• Good old daily mail,
    Create a story by not givings all the facts just to make it interesting. Yes it is possible to green up your business by buying green credentials. But as i understand it.

    100% renewable electric is good.
    Green electric not so much.
    Gas will by its very nature will never be truly green its how you offset its use that counts.
    Carbon offset is better than green gas.
    1
  • Good old daily mail,
    Create a story by not givings all the facts just to make it interesting. Yes it is possible to green up your business by buying green credentials. But as i understand it.

    100% renewable electric is good.
    Green electric not so much.
    Gas will by its very nature will never be truly green its how you offset its use that counts.
    Carbon offset is better than green gas.
  • Quote Originally Posted by Gwyndy View Post
    Hi Marc.

    Perhaps someone at Pure Planet would like to respond to whomever's responsible for the report mentioned in the article here:
    Code:
    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6992675/The-green-energy-firms-exploiting-cheap-certificates-mean-charge-more.html
    Particularly as they are pretty much accusing Pure Planet of, if not outright lying, then bending the truth.



    Regards
    Mark

    [/COLOR]
    Hi there

    I emailed the journalist, and said "Are you saying that when Pure Planet say "Our energy is 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas"
    and "We only source our electricity from sun, wind and water. Last year, our electricity mix was 52% wind and 48% sun" they are lying?"

    She replied "Not so much that they are lying - which I think may be too strong. Just that they don't have a direct relationship with renewable energy producers, they simply buy certificates proving renewable energy has been added to the grid. This is legal, but I don't think many consumers would know about this secondary market that allows suppliers the right to buy a green label for their deals.
    So essentially, my understanding is that they have matched all the energy they supply to customers with certificates proving that same amount of renewable energy has been produced. They just haven't produced it themselves."

    I replied "Thanks for getting back to me, much appreciated.

    You mentioned Bulb and Ecotricity very positively – but their web statements look almost identical to Pure Planet. How does the consumer distinguish?

    100% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, and every year we need to let the regulator know where this comes from. Alongside every unit of renewable electricity we purchase is a snazzily named Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate. These certificates allow Ofgem to verify the source of every supplier's electricity. https://bulb.co.uk/fuelmix/

    Ecotricity say “we generate around a quarter of the green electricity we supply ourselves through our own growing fleet of green energy parks, and the rest we buy from other green generators.”
    Pure Planet’s fuel mix is identical to Bulb and Ecotricity http://electricityinfo.org/supplier-fuel-mix/#tabletop

    Pure Planet certainly don’t add on a charge for being green, they are almost the cheapest around…"

    She replied "The point is not that Pure Planet charge extra - moreover the reason they can deliver 'green' energy cheaply is because they can buy cheap certificates. It is more expensive to be truly green.

    With bulb there was a bit of editing going on with my piece that I was unaware of but it deserves SOME praise because it derives some gas from renewable sources, rather than just offsetting and has a direct relationship with renewable generators in a way that many other 'green' tariff providers don't. Though it will still partake in purchasing Regos.

    Ecotricity is on another level in that it is directly involved in the generation of renewable energy. That is why it is likely to be more expensive - because it is directly trying to address the problem rather than simply purchasing certificates.

    A fuel mix can help show the companies that at least try to source renewable energy, but unfortunately will not tell customers the whole picture. So in fact it is very difficult for consumers to distinguish - that was our reason for highlighting this complication in the market."

    Does this get us any further?
    Stephen
    5
  • Quote Originally Posted by Gwyndy View Post
    Hi Marc.

    Perhaps someone at Pure Planet would like to respond to whomever's responsible for the report mentioned in the article here:
    Code:
    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-6992675/The-green-energy-firms-exploiting-cheap-certificates-mean-charge-more.html
    Particularly as they are pretty much accusing Pure Planet of, if not outright lying, then bending the truth.



    Regards
    Mark

    [/COLOR]
    Hi there

    I emailed the journalist, and said "Are you saying that when Pure Planet say "Our energy is 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon offset gas"
    and "We only source our electricity from sun, wind and water. Last year, our electricity mix was 52% wind and 48% sun" they are lying?"

