9 August 2007: British Gas has announced it is launching two new green energy tariffs, Zero Carbon, which will be the greenest tariff available on the domestic market and Future Energy. British Gas has launched the tariffs, in response to the increasing demand for green energy products.
Householders signing up to the Zero Carbon tariff will:
• reduce their household energy carbon emissions to zero through Kyoto compliant offset schemes which will meet the new Defra requirements
• help fund a direct increase in investment in renewable energy generated in the UK
• contribute to the new British Gas green fund which will:
• invest in developing new renewable technologies such as wave power
• oversee a programme to help schools in the UK reduce their CO2 emissions
Gearóid Lane, Managing Director British Gas New Energy said,”Our new tariff responds to consumer demand for truly green energy solutions. 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.”
Under the government’s Renewables Obligation (RO), electricity suppliers in the UK are already required to produce an increasing percentage of their electricity through methods such as wind farms which, unlike traditional power plants, produce zero carbon emissions. For 2007/2008 this figure is set at 7.9%.
In a recent report, the National Consumer Council (NCC) raised concerns that some energy suppliers are packaging electricity which is produced under the RO scheme as “green”, yet it delivers no additional environmental benefits. The NCC called on energy suppliers to take steps beyond their legal requirements and offer green energy tariffs that provide genuine additional environmental benefits, in particular CO2 emissions reduction.
British Gas worked with Global Action Plan and The Climate Group’s “We’re in this Together” campaign to develop Zero Carbon which goes further than any other green tariff in meeting these requirements offering consumers the only zero carbon option on the market.
The tariff carries a premium of £84 per year, reflecting the higher cost of producing energy through lower carbon emission schemes.
Virginia Graham, Chair of Global Action Plan, said, “The British Gas Zero Carbon tariff delivers on all three of the essential requirements of a green tariff which are: additionality, transparency and verifiability. As such it is a very welcome new offering in the market. Consumers signing up to the tariff can be confident that they are getting 12 per cent more renewable energy than they would otherwise have got. The carbon emissions from their electricity and gas will also be offset with emissions reductions from projects accredited by the United Nations.”
Zero Carbon is one of the first initiatives launched through the ‘We’re in this Together’ campaign, which was launched in April 07 as an alliance of some of the UK’s biggest brands who are all working to help their customers reduce their impact on the climate.
Dr Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group and founder of ‘We’re in this Together’ said, “We’re committed to offering people ways to make a real impact on climate change through Together.com. We’ve worked with British Gas to ensure that Zero Carbon is a genuine step forward in delivering more environmental benefits than any other tariff currently available.”
British Gas’s second green energy tariff, Future Energy, offers an alternative green electricity tariff at a premium of just £20 per year. Customers signing up to this tariff will contribute to a green fund which will provide solar panels and other renewable energy technologies to UK schools. Money from the fund will also be invested in development of future renewable technologies and sources.
To sign up customers can call British Gas on 0845 604 0055 or visit www.britishgas.co.uk