Scottish Power has upped the ante in green power supply, announcing that all its domestic fixed tariffs will be backed by power sourced from its own UK wind farms.
The Iberdrola-owned supplier, which last year divested its remaining fossil assets to Drax, added to calls for the regulator to tighten up the current certification scheme, which is seen to be enabling greenwashing.
CEO Keith Anderson was typically blunt. The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme can lead to traders “playing games with bits of paper or certificates”, he suggested, rather than actually buying clean power.
“My concern is that too many customers think they’re buying renewable electricity, when all they’re buying is a renewable certificate. Today, we’re calling time on this so-called ‘greenwashing’”, he said in a statement.
“Unlike some competitor offerings that simply buy up green certificates and don’t actually purchase the related renewable electricity, ScottishPower customers can be confident that their electricity comes from renewable sources,” said Anderson.
While some smaller clean power suppliers source all power direct from renewables generation, Scottish Power claims to be unique among the UK’s older ‘legacy’ suppliers in doing so. By making the statement, it is also creating marketing momentum from a product on which it is naturally long.
In a document supporting its announcement, ScottishPower notes that traders on UK wholesale markets are free to buy volumes of green power without their authenticating REGOs.
In conditions when excess, unattached REGOs can thus be traded ought, retailers can make their power appear green, when in fact they’re supplying brown electricity on the power market, stated Scottish Power.
The supplier called for action from the power regulator: “Ofgem should oblige all energy suppliers to provide similar details to ensure that green marketing claims do not mislead customers,” it stated.
However, the pledge does not apply to Scottish Power non-fixed and business tariffs.