    She replied "Not so much that they are lying - which I think may be too strong. Just that they don't have a direct relationship with renewable energy producers, they simply buy certificates proving renewable energy has been added to the grid. This is legal, but I don't think many consumers would know about this secondary market that allows suppliers the right to buy a green label for their deals.
    So essentially, my understanding is that they have matched all the energy they supply to customers with certificates proving that same amount of renewable energy has been produced. They just haven't produced it themselves."

    I replied "Thanks for getting back to me, much appreciated.

    You mentioned Bulb and Ecotricity very positively – but their web statements look almost identical to Pure Planet. How does the consumer distinguish?

    100% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, and every year we need to let the regulator know where this comes from. Alongside every unit of renewable electricity we purchase is a snazzily named Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate. These certificates allow Ofgem to verify the source of every supplier's electricity. https://bulb.co.uk/fuelmix/

    Ecotricity say “we generate around a quarter of the green electricity we supply ourselves through our own growing fleet of green energy parks, and the rest we buy from other green generators.”
    Pure Planet’s fuel mix is identical to Bulb and Ecotricity http://electricityinfo.org/supplier-fuel-mix/#tabletop

    Pure Planet certainly don’t add on a charge for being green, they are almost the cheapest around…"

    She replied "The point is not that Pure Planet charge extra - moreover the reason they can deliver 'green' energy cheaply is because they can buy cheap certificates. It is more expensive to be truly green.

    With bulb there was a bit of editing going on with my piece that I was unaware of but it deserves SOME praise because it derives some gas from renewable sources, rather than just offsetting and has a direct relationship with renewable generators in a way that many other 'green' tariff providers don't. Though it will still partake in purchasing Regos.

    Ecotricity is on another level in that it is directly involved in the generation of renewable energy. That is why it is likely to be more expensive - because it is directly trying to address the problem rather than simply purchasing certificates.

    A fuel mix can help show the companies that at least try to source renewable energy, but unfortunately will not tell customers the whole picture. So in fact it is very difficult for consumers to distinguish - that was our reason for highlighting this complication in the market."

    Does this get us any further?
    Stephen
  • Well done stephen.
    In managing to actually contact the writer of the article.
    The answers given are good and show up some valid points and i can see where they are coming from.
    The fact that PP dont generate the electricity they retail out themselves somehow makes it less green is a bit of a weird response. Do they not realise that BP is part owner of PP and being as BP are one of the biggest generators of renewable energy in the country does this not count as self generation by PP

    On the basis of the responses given then if PP renamed themselves BPPP or PPBP then somehow all will be ok as somehow the energy becomes greener.
    1
  • Well done stephen.
    In managing to actually contact the writer of the article.
    The answers given are good and show up some valid points and i can see where they are coming from.
    The fact that PP dont generate the electricity they retail out themselves somehow makes it less green is a bit of a weird response. Do they not realise that BP is part owner of PP and being as BP are one of the biggest generators of renewable energy in the country does this not count as self generation by PP

    On the basis of the responses given then if PP renamed themselves BPPP or PPBP then somehow all will be ok as somehow the energy becomes greener.
  • Hey @Gwyndy @stephenrand @Jon1
    This subject of REGOs comes up quite a lot.
    Here's part of a post I made from this thread specifically about REGOs which may be of interest (though it's essentially covering the same ground).
    Sorry it's a bit long-winded...


    There are three ways to buy green electricity.
    Method 1. In advance with a renewable producer. You agree a deal pay them for an amount of units that they put onto the grid on your behalf over a year.
    Method 2. You community generate. Normally local co-ops, villages etc, who put renewables into the grid and again sell this to the wholesale market.
    Method 3. You buy power from the wholesale market and match that after the fact with renewable power that has been put into the grid by renewable generators through certificates.


    All 3 types are backed by REGOs.
    And all are limited by a common factor - time of day and night.
    In other words, it might be a calm day and no wind. Or it might be dark, such as at night time.
    How do you then get energy?


    Let’s say we have two energy suppliers, called A and B.


    Supplier A buys 100MW of renewable energy directly from Farmer Giles's turbine for a year, and with it 100 REGOs.
    Where does that energy go? Customers of Supplier A don’t get a special feed of energy from Farmer Giles’ field to their homes. It goes to the grid. And what do customers of Supplier A do at night when they want to use the loo and watch TV? They switch on the lights and the TV!
    At that time their energy, which comes from the grid, is coming from all kinds of sources. (Right now the UK doesn’t have a battery capacity to store clean energy for cloudy calm days and nights).


    Supplier B (which we at Pure Planet do) buys 100MW from the wholesale market and matches that at the end of the year with 100 REGOs, proving that we’re putting 100MW of renewable energy into the grid.
    The difference is that the generator of renewable energy (whether that’s a load of Farmer GIles in fields around the English countryside or a massive windfarm in the North Sea) doesn’t have a direct relationship Supplier B. The owners of the fields or wind farms are trading directly with the wholesale market through brokers.


    There’s nothing wrong with the method chosen by Supplier A. Both methods are about buying renewable power backed by REGOs and feeding it into the grid.
    But the route that Supplier B is on means it can be done at scale.


    The argument that Supplier A uses is really an economic one - not a renewable ‘physics’ one. They argue that by committing to a particular (usually a smaller, local) generator in advance it is supporting the development of renewable generation. There is a small amount of truth in this. But the argument was far stronger 20 years ago when this up front commitment did indeed help small local farmers raise funds to finance the build of small scale wind farms.


    Today the scale of renewable generation has changed dramatically. It has been industrialised.
    It can be also now be argued that buying ‘after the fact’ is equally economically valid because it creates a dedicated green retail market - a consumer ‘pull’ - which in turn allows large scale producers to seek further finance (from big investment banks) for subsequent building of wind farms.
    Renewable capacity now being built costs billions. Not a million or two.
    Community Manager - Pure Planet

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    3
  • Hey @Gwyndy @stephenrand @Jon1
    This subject of REGOs comes up quite a lot.
    Here's part of a post I made from this thread specifically about REGOs which may be of interest (though it's essentially covering the same ground).
    Sorry it's a bit long-winded...


    There are three ways to buy green electricity.
    Method 1. In advance with a renewable producer. You agree a deal pay them for an amount of units that they put onto the grid on your behalf over a year.
    Method 2. You community generate. Normally local co-ops, villages etc, who put renewables into the grid and again sell this to the wholesale market.
    Method 3. You buy power from the wholesale market and match that after the fact with renewable power that has been put into the grid by renewable generators through certificates.


    All 3 types are backed by REGOs.
    And all are limited by a common factor - time of day and night.
    In other words, it might be a calm day and no wind. Or it might be dark, such as at night time.
    How do you then get energy?


    Let’s say we have two energy suppliers, called A and B.


    Supplier A buys 100MW of renewable energy directly from Farmer Giles's turbine for a year, and with it 100 REGOs.
    Where does that energy go? Customers of Supplier A don’t get a special feed of energy from Farmer Giles’ field to their homes. It goes to the grid. And what do customers of Supplier A do at night when they want to use the loo and watch TV? They switch on the lights and the TV!
    At that time their energy, which comes from the grid, is coming from all kinds of sources. (Right now the UK doesn’t have a battery capacity to store clean energy for cloudy calm days and nights).


    Supplier B (which we at Pure Planet do) buys 100MW from the wholesale market and matches that at the end of the year with 100 REGOs, proving that we’re putting 100MW of renewable energy into the grid.
    The difference is that the generator of renewable energy (whether that’s a load of Farmer GIles in fields around the English countryside or a massive windfarm in the North Sea) doesn’t have a direct relationship Supplier B. The owners of the fields or wind farms are trading directly with the wholesale market through brokers.


    There’s nothing wrong with the method chosen by Supplier A. Both methods are about buying renewable power backed by REGOs and feeding it into the grid.
    But the route that Supplier B is on means it can be done at scale.


