Skip to content

ASA Uphold Complaint Against Good Energy

January 2, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Philip Bratby

 

 

The Advertising Standards Authority have upheld another complaint against Good Energy:

 

image

Background

THIS RULING REPLACES THAT PUBLISHED ON 28 FEBRUARY 2018. THE WORDING OF THE ASSESSMENT HAS CHANGED BUT THE DECISION TO UPHOLD REMAINS.

Ad description

A website for Good Energy, http://www.goodenergy.co.uk, seen in September 2017, stated on a page titled Our fuel mix: “At Good Energy, we believe the UK can be powered purely by renewables. We source all our electricity from renewable sources like solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power and biofuels. We always have done and we always will”. The text was positioned next to a graphic which displayed Good Energy’s fuel mix which it stated was 100% renewables, in comparison to the UK average fuel mix. The page continued with a description of Good Energy’s fuel mix.

The page went on to explain “Over the course of the year, energy suppliers must purchase sufficient electricity to feed into the national electricity grid to cover the amount their customers take out. At the end of each year, suppliers must disclose their fuel mix to the electricity and gas regulator, Ofgem. This information is published annually to help consumers make informed choices about their electricity supplier. At Good Energy, we ensure that all the electricity we sell to customers each year is matched 100% with electricity sourced from renewables”.

Text underneath the heading “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and nuclear waste” stated “An average unit of electricity in the UK (a kilowatt hour or kWh) results in 360g of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 0.007g of radioactive waste. But the electricity we supply contains 0g of CO2 and no radioactive waste. This will never change”.

Issue

The complainant, who understood that Good Energy made use of biomass energy, which they understood produces more CO2 than coal when burnt, challenged whether the claim that the electricity supplied by Good Energy contained 0 g of CO2 was misleading.

 

The full decision is here.

 

It is a pity the original complaint did not also challenge the notion that even over the life cycle burning biomass is “carbon neutral”.

If anybody sees Good Energy making similar dubious claims in future, let me know, and I will contact the ASA.

Advertisements
27 Comments
  1. Trevor Shurmer permalink
    January 2, 2019 10:37 am

    HI, I haven’t followed this to the letter – presumably Good Energy are different to my (apologies for using them, I will change my supplier!!) supplier, Cooperative Energy who make similar invalid claims? https://www.cooperativeenergy.coop/why-us/our-energy/our-energy-sources/

  2. January 2, 2019 10:56 am

    Just like Drax, with its ‘renewable’ sustainable biomass sourced from Louisiana and Mississippi. However, Drax claim a carbon [sic] emissions profile that is more than 80% lower than coal.
    https://www.drax.com/sustainability/sustainable-biomass-crosses-atlantic-power-nation/

  3. January 2, 2019 11:33 am

    The legal statement that biomass generated energy is CO2 neutral should be challenged.
    As I understand this stems from an EU dictat for administrative purposes but has no basis in fact. It is merely DEEMED as CO2 neutral.
    The ASA must be aware of this; but appears to have trod lightly round the matter in this ruling. The dilemma being whether to keep its legal nose clean or to defend the truth.

    Whatever: The public has a right to know the true facts. Namely that biomass generation generally produces more CO2 per KwHr. than fossil fuels.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 2, 2019 1:49 pm

      The ASA chooses to not upset the apple cart.

      They allow companies to use the farcical ‘annual equivalent quantity’ get-out in small print.

  4. Jon Scott permalink
    January 2, 2019 1:02 pm

    The whole concept of carbon neutral is just another trick up the slieve of those making huge proffits on the back of the Climate Pantomime.

  5. Sobaken permalink
    January 2, 2019 1:07 pm

    Why make it about biomass? Isn’t this just another of those scams where they buy “renewable certificates” and keep using the power from the grid whatever the weather?

  6. January 2, 2019 2:02 pm

    Birneyknowe wind farm rejection is welcomed by locals – Southern Reporter
    Published by SAS Volunteer on January 1, 2019
    By Kathryn Wylie
    The rejection of plans for a 15-turbine wind farm near Hawick has been
    hailed a victory for the communities which fought against the development
    for almost five years.
    Banks Renewables appealed to the Scottish Government after Scottish Borders
    more Via scotland against spin on Facebook

    • HotScot permalink
      January 3, 2019 5:36 pm

      stewgreen

      Excellent. One of my favoured areas for retirement in 3 or 4 years time! Although if the SNP are still in power I may well restrict my journey north to Cumbria.

  7. annbanisher permalink
    January 2, 2019 2:08 pm

    I can see this logic spreading to other industries.

    “At Good Food, we believe the UK can be fed purely by non-GMO Organics. We source all our food from healthy sources like tofu, almond milk, and organic fruits and vegetables. We always have done and we always will. Over the course of the year, food suppliers must purchase sufficient food to feed into the national grocery stores to cover the amount their customers take out. At the end of each year, suppliers must disclose their food mix to the Food und Beverage Agricultural Regulator, FuBAR. This information is published annually to help consumers make informed choices about their food supplier. At Good Food, we ensure that all the food we sell to customers each year is matched 100% with food sourced from non-GMO organics”.

    • January 2, 2019 2:29 pm

      Please don’t give the Government any more ideas to expand the nanny state.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 2, 2019 4:06 pm

      ” suppliers must disclose their food mix to the Food und Beverage Agricultural Regulator, FuBAR”

      Most recognise that acronym as representing ‘F@cked Up Beyond All Recognition’

      https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/FUBAR

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    January 2, 2019 2:08 pm

    Outfoxthemarket claim to supply 100% renewable energy – which of course they can’t. But I don’t care as I am using them because they are cheap, not to virtue signal.

