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United Kingdom

Green groups critise accreditation scheme

A government accreditation scheme to reassure customers of the environmental credentials of "green power" sales has been criticised for not going far enough by the Confederation of Renewable Energy Associations (CREA). It takes issue with outline proposals for the scheme, to be introduced early in 1999. Green electricity customers want to contribute to a reduction in the amount of pollution generated from fossil fuels and nuclear power, explains Nick Goodall, chair of CREA. This will only happen if new renewable energy plants get built. "The proposed scheme will leave it up to individuals to decide whether companies selling renewable electricity will use the profits generated to invest in new plant," he says. CREA urges that customers considering a green tariff scheme should satisfy themselves that it will deliver extra renewable electricity. They should specifically ask whether it is units of electricity generated by existing renewable plant that are on offer, or a promise to build plants in the future. Furthermore, they need to know whether renewable plants have already been built or are planned as a result of the scheme, how much the electricity will cost compared with other supplies, and whether the company has a target for renewables.

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