Good Energy

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Good Energy Group PLC
Public limited company
IndustryRenewable energy
Founded2003 (as Good Energy)
HeadquartersChippenham, Wiltshire, England
Key people
Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive
ProductsRenewable energy
Revenue£64,300,000 (2015)
Number of employees
276 (2015)
Websitegoodenergy.co.uk

Good Energy Group PLC is a British energy company based in Chippenham, Wiltshire that generates and purchases renewable electricity, and supplies electricity and gas to homes and businesses throughout the UK. Its CEO is Juliet Davenport.

History[edit]

The company was set up in 1997 as Ofex, an offshoot of the German power company Unit Energy Europe. The business was later bought by its management and changed its name to Good Energy in 2003.[1]

As of the end of June 2016 Good Energy supplied 72,250 customers with electricity and 43,000 with gas. The company also administered over 124,500 feed-in tariff generation sites in 2016, making it one of the largest feed-in tariff administrators in the UK.[2]

Good Energy has said its aim is to move the UK away from reliance on fossil-fuel, to a network of small, independent generators supplying local customers.[3] The company sources some of its power from 800 small and medium-sized, distributed renewable electricity generators across the country, as well as investing in its own generation sources.[4]

In 2012 Good Energy Group was listed on the Alternative Investment Market and raised an additional £4 million of investment.[1][5]

On 10 March 2015, Good Energy announced it had partnered with energy start-up Open Utility to trial the UK's first renewable energy marketplace, 'Piclo', where generators and consumers buy and sell renewable energy directly at prices they agree on. The 6-month trial began in October 2015, and was funded by the DECC Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and Nominet Trust. It was also supported by Ofgem, the energy industry regulator.[6]

In early 2016, 6.8% of the shares of the company were bought by their rival Ecotricity, making them the second largest shareholder.[7] Ecotricity increased their holding to almost 25% in October 2016,[8] and 25.3% by August 2017.[9]

Operations[edit]

As of June 2017, Good Energy had two wind farms (at Delabole, north Cornwall, and Hampole, South Yorkshire) and eight solar farms.[10]

Delabole wind farm was the first commercial wind farm in the UK. In December 2008, planning approval was granted to Good Energy in order to refurbish (repower) the wind farm. The development was financed by an £11.8 million package including a £9.6 million loan from the Co-operative Bank and £2.2 million equity from Good Energy Group's own resources. In August 2010 the ten original turbines were replaced by four more powerful turbines[11] and in February 2011 Delabole was officially reopened.[12] In January 2013, Good Energy launched a community tariff offering people living near the wind farm a 20 per cent discount on their energy bills.[13]

In December 2017, the company announced that two solar sites would return to community ownership.[10] After announcing reduced profits for 2017, the company stated that it was seeking buyers for the remaining solar and wind sites, and would become a provider of decentralised energy services such as electric vehicle charging and battery storage.[14]

Praise and awards[edit]

An independent review from the National Consumer Council in 2006 stated: “For those consumers who want a green electricity supply, pure and simple, (Good Energy's) is probably the closest they will get to it.”[15] The NCC also found that, of twelve green supply tariffs, Good Energy's was one of only two that were going farther than they are required to by law[16] (but see criticism section below). A 2007 Guardian article echoed the NCC's belief that Good Energy's was the best green tariff [17] and Good Energy has also been named Best Buy for green electricity by Ethical Consumer magazine.[18]

Which? magazine named Good Energy best utility company for customer service in 2010, 2012, 2013,[19] and best energy company for customer service in 2014.[20]

Good Energy has won awards including: the Sunday Times' best Green Company, the Sustainable Housing Awards' Sustainable Innovation award for its HotROCs scheme, the Micropower Award for Innovation,[21] the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Environment,[22] the British Renewable Energy Company Award,[23] the Observer Ethical Award for Best Online Retail Initiative[24] and PLUS Markets CEO of the Year in 2010.[25][26]

Lobbying activities[edit]

Good Energy campaigns for more renewable generation in the UK and was one of the signatories to the 2009 Ofgem guidelines which aimed to clear up confusion over 'green' energy tariffs.[27]

In 2006, Good Energy commissioned Oxford University's Environmental Change Unit to review the green electricity market. Their report [28] put a strong case for an accreditation scheme to advise customers.

Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy, sat on the Renewables Advisory Board until it was abolished in 2010[29] and, formerly, on the Board of Regen SW, the South West’s renewable energy agency.[30] She still sits on Ofgem’s Environment and Advisory group[31] and Ofgem’s Microgeneration Steering Group.[32][33]

Criticism[edit]

In 2005 an article by The Ecologist magazine noted that Good Energy had not invested directly in constructing new renewable capacity, instead purchasing electricity from third parties: "The reality is that switching to Good Energy has made absolutely no immediate difference to the source of electrons that powered my kettle. My electricity, like everyone else's connected to the UK's national grid, still comes mainly from whatever the closest power station is [...] So what is happening? When a company offers you a '100 per cent green' tariff what it is actually saying is that for every unit of electricity you use it will provide the national grid with the same amount but from a renewable source." [34]

Since then, however, Good Energy upgraded Delabole wind farm, replacing its turbines and increasing its output[35][36] and seven other generating sites. It also provides support to over 800 independent generators in the UK.[37]

Good Energy validates its claim of supplying 100% renewably generated electricity through the Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin scheme.[38][39] It also stated that on its main tariff it retires Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) at an equivalent economic value of 5% above statutory compliance levels that apply to all electricity suppliers.

