Green Con: UK Firms Buy ‘Green Energy’ Certificates But Burn Fossil Fuel
UK energy providers have turned to Eastern Europe to buy cheap green energy certificates that let them claim they provide 100pc renewable energy while continuing to rely on fossil fuels.
Such schemes are known in the industry as “dirty REGOs”, in reference to watchdog Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) plan.
Under current government rules, suppliers can claim to sell 100pc clean electricity by purchasing REGO certificates from renewable generators such as wind farms.
So instead of paying for clean energy from the renewable sources, companies are buying paper certificates equivalent to a unit of green energy.
These certificates let firms market their tariffs as completely green, when they might actually be buying electricity from a coal-fired power station.
Now, industry insiders say that instead of buying these certificates from UK renewable generators, energy suppliers are purchasing them from Lithuania, the cheapest market for REGOs in the EU.
This is the first time that the existence of a European market for cross-border green certificates has been revealed.
It is unclear how many UK energy suppliers have engaged in this practice, although a source said that at least two companies they had worked for had bought dirty REGOs, and described how uncomfortable it made members of staff at the time.