OVO Energy dumps coal

The energy company OVO Energy has announced it has dropped coal from its fuel mix and reduced its carbon footprint by 34%.

The firm said it has spent the last 12 months with the Government, regulators and an independent generator on a new market mechanism to cut carbon emissions and remove coal from its fuel mix.

OVO Energy operates several energy supply companies with local authorities, including Cheshire East Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

The company said it is the first supplier in the UK to voluntarily add a premium to Gas Generator Certificates.

By paying generators, which produce electricity from gas rather than coal as an extra ‘top up payment’, OVO Energy can reward gas and squeeze out coal, without customers paying a penalty for their cleaner energy.

“As an energy supplier, it's our responsibility to make sure we're offering great service, terrific value and responsibly sourced energy,” said company founder and Chief Executive, Stephen Fitzpatrick.

“I'm delighted that we've reduced our carbon footprint by 34% whilst still giving our customers value for money.

“We're committed to increasing the volume of renewables in our fuel mix and I feel proud to be leading the market in finding smarter ways of doing this,” he added.

The move was welcomed by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, who said: “Harnessing the power of consumers to push for such a change shows that the energy market can help deliver a lower carbon economy. We welcome companies like OVO innovating in this way.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues