DONG Energy will cover additional costs of UK businesses “going green”, so that they can access renewable electricity and achieve their sustainability ambitions without commercial disadvantage, the offshore wind developer informed today.
“We are taking this bold step because we believe that all businesses should have access to renewable electricity supply without paying a premium,” said Jeff Whittingham, Managing Director of DONG Energy Sales. “If we are to embrace a truly sustainable energy future, we will need to take an integrated and forward-thinking approach to energy. One part of this is putting renewable electricity on an equal footing with traditional ‘brown energy’ sources.”
In 2001, the Government introduced the Climate Change Levy, a tax designed to encourage businesses to use less energy. Businesses that purchased renewable electricity could gain exemption from the tax by purchasing Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs). This drove a high demand for renewable supply in the UK and resulted in renewable electricity selling at a similar or lower price to brown electricity.
Last year, the Government announced that the exemption would be phased out from August 2015. As a result, demand for renewable electricity has once again become a sustainability choice for businesses.
The Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates, used as evidence for the source of renewable electricity supply, now hold a value in the market and renewable electricity is sold at a premium to brown. Businesses leading in carbon reduction have paid this premium for renewable allowing them to report lower carbon emissions in market based greenhouse gas (GHG) assessments and therefore receiving the reputational benefits of committing to sustainability.
DONG Energy said it believes that all businesses should have access to renewable electricity supply without incurring additional cost.
Jeff Whittingham said: “We are making this announcement at a time of tight budgets and fierce competition for businesses of all types and sizes who are under growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and develop a sustainable business.”
“It is also a time when cost is key and the additional financial burden of buying renewable energy might be difficult for some companies to justify on a commercial basis.”