British Gas introduced its latest green energy tariff, labeling it as “one of the greenest” existing deals on the market today.
The Big Six supplier launched ‘Green Future Plus’ tariff, a dual fuel offering that provides customers with 10% green gas and 100% renewable electricity, matched through Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates or Guarantees of Origin certificates, or both. It is a fixed tariff set until July 2022.
The new British Gas tariff, Green Future Plus, features 10% biomethane taken from renewable sources, and 90% carbon offset via a strategic partnership with ClimateCare, a green company known for delivering carbon offset services.
Customers availing of the Green Future Plus tariff can expect an average cost of £1,237 a year, which is a bit more expensive than the supplier’s standard tariff and is above the £1,179 current price cap limit.
British gas justifies the pricing as a ‘slight premium’ to cover the costs of generating green energy. The company highlights the new tariff as a cost-effective option for people looking to use the greenest tariffs.
Part of the green credentials the Green Future Plus offers is its support of the Ecomapua Project, wherein customers can indirectly lend a hand in protecting one hectare of the Amazon rainforest every year. This initiative is certified by the Verified Carbon Standard that issues a single VER certificate for every tonne of mitigated CO2 resulting from the project.
This partnership with the reforestation project lifts British Gas from other cheap green tariff deals that mostly rely on purchasing REGO certificates to guarantee 100% renewable energy.
Additionally, dual fuel users will be able to sustain the growth of around ten trees per household per year that they are under the green tariff.
The introduction of this new tariff supports British Gas owner Centrica’s goal of reducing customer’s emissions of up to 25% by 2030, aiming for a portfolio of 7GW of distributed, flexible and low-carbon technologies.
Partnerships and loopholes
Centrica managing director of UK home Dave Kirwan cited the peace of mind customers will achieve once they choose the green tariff that helps them contribute to addressing climate change.
Kirwan highlighted the company’s goal of providing different tariffs to consumers that suit individual needs and ensure that they get environmentally-friendly options via renewable sources. He mentioned the supplier’s headway on reducing carbon emissions by fostering distributed energy solutions and electric vehicle charging.
However, British Gas’ utilisation of REGOs might face criticism due to loopholes pointed out by other players in the energy industry. Good Energy senior forecasting analyst Thomas Harrison stated the REGO loophole is increasingly being exploited, disabling transparency in favor of hiding the difference between suppliers that support fossil fuels versus companies going the extra mile by directly contracting with renewable generators to purchase real green power.
uSwitch energy expert Rik Smith classified the Green Future Plus tariff as mid-table based on its environmental credentials since it’s a mix of electricity coming from traditional and renewable generation, and as well as a small portion of gas from renewable sources. He emphasized that other companies are offering similar packages for less, stating that long-term fixed plans tend to cost more.
Smith said that the critical difference of the new British Gas tariff is its support of tree planting projects and the protection of the Amazon rainforest. It’s a step ahead of other suppliers that also offer renewable energy by buying certificates to match electricity taken from nuclear, coal, or gas sources.
ClimateCare CEO Vaughan Lindsay released a statement regarding the partnership with British Gas, saying the company is pleased to link up with the Big Six supplier to deliver a sustainable energy tariff the customers can choose confidently.
Lindsay acknowledged ClimateCare’s expert teams’ role in ensuring that carbon emissions from the Green Future Plus are offset through high-value projects that provide real, verifiable carbon reductions that address climate change, scaling alternative solutions to green energy along the way.