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33% renewables: doubling down on the future of energy

By Justin DeKoszmovszky Tuesday 03 March 2015

Since our Fuel Mix Challenge post on 6 January we have not been idle! Today we announced that, as of 1 April 2015, we are more than doubling the share of renewable electricity* in our core tariffs. The move from 15% to 33% green means we’re now supplying almost twice the national average as standard**. And customers who want to go totally green can still choose the 100% renewable electricity tariff we’ve offered since OVO first started. 

So how does doubling the renewable electricity on our core tariffs fit with OVO’s overall sustainability journey? Well, as an organisation we are committed to sustainability as an innovation opportunity, a business challenge, and an ethical responsibility. We believe it’s our job to lead by example, so whilst we won’t ever compromise on customer service or competitive prices, we’re also committed to doing what’s right for our customers in the future. That means, over time, increasing the share of renewables in our fuel mix and decreasing the carbon intensity of the power we supply. Check out our Fuel Mix Challenge post for more on how we’re trying to lower our emissions even further.

But is OVO actually a ‘green energy supplier’ then? Some smaller, “deep green” niche suppliers are offering more (or exclusively) renewable power, but usually at a significantly higher cost to the customer. Some larger suppliers, who are heavily invested in non-coal generation (like nuclear or gas), may have lower carbon intensity. But none are offering as much renewable power**, and none – we think – have our unique balance of price, service and sustainability. We call our approach ‘mainstream green’ and we think it means doing what’s right for our customers today, and tomorrow. 

Key stats

  • Going to to 33% renewable will bring OVO’s carbon intensity well below the national average of 420 g CO2/kWh***
  • By the end of 2015, we estimate the proportion of renewable power in our mix will be up 72% on the previous three years***
  • We estimate that our coal share will have decreased 28% over the same period
  • All while the size of our customer base has grown by more than four times! 

We regularly update the sustainability information on our website as well to make our approach and position on our fuel mix and Renewable Energy as transparent as possible. Take a look and let us know what you think.
* Renewable power is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas. OVO does not yet offer ‘additionality’ with this tariff.
** Based on the 2013-2014 Ofgem Fuel Mix figures, the UK average for 2013-2014 was 16.7%. 
***Based on the 2013-2014 Ofgem Fuel Mix figures and projected assuming the residual mix, (the fuel mix generating the energy available on the wholesale market once the vertically integrated suppliers have used their share of the power they generate) stays constant.