UK’s first renewable electricity supply scheme launched

A new energy label that specifies the source and carbon footprint of a company's electricity supply has been launched in the UK today (8 October), in a bid to boost business confidence in renewables.

Launched by independent renewable energy supplier SmartestEnergy and certified by the Carbon Trust, the new product allows businesses to know the green credentials of the electricity that they have purchased.

Businesses that use the prioduct will also recieve an annual energy label to show the source and carbon emissions of their supply. SmartestEnergy hopes this will help to support renewable energy generators and users in the wake of recent subsidy cuts. 

SmartestEnergy chief executive officer Robert Groves said: “A growing number of large businesses are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by buying 100% renewable electricity and we believe this energy label will support that ambition.

“Following the removal of the exemption from Climate Change Levy (CCL) for renewable power, we hope this product will help to create a viable market for renewable energy and support the UK achieving our 2020 carbon reduction targets.”

Green choices 

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

The energy labels – similar to those used for energy performance in buildings – will allow businesses to show the source, carbon footprint and point of generation of their electricity. Companies will also now have the ability to choose exactly which renewable technology their electricity is generated from, to suit their sustainability strategy.

Commenting on the new scheme, the Carbon Trust’s chief executive Tom Delay said: “This new service is providing exactly the kind of transparency required to ensure that suppliers of electricity are not contributing to double counting or under reporting of corporate emissions, by enabling certificates to be tracked and attributed to specific tariffs or customers.”


This is the latest in a line of new Carbon Trust-accredited initiatives that aim to drive business sustainability. Last month saw the launch of the Trust’s Standard for Supply Chain, which rewards companies that are championing sustainability across their supply chain. Earlier in the year, the Trust rolled out a new Water Footprint label which incentivises businesses to take a smarter approach to water consumption.

SmartestEnergy’s new energy label product aims to reeassure businesses that use renewable energy at a time when the new Government has removed subsidies for generators, pulled the plug on key energy efficiency schemes and put plans in place to sell off the Green Investment Bank.

The removal of the tax exemption for renewables under the CCL -valued at £5.50 per MWh – was announced as part of the Conservative Party’s ’emergency budget’ in July. The Treasury has since launched a consultation on reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape, which would potentially see the carbon reduction commitment (CRC) and the CCL replaced by a new energy consumption tax, based on the CCL.

Matt Mace

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