. Instead, related costs are passed on to consumers. The investigation also found that while REGOs helped kick start renewable energy deployment, Government subsidy schemes remain the main driver of additionality.
The same study also found that 81 percent of consumers think a REGO-backed tariff encourages the expansion of renewable energy production capacity. It was also discovered that 90 percent of homeowners mistakenly believe REGOs effectively “offset” their high-carbon electricity use.
OVO has chosen to stop investing in REGOs and reallocate the funding considering this discrepancy between perceived and actual impact, as well as the fact that customers are looking for ways to reduce their energy costs amid the ongoing price crisis.
“Greenwashing is a luxury no one can afford. By making this change we’ll save consumers money and reinvest in true green energy, and we hope others will follow our lead,” OVO’s chief executive Raman Bhatia said.
Instead, OVO will push consumers to redirect investment into smart metering, energy efficiency, and schemes whereby customers receive money off their bill for shifting energy use away from peak periods.
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