OVO Cuts The Carbon - OVO Group


16 October 2015

OVO Energy becomes first mainstream energy company to eradicate dirty coal from fuel mix.

  • Pioneering gas certificate mechanism paves the way for cost-effective decarbonisation of the industry
  • The move has been welcomed by Government and green groups as a bold and innovative contribution toward wider efforts to reduce carbon emissions and ultimately force coal out of the UK energy market
  • Eliminating coal, the most polluting form of power generation, from our fuel mix, sees OVO Energy today announcing a carbon intensity reduction of 34% versus last year

Eschewing the industry status quo, OVO Energy has spent the last 12 months working with Government, the regulator and an independent generator on an innovative market mechanism to dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions and also scrub coal from its fuel mix. OVO has been determined to find a way to provide low carbon energy whilst still offering the best possible deal for customers.

Coal produces twice the carbon emissions of gas, as well as being responsible for a host of devastating environmental and health impacts. Despite this, it still makes up 26.7% of the UK’s electricity mix.


Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO, OVO Energy said;

“As an energy supplier, it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re offering great service, terrific value and responsibly sourced energy. I’m delighted that we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by 34% whilst still giving our customers value for money.


We’re committed to increasing the volume of renewables in our fuel mix and I feel proud to be leading the market in finding smarter ways of doing this.”


How it works

Power stations receive ‘generator certificates’ proving they have produced power. Suppliers use these to certify the type of power used in their fuel mix. Certificates for renewable power also carry a ‘top up’ premium and are tradeable commodities in their own right. OVO is the first supplier to voluntarily add a premium to Gas Generator Certificates.

By paying generators which produce electricity from gas rather than coal as an extra ‘top up payment’, OVO can reward gas and squeeze out coal, without customers paying a penalty for their cleaner energy.


The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change commented:


“We are committed to keeping bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses and cutting carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible. Moving from unabated coal to gas is going to be an important part of our transition to a low carbon economy.

“Harnessing the power of consumers to push for such a change shows that the energy market can help deliver a lower carbon economy. We welcome companies like OVO innovating in this way.”


Dr Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace UK said:

“We’ve long known that coal is the dirtiest way of generating power so it’s good to see a company like OVO Energy getting out of it. It shows that not only is there an environmental case against the climate and air pollution it causes, but also a market case that it’s losing any attractiveness it once had. There is a golden opportunity for the UK Government to build on this by setting a coal phase-out date early in the 2020s and telling the rest of the world at the Paris climate talks that ending coal is possible.”

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