Big Six energy supplier E.ON will become the UK’s biggest renewable power
firm from Tuesday as bosses revealed they would only provide electricity
from renewable generation for its 3.3 million customers, the company
Bosses said they are responding to calls from households for suppliers to
do more to address climate change and be more sustainable.
Around half of all the electricity going into homes signed up with E.ON
will be generated by the German supplier’s own renewable sites or via
direct agreements with independent renewable generators.
The rest will be from traditional sources, such as gas and coal-fired power
stations, but will be offset by E.ON buying Renewable Energy Certificates,
which guarantee the equivalent amount of renewable electricity was
generated to the amount supplied.
E.ON currently has five offshore windfarms, 16 onshore sites, and three
biofuel facilities in the UK.
It also has deals in place with 16 other renewable sites across the country.
E.ON UK chief executive Michael Lewis said: “Climate change is the defining
issue of our era, and one that energy customers are increasingly concerned
“We believe large-scale action can make significant change possible and
we’re committed to playing a leading role and setting an example for others
to follow, that’s why we’re providing all of our residential customers with
100% renewable electricity as standard – a change at a scale never seen
before in Britain.”
The Big Six, which also includes British Gas, SSE, Npower, EDF and Scottish
Power, have all been slow to introduce renewable tariffs to customers.
Most “green” tariffs tend to attract a premium with the Big Six, but E.ON
has said there will be no extra cost associated with the changes announced
However Scottish Power, which also has a significant power generation
division, did announce last year that it would only generate electricity
from wind – selling off its last gas and hydro stations to Drax last year
for £702 million.
E.ON added that a recent survey found 61% of the British public said they
would be likely to change to a renewable tariff, if reasonably priced.
Around 77% said they were concerned with climate change, and 79% said they
could improve their own sustainable behaviour.