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Was Bulb as green as he claimed he was? | Energy


Bulb Energy’s collapse this week follows a steady decline in its promises to customers.

Britain’s fastest growing energy supplier has established itself as a challenger to traditional energy giants by claiming to offer better service and cheaper, greener energy. But was Bulb as green as he claimed he was?

It is committed to providing its customers with 100% renewable electricity and offsetting the carbon emissions of its gas. However, less than 5% of the green electricity it supplied to homes came directly from renewable energy projects last year and it had no production assets, like wind or solar farms.

The rest were bought from the UK wholesale electricity market alongside ‘renewable energy certificates’, which have come under fire in recent years for allowing companies to ‘green’ their energy prices.

These certificates are issued to renewable energy projects for each megawatt hour of clean electricity they generate, but a loophole means they can be sold separately from the green electricity itself. This means that suppliers can use the cheap certificates to market their tariffs as 100% renewable without ever supporting clean energy.

The energy regulator has plans in place to restrict so-called “pale green” energy tariffs. And a government review, launched three months ago, plans to target companies that claim to sell renewable energy without buying directly from renewable energy projects or investing in green programs.

This may have caused problems for Bulb’s marketing campaign and turned out to be one more problem for the beleaguered bosses of the company.