WHAT DOES RENEWABLE ENERGY ACTUALLY MEAN?

What does renewable energy actually mean?

Published on 23/01/2019

Where does green electricity come from?

The electricity we supply to our customers is 100% renewable and is purchased from renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydro (water). These sources don’t create carbon emissions (CO2), which research has shown are responsible for global warming.

Other energy suppliers source their energy from non-renewable sources, such as burning fossil fuels. These fossil fuels – such as coal – contain huge amounts of carbon, which is released into the environment as CO2 when they are burned. This energy is sometimes referred to as ‘brown’ energy and accounts for two-thirds of the electricity the UK produces.

Interestingly, around 60% of the brown energy produced in the UK comes from overseas sources. For example, the ‘steam coal’ the UK uses (coal suitable for producing steam) usually comes from Russia and the uranium used to power nuclear energy sources is bought from countries such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

So, does that mean the electricity coming into my property is just from renewable sources?

Sadly not. The electricity that is supplied to you is the same electricity which is supplied to every other property in the UK and is a mix of green and brown energy. Currently around a third of all electricity comes from renewable sources, which contributes to our overall ‘fuel mix’. You can find out more about the UK’s fuel mix here.

By choosing to purchase renewable electricity, you’re helping to increase the proportion of energy produced by renewable sources in the UK’s overall fuel mix.

How do I know that the electricity I buy is renewable?

All the electricity we buy is renewable and is certified by our regulator, Ofgem. Each unit of electricity we supply to our customers is matched to a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin, or REGO, which evidences the source of the energy we buy.

This means you can be confident that the electricity you pay for is sourced from 100% renewable sources.

You can find out more about Ofgem’s REGO scheme here.

What about gas?

Green gas is often called biomethane and is produced using a process called Anaerobic Digestion, which creates biogas.

We don’t currently supply green gas, but once we’re able to, we'll update all our customers and will add it to our full range of gas products.

Regular updates on our renewable energy tariffs can be found here.