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Green Tariff Launched by British Gas

By Katie Anderson on June 1, 2011

A new green energy tariff has been launched by British Gas. Centrica, the parent company of British Gas has announced the introduction of the energyshare tariff, which promises to “match” the electricity consumed by tariff members with supplies of renewable energy.

The tariff has been designed to increase demand for renewable power, as well as boosting community projects, such as solar panel installations and local wind farms. In a statement, Centrica said the energyshare tariff exceeds the requirements of Ofgem’s Green Energy Supply guidelines, which sets out what green tariffs should comprise, how they should be marketed and the evidence required to back-up claims.

British Gas’ own electricity mix consists of 88% natural gas and coal, so customers registered on the energyshare tariff will be matched with their renewable energy supply, which currently accounts for 7% of its total mix. However the tariff will suffer the same problem as all green tariffs, since energy companies cannot guarantee customers exclusive use of renewable energy because all energy is mixed together in the National Grid.

The new tariff, which will cost the same as the company’s normal domestic tariff, is also aiming to raise £15m over the next five years to help support community renewable energy projects. Through the EnergyShare scheme, British Gas will pay £10 into the fund for every year a customer remains on the tariff.

British Gas has already contributed £500,000 into the fund. To raise the remaining capital, some 290,000 customers will need to be signed up for energyshare per year.

GoodEnergy, which supplies customers with 100% green energy and supports community renewables projects, said in a statement that they welcomed the competition:

“It’s great to see British Gas jumping on the bandwagon, and we welcome any initiatives to encourage more community renewables; after all with only seven per cent renewables in its fuel mix, British Gas has a long way to go,” said chief executive Juliet Davenport.