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Which magazine in October 2019 discussed the green credentials of the power companies - see https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/09/how-green-is-your-energy-tariff/. It seems that only 2 (or possibly 3 as Green Energy did not reply to Which) are providing genuine green energy. Good Energy and Ecotricity are both buying sufficient electricity from the green generators to meet their customers' requirements. Many others are simply buying REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origins) certificates and this enables them to call their electricity "green".

As EV drivers we tend to use more electricity than some others. Do you think we have more responsibility to buy green energy, even though it costs more? Do you think the power companies should be stopped from calling their energy "green" if it is only based on buying REGO certificates?
 

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I don't see that EV drivers have a particular responsibility to buy green energy. All electricity consumers have that responsibility. I am also not sure you can assume green energy costs more than the dirty stuff any longer. In fact, if you change to a supplier that offers a time-of-use tariff, you will probably find that you can save a considerable sum by charging at night, which most of us do anyway. The relationship between cost and time of use is getting more interesting and more complex, as those of us who are with Octopus have found out. Each year, there seem to be more occasions when the price becomes negative for a short time. We can expect this to become more frequent and for longer durations as the grid is decarbonised further. I think we can also expect more suppliers to offer TOU tariffs and services that help us to manage our use of these complex products.
As for the utilities calling their products green, I think you may have a valid point. I remember when I switched from Good Energy to Octopus I had a chat with a sales person from GE who wanted to know why I was switching (it was based on price and a nerdy fascination with TOU tariffs) and who I was switching to. They did not mind too much to be losing me to Octopus because "at least they install and operate solar farms instead of just buying certificates". Perhaps it should be made more obvious to consumers which suppliers fund the increase in renewable generation and those who only buy REGO certificates, but there's probably a supply vs. demand argument to be made here. What do others think?
 

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I switched to Ecotricity 12 years ago when I bought my house to support renewables without having to invest in solar panels etc. I switched away from Scottish Power's green tariff because it was clear they were just buying a proportion of energy from wind turbines, rather than changing the way we generate energy. I think our energy bills are a valid way to support renewables as the more of us that switch the more attractive renewables are to corporate investors. Same with gas - Octopus offset their carbon and don't use fracked gas, both things I strongly support.

Ecotricity got a bit pricey so I switched to Octopus last year. Some young salesman chap came to the door a few weeks ago, and had to admit Octopus had the cheapest available renewable or non-renewable tariff!

And no, I don't think ev drivers have a specific responsibility.
 
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