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Energy explained

Good green news from E.ON, but there’s more to do

A picture of a wind farm in the UK

Today, E.ON announced they’re switching their 3.3 million residential energy customers to 100% renewable electricity. It’s great to see one of the Big Six drive the market for green energy, but there’s more they could do to champion renewables.

We started Bulb to help people lower their bills and cut carbon emissions. At the time we founded the company, there weren’t any energy companies providing affordable, renewable energy for homes in the UK. We were proud to bring cheaper, greener energy to these homes. Today, E.ON announced they will now supply 100% renewable electricity to 3.3 million homes at no extra cost. This is good news, and a step in the right direction. For too long, the big energy companies have been slow to champion renewables. But there’s more E.ON could do to support the transition to a greener, cleaner energy system.

This change will drive the market for green energy

This change will see significantly more people supplied by renewables, helping to drive the market for green energy. As more and more people make the switch, more renewable generation will need to be built to meet this demand. We hope the move by E.ON will encourage even more people to switch to green energy, especially as it’s clearer than ever that renewables don’t have to be more expensive.

E.ON could do more to champion renewables

While we welcome the news from E.ON today, they aren’t becoming a 100% renewable supplier, and aren’t changing the origin of the gas they supply. There’s more they could do to support renewables.

Despite the change, E.ON’s overall electricity fuel mix will not be 100% renewable. The switch to green energy doesn’t apply to their business energy customers, who buy around half of the electricity they supply. This means they’ll continue to supply dirty energy. We believe it's important for suppliers to be 100% renewable for all their customers, not just for some. We’d like to see E.ON go 100% renewable across the board.

E.ON won’t be changing the origin of the gas they supply either. Their gas will still be sourced from conventional fossil fuel gas. At Bulb, we supply 100% carbon neutral gas to all our members. 10% is green gas produced from renewable sources like food or farm waste. And we offset the rest of the gas we supply by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world. We’d like to see E.ON supply 100% carbon neutral gas along with their renewable electricity.

E.ON are purchasing some of their electricity on the wholesale market with Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin certificates, or REGOs. By matching the electricity bought with REGOs, every unit of electricity supplied can be traced back to a renewable source. But it’s important that this ‘matching’ happens close to the time that you bought the power. At Bulb, we ‘match’ monthly. Every month, we buy REGOs to match the electricity our members have used in that month. Doing this means that whenever we buy electricity from the wholesale market, the REGOs that we’ve bought along with it closely represent the renewable power that’s available in the grid at that time. It also means we aren’t able to buy cheaper REGOs on a seasonal basis. For example, we can’t buy cheaper solar REGOs from the summer to cover our members’ energy use in the winter. We’d like to see E.ON ‘match’ monthly too.

Today’s news marks significant progress. When we started Bulb, we wanted to lead the way to a greener, cleaner energy system. It feels good to see that change happening, especially as the UK public are the driving force behind it. But we’d like to see E.ON take further steps to green up their supply. And then there’s the rest of the Big Six who are yet to join the renewable revolution. Onwards – we’re excited to continue the mission.

What do you think of E.ON’s news? Join the conversation in the Bulb Community.