    The argument that Supplier A uses is really an economic one - not a renewable ‘physics’ one. They argue that by committing to a particular (usually a smaller, local) generator in advance it is supporting the development of renewable generation. There is a small amount of truth in this. But the argument was far stronger 20 years ago when this up front commitment did indeed help small local farmers raise funds to finance the build of small scale wind farms.


    Today the scale of renewable generation has changed dramatically. It has been industrialised.
    It can be also now be argued that buying ‘after the fact’ is equally economically valid because it creates a dedicated green retail market - a consumer ‘pull’ - which in turn allows large scale producers to seek further finance (from big investment banks) for subsequent building of wind farms.
    Renewable capacity now being built costs billions. Not a million or two.
    Community Manager - Pure Planet

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • I can understand the basic concepts behind what the Daily Mail article was trying to say, what I disagree with is the way that they are saying it. Which is why I thought Pure Planet should know that the article existed.

    There's a bloke on Facebook who I've run into on numerous 'Green Energy' pages, who bangs on about the fact that, unless you have solar panels, ground-source heat pump, or wind turbine in your garden, the energy we buy as consumers isn't 'green' because it goes into a 'mixed-grid' - that concept, I would hope most users get, but suspect many don't.

    I know 'my energy' is not likely to be 'green' until such time as most/all of the mix becomes renewable, I buy 'green energy' because end customers need to prove the market exists, or suppliers have less incentive to build the infrastructure.

    It's the way that the Daily Mail appears to make out that just because you don't 'own,' or have a 'direct relationship' with the producers, your energy isn't 'green' that annoys me. If they are that concerned that the market's broken, perhaps they should be taking the government on to fix it, and replace REGOs with something more easily understood.

    The press can understand that the government need to underwrite a price for generated electricity for 30+ years to build a nuclear power plant, but can't understand that if you want to convince someone to build an offshore wind farm, they need to know there's a market for it.

    I presume, and please correct me if I'm wrong Marc, that somewhere along the line, these REGOs mean that someone knows that the amount of 'green energy' generated, and the amount of 'green energy' paid for by energy companies on behalf og their customers - match up?
    Last edited by Gwyndy; 05-06-19 at 08:16.
    1
  • I can understand the basic concepts behind what the Daily Mail article was trying to say, what I disagree with is the way that they are saying it. Which is why I thought Pure Planet should know that the article existed.

    There's a bloke on Facebook who I've run into on numerous 'Green Energy' pages, who bangs on about the fact that, unless you have solar panels, ground-source heat pump, or wind turbine in your garden, the energy we buy as consumers isn't 'green' because it goes into a 'mixed-grid' - that concept, I would hope most users get, but suspect many don't.

    I know 'my energy' is not likely to be 'green' until such time as most/all of the mix becomes renewable, I buy 'green energy' because end customers need to prove the market exists, or suppliers have less incentive to build the infrastructure.

    It's the way that the Daily Mail appears to make out that just because you don't 'own,' or have a 'direct relationship' with the producers, your energy isn't 'green' that annoys me. If they are that concerned that the market's broken, perhaps they should be taking the government on to fix it, and replace REGOs with something more easily understood.

    The press can understand that the government need to underwrite a price for generated electricity for 30+ years to build a nuclear power plant, but can't understand that if you want to convince someone to build an offshore wind farm, they need to know there's a market for it.

    I presume, and please correct me if I'm wrong Marc, that somewhere along the line, these REGOs mean that someone knows that the amount of 'green energy' generated, and the amount of 'green energy' paid for by energy companies on behalf og their customers - match up?
  • Hi @Marc
    That's helpful, confirms what I had guessed was the situation. No idea why they picked on Pure Planet, and I've given her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't responsible for the headline...
    Thanks for this extra info
    Stephen
    1
  • Hi @Marc
    That's helpful, confirms what I had guessed was the situation. No idea why they picked on Pure Planet, and I've given her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't responsible for the headline...
    Thanks for this extra info
    Stephen
  • Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    I agree there is a point to be made that some companies are supporting smaller scale renewable generation directly, as a relatively small proportion of their supplied renewable energy, but I don't see that as a valid reason to single out other companies for criticism.

