New Green Jack New Green Jack

106 responses to “Good (Energy) Lies”

    • Will

      Sounds like a job for the Office of Fair Trading and Advertising Standards Authority.

      All their customers should be able to claim refunds.

        • Hilary

          thanks for putting this up, just thought i’d mention freewheeler’s advertise good energy, I couldn’t quite work out how to send them a link to this blog – but would be a good idea.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      oh… that looks really bad. I hope FOE, NCC et al really change their minds and investigate this further.
      That’s really unprofessional on GE’s part…

        • Good Energy

          Ecotricity is making some very serious allegations here, which we have been aware of for some time. These have been investigated by third parties and found to have no substance to them.

          It has always been Good Energy’s stated policy to provide some additionality to our renewable offering by retiring ROCs above and beyond our legal obligation. This we have done, as the published Ofgem figures show. We have no legal obligation to do this, and, we believe, we’re the only electricity supplier to go above and beyond our legal duty. We are independently audited and publish proof of our activity in our annual reports every year.

          Good Energy believes that recent unsubstantiated allegations in relation to our retirement of ROCs stem from a mis-understanding over our position. This clearly highlights is the need for greater transparency in the electricity markets about what consumers are buying in their supply. A step towards this is coming with the new green supply guidelines due in later this year from Ofgem. These guidelines will highlight the fuel mix in your supply – exposing those suppliers who make claims to renewable supply despite buying a majority of their electricity from ‘brown’ sources. It is no wonder that one of our closest competitors is engaged such a cynical move to discredit Good Energy, and seeks to oppose stricter controls over ‘green’ tariffs. Good Energy is one of the original signatories to these guidelines and we look forward to their introduction.

          Our customers come to Good Energy because they know we are the only dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier in the UK. This is what is important to us and to them. Only 100% renewable electricity. If only our competitors could say the same thing.

    • David Hopkins

      Looks like sour grapes from Eco-T I have to say.

      As far as I can see from their materials – and I am a customer of theirs – they retire ROCs “to the financial equivalent of 5%”, quite a different proposition to actual 5%. If you look at their annual reports, this is what they have offered consistently over the years. In this scenario they go appx 3.75% over the obligatory limit. The figures clearly show they retire the ROCs they are obliged and supposed to and then retire some more – it is plain as anything. The target they set to go beyond the legal minimum – as I understand it – was purely arbitrary and internal as there is no law governing how much you should retire above your legal minimum. The fact they go beyond their legal minimum is a good thing don;t you think?

      And most of their customers care not one toss for ROC retirement. They care about getting 100% renewable. Not coal, gas or nuclear which is mostly what they get from Ecotricity. This is why I am a customer. If it says renewable on the tin it should be renewable – nothing else.

      I could be wrong but at first glance your blog-posting look fairly libellous to me!

      I notice you don;t publish your own figures.

        • frugalista

          Sour grapes? Hmm – brutal honesty more like. Could do with a bit more of that in the world.

          There is much history behind this, and I don’t blame Dale for getting annoyed at all.

          As an Ecotricity customer who has also kept an eye on the rest of the ‘green energy’ market – I think he is being fairly restrained!

          If you make a promise to people (especially promises that you make to try and attract customers), and it turns out that you can’t meet it – then it is only fair to tell those people.

          Legal requirements have nothing to do with it. This is an honesty/integrity/transparency thing. If most Good Energy customers don’t care about ROC retiral – why was the promise made?

        • Carly

          Surely though, if people truly care about making a difference and reducing the UKs carbon emissions, they would want to actually ensure that more green energy is being produced and that the ability to do so is increased?

          Ecotricity demonstrate this perfectly by INVESTING. Who cares if you have a 50% green tariff with 50% brown if you are actually making a difference? Which customers of ecotricity are quite clearly doing if you look at their fuel mix over the last 3-4 years? The amount of green electricity in the mix has dramatically increased because of the customers that they have! GE, to my knowledge don’t invest a penny at the moment, so how are they reducing the demand for brown energy in the future?

          I think what were also missing is that eco do have a 100% green tariff which does do what it says on the tin.

          I agree with frugalista, promises like this should be kept, regardless of whether you HAVE to do it or not…if your using it as a sales tactic…that promise should be kept…

            • Xena

              Dishonesty by businesses in general consistently disgusts me – they’re mostly out for profit to fill pockets of fatcats or shareholders (or both). So rarely these days does a company actually care about their customers/potential customers. It’s just a long chain of corporate bull***t.
              It shouldn’t be allowed to continue. I think GE should be subject to a thorough investigation by Ofgem, publicly shamed if they are found to be misleading customers, and monitored closely to stop them coming out with heaps more rubbish.
              If it weren’t for companies like Ecotricity who are honest in their dealings with consumers, and are trying as hard as they can to make a difference, this sort of issue would never come to light.
              Lets hope that Eco grows and grows over the coming years and continues to set the example… and maybe even become the UK’s biggest supplier one day

        • Jeffrey Lam

          “I notice you don;t publish your own figures.”
          Fuel mix is published in the progress report here.

