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What are REGOs, who needs them and why

By OVO Energy Wednesday 18 September 2019

We often get asked about where we get our renewable electricity from and how it all works. So here’s all you need to know about what REGOs are, how they’re used and why. We’ll talk you through everything, including what other alternatives are available – and why we choose REGOs at OVO.

 

What are REGOs exactly?
REGOs (short for Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) are part of a certification scheme approved and run by Ofgem (the energy regulator) – they help prove that electricity came from a renewable source. 
 

How do REGOs work?
Only a small number of suppliers generate renewable electricity themselves, and sell it to their customers. At OVO, we don’t generate it – we buy what we need from the electricity market, then sell it on to members.

Ofgem issues REGOs to those people who generate renewable electricity (like the owner of a wind farm, for example). They receive one REGO for every one megawatt-hour (MWh) unit of renewable electricity they put onto the National Grid.

We buy REGOs, so that we can guarantee that a unit of renewable electricity has been added to the grid for every unit of renewable electricity that we sell.

At OVO, the electricity we supply to our members is 50% renewable as standard, and 100% renewable for members with a green upgrade, or OVO Beyond. So once we’ve added up how many units of ‘green’ electricity our members use, we buy the equivalent number of REGOs, so unit for unit, the right amount of renewable electricity goes onto the grid. 

 

Why do we use REGOs?
Nearly all suppliers who offer green electricity use them – it’s a good way of proving that electricity comes from a renewable source. At the moment, REGOs are the most affordable way to guarantee renewable energy supply, making green electricity accessible to more and more people.

And that’s something we stand by here at OVO. We choose to buy REGOs so that we can offer renewable electricity to as many members as we can at the best possible price, while providing a source of income to renewable generators. 

As well as investing in REGOs, we also invest in helping our members use their energy more efficiently, and designing products and tech that can get our energy system ready for a future where renewable energy is the norm. All of this is key in moving towards a zero carbon grid – and it’s where we think we can make a big difference, together.

 

Where do our REGOs come from?
We care a great deal about where our REGOs come from. For OVO Energy UK, all our renewable electricity is backed by certificates that are UK-based, under a scheme approved and run by Ofgem. That’s because we want to keep supporting renewable generation in the place where the energy is being used.

For the energy we sell across international markets, we also back up our renewable electricity with certificates that are locally sourced.

Most of our REGOs come from wind farms or solar parks, others from hydroelectric sources (that use water to produce electricity).

 

Where our renewable electricity comes from (2018/19)

 
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