Big Six energy supplier E.ON will become the UK’s biggest renewable power firm from Tuesday as bosses revealed they would only provide electricity from renewable generation for its 3.3 million customers, the company announced.
Bosses said they are responding to calls from households for suppliers to do more to address climate change and be more sustainable.
Around half of all the electricity going into homes signed up with E.ON will be generated by the German supplier’s own renewable sites or via direct agreements with independent renewable generators.
Climate change is the defining issue of our era, and one that energy customers are increasingly concerned about
The rest will be from traditional sources, such as gas and coal-fired power stations, but will be offset by E.ON buying Renewable Energy Certificates, which guarantee the equivalent amount of renewable electricity was generated to the amount supplied.
E.ON currently has five offshore windfarms, 16 onshore sites, and three biofuel facilities in the UK.
It also has deals in place with 16 other renewable sites across the country.
E.ON UK chief executive Michael Lewis said: “Climate change is the defining issue of our era, and one that energy customers are increasingly concerned about.
“We believe large-scale action can make significant change possible and we’re committed to playing a leading role and setting an example for others to follow, that’s why we’re providing all of our residential customers with 100% renewable electricity as standard – a change at a scale never seen before in Britain.”
The Big Six, which also includes British Gas, SSE, Npower, EDF and Scottish Power, have all been slow to introduce renewable tariffs to customers.
Most “green” tariffs tend to attract a premium with the Big Six, but E.ON has said there will be no extra cost associated with the changes announced on Tuesday.
However Scottish Power, which also has a significant power generation division, did announce last year that it would only generate electricity from wind – selling off its last gas and hydro stations to Drax last year for £702 million.
E.ON added that a recent survey found 61% of the British public said they would be likely to change to a renewable tariff, if reasonably priced.
Around 77% said they were concerned with climate change, and 79% said they could improve their own sustainable behaviour.