Energywatch and the National Consumer Council (NCC) have given a “cautious” welcome to proposals from Ofgem to create new guidelines to help consumers rate “green” energy tariffs.
The two consumer bodies say although the proposals are “positive steps in the right direction” much more must be done to address consumer confusion over the term “low carbon” – which is the basis of the new rating scheme.
Ofgem, the Government regulator for the electricity and gas market in Britain, has a statutory role to promote choice and value for all gas and electricity customers. It has proposed a certification scheme that will rate suppliers green credentials.
Energywatch head of campaigns, Jonathan Stern says: “Our recent research shows that the public are confused about which methods of generating energy are low carbon.”
Stern says that while the vast majority identify renewables as a low carbon method of energy production, only one-third correctly identify nuclear power.
Stern adds: “It is vital that Ofgem addresses this point. The final guidelines must introduce more clarity, not more confusion for customers.”
The NCC called for new guidelines and independent accreditation of green energy claims, to make suppliers come clean about how “green” their energy actually is.
NCC senior policy advisor Cassie Higgs says: “Ofgem has accepted the need for such guidelines, which is welcome. But many consumers could still be confused if the information is not easily understood.”