In 2009 Dale Vince, chief executive of rival company Ecotricity, accused Good Energy of deliberately misleading customers over Renewables Obligation Certificates retirement and called on the National Consumer Council to amend or retract its report.[40] However, Good Energy issued an open letter as a rebuttal, indicating the issue was a fair accounting matter: the company retired additional "ROC financial equivalents" rather than undiscounted ROCs,[41] which was perhaps not well communicated to customers.[42]

In May 2012, Good Energy received criticism for using G4S Utility Services as their meter-reading contractor.[43] Good Energy responded that the relationship was the result of their original contractor Accuread being acquired by G4S in 2008. Due to ethical considerations, Good Energy discontinued their contract with G4S Utility Services and in April 2013 appointed an independent company, Lowri Beck, as their exclusive contractor to provide meter reading services.[44]

In early 2017, the animal rights group Viva! raised concerns about living conditions for pigs at a farm in Somerset which supplied slurry to a nearby anaerobic digester operated by Wkye Farms, from which Good Energy bought some electricity.[45] The pig farm was reported to have closed in March 2018.[46]

In July 2017 it was alleged that there were "concerning" transactions involving Good Energy and the CEO’s husband, and a "lack of corporate governance".[47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andrew Hore. "AIM Investor: Good Energy". Cleantech Investor. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Interim Report 2016" (PDF). Good Energy Group PLC. September 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  3. ^ "How we achieve a 100% renewable future". Good Energy. October 18, 2010. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Good Energy generation sites". Good Energy. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ Giles Gwinnett (25 July 2012). "Good Energy Group to raise 4 million in placing as makes AIM debut". Proactive Investors UK. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  6. ^ Stoker, Liam (1 October 2015). "Trading starts on Good Energy-backed energy market service Piclo". Solar Power Portal. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  7. ^ Timperley, Jocelyn (16 June 2016). "Ecotricity snaps up stake in arch-rival Good Energy". businessGreen. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Holding(s) in Company - RNS". London Stock Exchange. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Vegan millionaire eco-warrior Dale Vince surrenders in battle with rival Good Energy". thisismoney.co.uk. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Good Energy passes solar sites back into community ownership". Good Energy. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Delabole wind farm is redeveloped". BBC. 19 August 2010.
  12. ^ "Chris Huhne reopens Cornwall's Delabole wind farm". BBC. 22 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Good Energy green lights first community wind farm tariff". Business Green. 10 January 2013.
  14. ^ Stoker, Liam (21 March 2018). "Supply market headwinds blow Good Energy on course for 'exciting position' in decentralised energy". Clean Energy News. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Reality or rhetoric? Green tariffs for domestic consumers" (PDF). The National Consumer Council. December 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-31.
  16. ^ GRÁINNE GILMORE (January 6, 2007). "Grey areas with green energy". London: The Times.
  17. ^ Leo Hickman (March 15, 2007). "Your ethical dilemmas sorted". The Guardian.
  18. ^ "Ethical Consumer Magazine Launch Best Buy Label", Ethical Consumer
  19. ^ Which?, Smaller suppliers come out on top 2013, http://www.which.co.uk/news/2013/01/which-reveals-best-and-worst-energy-companies-308142/
  20. ^ Which?, Energy companies rated, http://www.which.co.uk/switch/energy-suppliers/energy-companies-rated
  21. ^ "Good Energy Wins Micropower Award for Innovation" (Press Release)
  22. ^ "Local company wins award for Outstanding Contribution to the environment" (Press Release)
  23. ^ "Good Energy Wins British Renewable Energy Award" (Press Release)
  24. ^ "Good Energy Shop wins Observer Ethical Award" (Press Release)
  25. ^ "Juliet Davenport wins PLUS CEO of the Year 2010", Financial Express (UK)
  26. ^ "The PLUS Awards winners are announced", PLUS Markets Group
  27. ^ Juliet Davenport (February 9, 2009). "We must tackle these false claims for domestic green power tariffs". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "Oxford University's Environmental Change Unit report" (PDF). June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27.
  29. ^ "What happens if the green quangos are axed?", The Guardian, 24 September 2010
  30. ^ "Who we are", Regen SW
  31. ^ Ofgem Environmental Advisory Group
  32. ^ Juliet Davenport - Biography
  33. ^ Juliet Davenport National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
  34. ^ Jeremy Smith (1 June 2005). "Green Electricity… Are you being conned?". The Ecologist. Archived from the original on 2006-05-23.
  35. ^ Enercons Magazine "Wind Blatt" February 2010
  36. ^ "Chris Huhne reopens Cornwall's Delabole wind farm". BBC News Online. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  37. ^ "House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Select Committee Inquiry into Energy Market Reform".
  38. ^ "Glossary". Good Energy. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  39. ^ "FAQs". Green Energy Scheme. National Energy Foundation. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  40. ^ "Good Energy accused of misleading green tariff customers". BusinessGreen.com. The Guardian. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  41. ^ Juliet Davenport (20 May 2009). "Open letter to Good Energy's customers and other interested parties explaining its ROC retirement policy (Press Release)". Good Energy. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012.
  42. ^ Juliet Davenport (18 May 2009). "Action needed to close the green energy loophole". Click Green. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  43. ^ "Many reasons to stop G4S". Corporate Watch. May 21, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  44. ^ "Good Energy". www.goodenergy.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-10-31.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  45. ^ "INVESTIGATION: LAMBROOK PIG FARM, SHEPTON MALLET". Viva!. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  46. ^ Chiorando, Maria (29 March 2018). "'Hell Hole' Pig Farm Closes After Expose Reveals Squalid Conditions". Plant Based News. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  47. ^ "'Concerning' transactions involving Good Energy and CEO's husband behind Ecotricity board request". Clean Energy News. Retrieved 2017-07-29.

External links[edit]