London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — February 10, 2010 – A new certification scheme has been launched in the U.K. to label green electricity tariffs which have been certified as having genuine environmental benefits.
The “green energy certified” label is aimed at helping customers recognize tariffs that have been certified under the scheme, and reassuring them that if they choose a certified green energy deal they will be supporting suppliers who are going the extra mile to reduce carbon emissions.
The certification scheme will implement energy regulator Ofgem’s Green Supply Guidelines, published last year. The guidelines set out what green tariffs should comprise, how they should be marketed and the evidence required to back up claims. To be eligible for certification, suppliers will have to demonstrate to an independent panel of experts that their tariffs result in a reduction of a minimum threshold of carbon dioxide emissions.
The independent panel, chaired by sustainable development specialist Solitaire Townsend, has assessed the tariffs from all seven participants in the scheme; British Gas, E.On, EDF Energy, Good Energy, RWE Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy, and Scottish Power.
“My foremost priority is consumer trust,” said Solitaire Townsend. “Only two percent of Britons currently buy green energy, but I hope that a trustworthy label will convince many more to go green. To rebuild confidence in green energy our independence must mean just that; the panel decisions will be based on evidence not marketing.”
Currently, the green supply guidelines and certification scheme only apply to tariffs for domestic and small business customers.
The minimum thresholds currently are one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions a year for carbon offsetting and 50 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year for all other environmental activities for domestic tariffs and for small businesses scaled up according to their electricity consumption.