Scottish Power boss calls out smaller rivals on ‘green’ credentials

Scottish Power is greener than many of its smaller rivals who trade “pieces of paper” that allow them to claim they offer 100% renewable electricity, the company’s boss has said.

Keith Anderson hit out at smaller rivals who buy certificates in order to be able to market their electricity as green without having to generate green electricity themselves.

“Show me a piece of paper that tackles climate change. I’ll show you what I’m doing: I’m investing in onshore wind farms, and I’m investing in offshore wind farms,” he told the PA news agency.

Scottish Power not only provides renewable energy, but all the electricity it generates comes from green sources.

Mr Anderson’s comments come after consumer champion Which? reported that only four suppliers actually said they have their own renewable generation, while six others do through their parent companies.

But many buy so-called Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (Regos), which allow them to say they are supplying green energy, without producing it.

Many suppliers offer 100% renewable tariffs but only buy part of their energy directly from renewable suppliers, the rest is done through Regos.

Mr Anderson’s comments also came as Scottish Power called on the Government and regulators to let companies invest in more infrastructure to help Britain reach its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Around 4,000 charging points for electric cars and domestic heat pumps will need to be installed every day until the middle of the century to achieve the goal, which was adopted by the Government earlier this year, according to a new report from the supplier.

But current rules led industry regulator Ofgem to turn down Scottish Power’s plans to invest £42 million to encourage people to buy electric cars.

Funding rules allow companies to charge customers an added cost on their energy bills to fund upgrades to the infrastructure. However the grid and suppliers need permission from Ofgem.

Regulators and authorities need a wake-up call, the chief executive said. They offer “nice” bonuses like free parking or access to bus lanes to electric car drivers.

“Fundamentally, you need to be able to charge your car. So you need a charge point at home, you need a charge coin at a supermarket, you need a charge point at your office … If you don’t build and invest in that infrastructure today, people will never have the confidence to switch,” said Mr Anderson.

Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, Steve Rotheram
Keith Anderson launched a new scheme to boost local drives towards lowering emissions (Scottish Power/PA)

In a letter to the Guardian, Ofgem said Scottish Power did not demonstrate how the infrastructure would be used by customers.

Mr Anderson called for regulation to be decentralised to allow cities and communities a voice.

“There’s no point in a regulator sitting in London trying to pretend they know how to do it all. What we need to do is get cities like Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, communities like Dumfries and Galloway, or East Anglia involved, saying ‘Here’s how we want to do this’ for our city, for our region,” he said.

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