British Gas has launched two new green energy tariffs – Future Energy and Zero Carbon, which it claims will be the greenest tariff available on the domestic market.
The Zero Carbon package, says British Gas, will allow householders to reduce their household energy carbon emissions to zero through Kyoto compliant offset schemes which will meet the new Defra requirements, help fund investment in renewable energy including a programme to help schools in the UK reduce their CO2 emissions.
Under the Renewables Obligation (RO), all electricity suppliers in the UK must produce 7.9% of their energy through renewable sources like wind farms and solar power – British Gas says it has gone a lot further than this minimum requirement by offering consumers the ‘only zero carbon option on the market’.
”Our new tariff responds to consumer demand for truly green energy solutions,” said Gearóid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas New Energy.
“It is essential that customers have confidence in green energy tariffs and that their credibility is not damaged by tariffs that claim to be green but in reality do not deliver any incremental environmental benefits.
“Green tariffs are moving from niche to mainstream products and we’re leading the industry by offering a tariff that will do more for the environment than any other product currently available.”
The Zero Carbon tariff carries a premium of £84 a year, which British Gas says reflects “the higher cost of producing energy through lower carbon emission schemes”. The second green tariff, Future Energy, has a premium of £20 a year. Consumers signing up to it will contribute to a fund that will provide renewable energy to schools and develop new renewable technologies.
Geoff Slaughter, Energy Manager at Uswitch.com says although he supports the move into green energy, he thinks it is about time British Gas caught up with the rest of the market: “This is welcome news and very timely with green issues topping the agenda. British Gas has been lagging behind other suppliers since it pulled its last green product. Today’s announcement sees Britain’s largest energy supplier getting back-up-to-speed, which is encouraging.”
And Scott Byrom, utilities expert at price comparison website moneysupermarket.com, says although green energy is important, so is price.” Undoubtedly, these products tick all the right boxes from a 'green' point of view, but they come at a cost,” he said.
“Unfortunately, that cost will be to the millions of customers looking to play their part in the fight against climate change and go green. Most of us want to reduce our carbon footprint but, with the economy in its current state, the reality is the majority of UK households just want cheaper bills.”
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