  9. Ben Vorlich permalink
    January 2, 2019 2:50 pm

    I’d not come across Good Energy before so went and had a look at their website. All those statements about sourcing and energy mix still seem to be in place.
    They appear to have over 200K customers who are supplied by Good’s own wind and solar. Today wind and solar are supplying about 4GW (about 8% of demand), so it is pushing the bounds of credibility that all Good Energy’s customers will be getting 100% renewable today. They seem to have 35MW of solar and a similar amount of wind currently. On today’s grid data they’re probably producing at 10% of capacity between them, soon to drop as the sun sets. For 200,000 customers that’s a few hundred watts each.

    • January 2, 2019 5:18 pm

      Wed 2nd 5:10 pm (peak demand time): UK wind power down to 1.28GW, no solar. Ireland (all island) had only 62MW of wind power at 00:45, but 300+ MW was forecast.

  10. January 2, 2019 4:11 pm

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/?s=Doug+proctor+sunshine&submit=Search

    Paul – in 2011 I had an analysis done wirh your graphed data re UK bright sunshine vs max temp daily temps. 1930 to 2010. I found the results robust. The remaining changes were AO and PDO related heat release and take-up. The work was the best I could do but amateur.
    I would like to throw some cash at someone to take the updated data and redo the job professionally. You have any thoughts?

    • January 2, 2019 5:59 pm

      It would need a competent statistician, I would guess. Maybe Monckton might be interested?

  11. Athelstan permalink
    January 2, 2019 4:53 pm

    I always think that in a perfect world the green loons should be able to put their money where their mouth is and buy into an energy firm putting all its batteries and faith, hope and indulgences into a green future and the SJWs, swampies and civil servants, girlies can all buy into Enron Mk II.

    In contrast, the remainder of the UK public could choose to invest in real power to the people, a new bunch of firms dedicated to competition, and burning coal to produce electricity at the cheapest possible price…….

    I beg! let the buyer decide, because lets be honest, wherever the government dips its toes everybody is chilled to the bone and in shock – as is the economy stuck in reverse and permanent financial winter, is a very cold hell.

  12. Athelstan permalink
    January 2, 2019 4:54 pm

    i forgot to say, Happy New year Paul albeit belatedly and to all other commenters – too.

    • dave permalink
      January 2, 2019 5:46 pm

      In the meanwhile, and apropos “wot’s it all abaht then?”

      UAH and RSS agree that the global “satellite average of the brightness-temperature” in the troposphere was down 3/100 ths C from November to December. Yawn.

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 3, 2019 12:08 am

        It’s all background noize dave and no signal of any mankindness – evah.

      • dave permalink
        January 3, 2019 7:54 am

        Speaking qualitatively, and subjectively, the El Nino of 1998 seems to have “reset the thermostat” by + 0.3 C. There does not seem to have been the same effect from the 2016 El Nino. RSS have a button for showing the line of just the last four years’ data, and this is absolutely flat except for a few months when there is a bump. The El Nino simply comes and goes.

        Of course, compared to twenty years ago, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 10% higher!

        The warmunistas seem to be tied into a pretzel. When expressing their contempt for ordinary peoples’ aspirations, they point out how concentrations are rising (somehow, it is the fault of the countries which have stabilized their emissions, and not of the countries which have deliberately increased them.) But they do not move on to the obvious question, “Why, then, is not the effect of the steady rise blindingly clear?”

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 3, 2019 11:07 am

        erm maybe because they have the cause and effect totally the wrong ways about – perhaps ie CO₂ rises after ‘the cause’ = T rises? where CO₂ atmospheric proportions set as ‘rises’ are still where they were more or less ±390-400 ppm and equal say to the early 1990’s.

        Both numbers CO₂ and T’s are flatlining – imo.

  13. Engineer John permalink
    January 2, 2019 8:34 pm

    Interesting that this should appear on a cold windless night when it would appear that National Grid are stgruggling to keep the lights on (again) as there appears to be a shortage of nuclear as well as wind energy at the moment. See http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk So not much renewable energy being produced today!

  14. Thomas Carr permalink
    January 3, 2019 12:32 am

    Unfortunately Good Energy like so many other ‘green’ organisations feel able to rely on the poor short term memory and suggestability of people like myself when it comes to the plausible claims of the renewables lobby.

    So, as you have taught us, wind farm promoters persist in their claims about the power generating capacity of their schemes asserting generating potential in preference to generating actual.
    You have very helpfully pointed out these discrepancies and expressed them as the percentage of power delivered to the grid relative to the best theoretical output.

    I hope that you may find the time to publish on a regular basis the actual output relative to the optimum output . Regularly updated and graphically plotted this would do much to confront those ‘lying’ about green achievements.
    The national output from wind or all green sources expressed as a percentage of the promoters’ assertions when the schemes were first commissioned would drive the point home.

    Finally if the premium cost to consumers — and industry in particular — of the cost per Mwh or Kwh now being required over what would have been the combined coal fired and nuclear generators’ tariff could be known on a regular basis this might eventually bring reality home to what so far has been a credulous or resigned public.

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 3, 2019 11:09 am

      a rather a good post that, Thomas Carr.

      In answer to your question, er no I don’t think so, more’s the pity.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: