Community-generated green electricity to be offered to all in UK
Power provided on new tariff to come exclusively from small-scale wind and solar farms
Sun 12 Jan 2020 19.47 GMTLast modified on Sun 12 Jan 2020 19.55 GMT
Shares 111 [image: Small windfarms like this one in Scotland will generate all the electricity sold through the Community Power tariff.]
UK homes will soon be able to plug into community wind and solar farms from anywhere in the country through the first energy tariff to offer clean electricity exclusively from community projects.
The deal from Co-op Energy
The energy supplier will charge an extra £5 a month over Co-op’s regular tariff to provide electricity from community energy projects and gas which includes a carbon offset in the price.
Co-op, which is operated by Octopus Energy
Phil Ponsonby, the chief executive of Midcounties Co-operative, said the tariff is the UK’s only one to be powered by 100% community-generated electricity and would ensure a fair price is paid to community generators too.
Customers on the Community Power tariff will be able to “see exactly where it is being generated at small scale sites across the UK, and they know it is benefiting local communities”, he said.
Co-op, which has about 300,000 customers, has set itself apart from a rising number of energy supply deals which are marked as 100% renewable
Consumer group Which? has found that many suppliers offer renewable energy tariffs but do not generate renewable electricity
Instead, the “pale green” suppliers exploit a loophole in the energy market by snapping up cheap renewable energy certificates
The certificates are issued by the regulator to renewable energy developers for each megawatt generated, but these can be sold separately from the electricity for a fraction of the price. Thousands were paid to use extra renewable electricity on windy weekend
Which? warned that these suppliers appear to be greenwashing their energy tariffs, which could risk misleading customers. A survey conducted last year found that one in 10 people believe that a renewables tariff means that the supplier generates at least some of its electricity from its own renewable energy projects.
Ponsonby said the wind and solar schemes that generate electricity for the Community Power tariff “plough the profits they make back into their neighbourhoods or into helping other similar projects get off the ground”.
Greg Jackson, the chief executive of Octopus Energy
“Investing in more local energy infrastructure and getting Britain’s homes run by the sun when it’s shining and the wind when it’s blowing can end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels sooner than we hoped,” he said.
“Local people investing in local people means that we can all muck in and put the work in to decarbonise where governments and large companies are slow to.”