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Renewable energy and REGOs explained

By OVO Energy Wednesday 18 September 2019

What’s renewable electricity, you ask?

It’s simple. It’s energy that comes from 100% renewable and sustainable sources (like wind off the Scottish coast or solar from sunny Spain). And it’s called ‘renewable’ because it never runs out – unlike oil, coal and gas. Plus, it’s much cleaner and less harmful to our planet. Tick.

Where does OVO get its electricity from?

From just 2 sources: renewables and natural gas. All our energy plans come with at least 50% renewable electricity from wind, solar, geothermal and hydro1. Walk this way to read more.

OVO members can boost that to 100%2 with our Green Electricity upgrade. Or, they can go even further with our OVO BeyondBETA upgrade, for 100% renewable electricity, plus 100% carbon-neutral gas3 and energy-saving insights and actions. Check it out.

How does renewable electricity get to my house?

It’s impossible to trace the source of the electricity you use at home. Whichever way electricity is generated, it all gets pooled in the National Grid – ‘dirty’ and ‘green’ alike.

Think about the National Grid like a motorway where cars (electricity) join at different junctions (various sources) and leave at different exits (homes and offices). Once electricity is in the grid, there’s no way of knowing where it came from. 

To show we’re getting our electricity from renewable sources when we say we are, we buy REGO certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) from Ofgem, the energy regulator, on your behalf. These certificates are handed out per megawatt-hour of renewable electricity to the people who produced it. 

For example, if a wind farm produces a unit of renewable electricity, they get a REGO certificate that they can then resell to suppliers like us. It creates a market that’s encouraging more renewables. Hello, green future!
 

OK, but what’s a ROC?

That’s another certificate (Renewables Obligations Certificate) handed out by Ofgem to support large-scale electricity projects in the UK. They encourage investment in renewables, meaning we can get to a greener future, faster.

ROCs are purchased from generators of renewables by those who supply it (like us) to show how much renewable electricity we’ve sold to people (like you).

 

 

1 We buy 50% of your electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro. There's no extra environmental benefits to the Better Energy, 2 Year Fixed Energy or Simpler Energy plans.

2 By providing 100% renewable electricity and offsetting all associated lifecycle carbon emissions involved in the production and consumption of your electricity, the Green Electricity Upgrade reduces your yearly carbon emissions from the electricity used in your home to net zero. We purchase 100% of your energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro. The renewable electricity we buy is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN-led REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard.

3 By providing 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon-neutral gas (15% green gas and 85% offset) and offsetting all associated lifecycle carbon emissions involved in the production and consumption of your energy, OVO Beyond reduces your yearly carbon emissions from the energy used in your home to net zero.

We buy our renewable electricity via renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. We buy our green gas via renewable certificates (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN-led REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard.

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