SmartestEnergy hopes that the new product, which has been assessed and certified by independent consultancy The Carbon Trust, will provide businesses with confidence to report zero carbon emissions from their purchased electricity supply.

Customers can trace back every megawatt hour to the source of origin, which is then tracked and allocated an ‘Emissions Factor Model’ to report the exact carbon footprint of the electricity used.

SmartestEnergy, an edie Leaders Club partner, also undertakes a process which conducts regular monitoring to ensure there are sufficient certificates to meet supply.

The supplier’s chief executive Robert Groves said: “With so many businesses making public commitments about carbon reduction, we are proud to offer the most transparent renewable electricity supply in the UK market. We have worked closely with the Carbon Trust to ensure it will meet the strict audit standards that can help businesses to demonstrate their low carbon credentials.”

“Supplying renewable electricity is a growing part of our business and we are seeing more and more of our business customers ask us for certificate-backed renewable electricity products.”

‘Do the right thing’

Underpinning the initiative is SmartestEnergy’s Tariff Emission Factor Model, which sees the company allocate renewable energy certificates to specific tariffs and customers; creating a certified link between energy generation and end consumers.

Last year, the firm launched the UK’s first energy labels, which specifies the source and carbon content of the electricity customers buy, and has issued them to more than 500 companies for 3TWh of renewable power.

SmartestEnergy’s renewable energy electricity products comply with the global Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance, published in 2015, enabling businesses to report on the emissions from their purchased electricity in accordance with a strict set of criteria.

Commenting on the new tariff, the Carbon Trust’s managing director advisory Hugh Jones said: “A number of the companies we advise are committing to science-based carbon reduction targets and joining initiatives such as the RE100, so it’s crucial for them to be confident in the provenance of the electricity they are being supplied with.

“Organisations are trying to do the right thing but they need to have confidence in the level of assurance available for what they are buying. We are pleased to be working with SmartestEnergy to bring the required level of rigour to the electricity market to allow companies to take more control of their emissions.”

Market research

In addition to providing renewable electricity products, SmartestEnergy has been researching the energy market, noting which trends could accelerate the low-carbon transition while boosting revenues simultaneously. In a recent blog for edie, SmartestEnergy marketing chief Mike Shirley analysed why more companies aren’t choosing to buy renewable electricity. 

Last year, the company released a report detailing how on-site energy generation projects across the UK had more than doubled in the past four years, with businesses producing almost £100m worth of electricity in 2015 alone.

SmartestEnergy has also conducted research into the potential of energy storage. A report from August claimed that the business case for energy storage is being undermined by many uncertainties within the burgeoning sector, such as limited revenue streams and grid services contract availability.

In recent times, SmartestEnergy has formed cross-sector collaborations to help businesses reduce energy consumption. Last summer, it was reported that a demand response partnership with UK construction material manufacturer Saint-Gobain had made a total saving of £165,000 and an 11% fall in energy demand across Saint-Gobain’s 20 sites in the UK and Ireland. Meanwhile, a collaboration with Willmott Dixon will see the construction group’s dozen UK offices across its portfolio powered with renewable energy.

SmartestEnergy is the headline supporter of the edie Leaders Club – an exclusive, member-only programme of free, informal, peer-to-peer networking and events which creates the space for conversation and collaboration amongst senior sustainability professionals in the drive to effect transformational change. Find out more about the edie Leaders Club and submit your membership application here

George Ogleby

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