    I could forgive the way it was written if in addition to the way the "facts" were presented that Ofgem had been quoted: (extract below)
    The system is flawed, but it's down to government energy policy as to how it works.

    The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme provides transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation.


    All EU Member States are required to have such a scheme.

    How does it work?


    We issue one REGO certificate per megawatt hour (MWh) of eligible renewable output to generators of renewable electricity.


    The purpose of the certificate is to prove to the final customer that a given share of energy was produced from renewable sources. As such, the primary use of REGOs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is for FMD. FMD requires licensed electricity suppliers to disclose to potential and existing customers the mix of fuels (coal, gas, nuclear, renewable and other) used to generate the electricity supplied.


    1
  • Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    I agree there is a point to be made that some companies are supporting smaller scale renewable generation directly, as a relatively small proportion of their supplied renewable energy, but I don't see that as a valid reason to single out other companies for criticism.

    I could forgive the way it was written if in addition to the way the "facts" were presented that Ofgem had been quoted: (extract below)
    The system is flawed, but it's down to government energy policy as to how it works.

    The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme provides transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation.


    All EU Member States are required to have such a scheme.

    How does it work?


    We issue one REGO certificate per megawatt hour (MWh) of eligible renewable output to generators of renewable electricity.


    The purpose of the certificate is to prove to the final customer that a given share of energy was produced from renewable sources. As such, the primary use of REGOs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is for FMD. FMD requires licensed electricity suppliers to disclose to potential and existing customers the mix of fuels (coal, gas, nuclear, renewable and other) used to generate the electricity supplied.


  • Well thats cleared it up then.....

    The issue of companies simply buying cheap REGOs, the fact that a rego is so cheap i see as a positive as i think it shows that more renewable energy is being put into the grid than the demand for 100% green demands.
    Surly if there was a shortage of green energy the trading price of a rego would go up .
    So hopefully the rego price stays low and the big players in the generation market keep ahead of the demand. Which seems to be the current aim of the oil majors who have a drive to maintain their profit stream with less reliance on oil flow.
    0
  • Well thats cleared it up then.....

    The issue of companies simply buying cheap REGOs, the fact that a rego is so cheap i see as a positive as i think it shows that more renewable energy is being put into the grid than the demand for 100% green demands.
    Surly if there was a shortage of green energy the trading price of a rego would go up .
    So hopefully the rego price stays low and the big players in the generation market keep ahead of the demand. Which seems to be the current aim of the oil majors who have a drive to maintain their profit stream with less reliance on oil flow.
  • Ah but it's transparent...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon1 View Post
    Well thats cleared it up then..... The issue of companies simply buying cheap REGOs, the fact that a rego is so cheap i see as a positive as i think it shows that more renewable energy is being put into the grid than the demand for 100% green demands. Surly if there was a shortage of green energy the trading price of a rego would go up . So hopefully the rego price stays low and the big players in the generation market keep ahead of the demand. Which seems to be the current aim of the oil majors who have a drive to maintain their profit stream with less reliance on oil flow.
    0
  • Ah but it's transparent...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon1 View Post
    Well thats cleared it up then..... The issue of companies simply buying cheap REGOs, the fact that a rego is so cheap i see as a positive as i think it shows that more renewable energy is being put into the grid than the demand for 100% green demands. Surly if there was a shortage of green energy the trading price of a rego would go up . So hopefully the rego price stays low and the big players in the generation market keep ahead of the demand. Which seems to be the current aim of the oil majors who have a drive to maintain their profit stream with less reliance on oil flow.
  • Woz

    I fully agree, and would like to add to my earlier post by stating inaccurate, partisan and sensationalist journalism just adds to the confusion. We, the poor (and increasingly so) consumer are faced with impossible choices. We all want the cheapest energy tariffs, no impact on the environment, sustainable energy . . . warm homes and unlimited hot water.


    Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    I can't find the words...
    The article is inaccurate and partisan, the comments are even worse....(don't read them you'll only upset yoursef)

    ​My only question is what deal did they come to with the companies they promoted. I suspect we'll never know.

    I wonder if the DM approached PP for "comment" before they published? and were told to errr...go away...
    0
  • Woz

    I fully agree, and would like to add to my earlier post by stating inaccurate, partisan and sensationalist journalism just adds to the confusion. We, the poor (and increasingly so) consumer are faced with impossible choices. We all want the cheapest energy tariffs, no impact on the environment, sustainable energy . . . warm homes and unlimited hot water.


    Quote Originally Posted by woz View Post
    I can't find the words...
    The article is inaccurate and partisan, the comments are even worse....(don't read them you'll only upset yoursef)

    ​My only question is what deal did they come to with the companies they promoted. I suspect we'll never know.

    I wonder if the DM approached PP for "comment" before they published? and were told to errr...go away...
  • Hi Marc,

    Thank you everyone for your posts on this topic, it's been a good read.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    we also support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We're the only British energy supplier to do so.
    I'm interested in how you support the SDGs? It would be great to see how you have contributed against the UN's proposed indicators.

    ​It would also be great to see an Environmental Impact Report if you have been able to produce one yet. These reports are pretty standard across the industry and for a firm focused on sustainability it seems like a reasonable thing to request to see? I couldn't help but feel AlBrew's question was met with some hostility in this thread which perhaps gives off the wrong impression of PP.
    Last edited by tsankod; 08-09-19 at 16:51. Reason: Forgot to add quote
    0
  • Hi Marc,

    Thank you everyone for your posts on this topic, it's been a good read.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    we also support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We're the only British energy supplier to do so.
    I'm interested in how you support the SDGs? It would be great to see how you have contributed against the UN's proposed indicators.

    ​It would also be great to see an Environmental Impact Report if you have been able to produce one yet. These reports are pretty standard across the industry and for a firm focused on sustainability it seems like a reasonable thing to request to see? I couldn't help but feel AlBrew's question was met with some hostility in this thread which perhaps gives off the wrong impression of PP.
  • https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what...ny-information

    A comment:
    Not that this is an excuse, just to put EIR's in perspective, I have worked at a company who talk the talk environmentally but the working practices in the building are completely at odds with sustainability.
    I very much doubt things are the same at PP, but if there is a report I'm sure it will be made available.
    It's about what you do not what you report.
    (and I disagree that there was hostility to the request, but I did see reasoned replies)
    disclaimer, I've not gone back and re-read it...
    Quote Originally Posted by tsankod View Post
    Hi Marc,

    Thank you everyone for your posts on this topic, it's been a good read.




    I'm interested in how you support the SDGs? It would be great to see how you have contributed against the UN's proposed indicators.

    ​It would also be great to see an Environmental Impact Report if you have been able to produce one yet. These reports are pretty standard across the industry and for a firm focused on sustainability it seems like a reasonable thing to request to see? I couldn't help but feel AlBrew's question was met with some hostility in this thread which perhaps gives off the wrong impression of PP.
    Last edited by woz; 08-09-19 at 17:59.
    0
  • https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what...ny-information

    A comment:
    Not that this is an excuse, just to put EIR's in perspective, I have worked at a company who talk the talk environmentally but the working practices in the building are completely at odds with sustainability.
    I very much doubt things are the same at PP, but if there is a report I'm sure it will be made available.
    It's about what you do not what you report.
    (and I disagree that there was hostility to the request, but I did see reasoned replies)
    disclaimer, I've not gone back and re-read it...
    Quote Originally Posted by tsankod View Post
    Hi Marc,

    Thank you everyone for your posts on this topic, it's been a good read.




    I'm interested in how you support the SDGs? It would be great to see how you have contributed against the UN's proposed indicators.

    ​It would also be great to see an Environmental Impact Report if you have been able to produce one yet. These reports are pretty standard across the industry and for a firm focused on sustainability it seems like a reasonable thing to request to see? I couldn't help but feel AlBrew's question was met with some hostility in this thread which perhaps gives off the wrong impression of PP.