          Ecotricity have never claimed to retire ROCs as far as I’m aware. So naturally one would expect ROC retirement to equal zero.

    • Chris

      Stories like this really do none of us any good.

      A certain breed of customer (mainly the ones who don’t have the time to trawl the internet all day), will simply dismiss this as ‘green energy suppliers are all a load of crooks, so I may as well stick with my cheap and easy brown energy’.

      The system is far too complex for its own good. Can’t we just buy green electricity from an honest company?

        • Jeffrey Lam

          Just a thought…
          yes and no.
          An honest company may well address all issues, but everyone (without exception) needs scrutiny by someone, then others will trust those who come out clean.
          In the same way, we can’t just buy organic products from an (allegedly) honest company, or fairtrade products from an (allegedly) honest company, or other ethical product…

          Collectively, we have no excuse to not watch what companies are doing. Unfortunately, we don’t individually all have the ability/knowhow. So we have to rely on others to do the scrutiny and do our best to understand it.

    • DaveAngel

      Ohhh murky murky. But i’m with Frugalista … business these days lacks this kind of straight talking.

    • JH

      I’ve had discussions in the past with good energy. asking them questions, trying to find out why I should switch to them.

      The response was very positive, they told me all about the ROCs retired, and all about the money they had invested.
      They said this:
      “In 2008/2009 Good Energy has invested around £12 million in commercial wind farms”

      Now perhaps a ‘normal’ consumer wouldn’t question this, however, working for the electricity industry i did – i asked, where and when has this money been invested?

      To which there response was this :
      “To clarify on investment – we are planning to invest between £10 and 15M into our wind farm at Delabole subject to final planning approval and expect to do this over the next two years. I was incorrect in giving the impression that this investment had already been made.”

      It looks like when questioned with this they were ‘incorrect in giving the impression that this investment had already been made’ – they lied.

      I think there are a lot of problems with good energy, anyone switching (Or wanting to switch to them) – Ask questions! (Or just dont bother and join a more honest supplier!)

      Dale, thanks for posting this, I think it shines a true light.

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Dale,
      just been digging and mulling over it.
      I can’t find anywhere on Good Energy’s website the 5% ROC retirement claim. Perhaps they’ve dropped it, either recently (in response to your post) or earlier (change of strategy). But if the response above is actually from Good Energy, then the comment is a little confused. The first paragraph asserts the 5% ROC retirement (without saying “5%”), but the second almost sounds like “we retire ROCs, but we are not obliged to retire 5%”. But there is no direct confirmation nor denial of whether or not they retire 5% beyond their legal requirement. However, I have found older documents (2004) by FOE saying that GE (then Unit-e) retire 7% (where did that figure come from?)

      “We retire 18 months late”: that could possibly be why they have zero retirement for the last two years… they haven’t retired the ROCs yet. But they haven’t said that, and they so easily could have. If that is their reason, then they could do with improving their communication. Or Dale, they may have said that in their conversation with you, but your reporting of the conversation may have been a little selective (easily done). Or they may have meant to say that, but kind of didn’t (poor communication).

      Finally, is there an official source of the figures you provided? One where we can see how the figures were compiled? Or one we can access using google/wiki?

        • Rob C

          “We remove from circulation an equivalent of 5% of ROCs above the required for our annual obligation every year.”

          http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/about-good-energy/your-questions-answered/

            • David Hopkins

              I think the key here is “an equivalent” – i.e not actually 5% but an equivalent. There is clearly a difference which, being at work, I don;t have time to go into. Hopefully will have time to write this out later.

            • Jeffrey Lam

              Thanks Rob. When I looked I found:
              http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/index.php?s=retire+rocs which only says that they exceed their legal obligation without giving a figure.

              A couple of their other pages also don’t give a figure, such as this.

              How strange. Sometimes they say 5%, sometimes they don’t.

                • Xena

                  I’ve also had trouble finding any sort of prices or tariffs on their website – it is easy to find (in other words am I being stupid? lol) or are they hiding those too?

                    • Dan W

                      The tariffs took me ages to find. As an impartial observer I am definitely starting to think that good energy is purely about making money from already available renewables charged at a premium. I understand their criticism of the fact Ecotricity gets half of it’s power from brown but they conveniently overlook that ecotricity has a 100% green tariff as well and that their ratio of brown to green is improving impressively.

                • dale Vince

                  Hi Jeffrey, the Good Energy web site changed in the last few days, until then it too contained the straight forward 5% ROC claim and has done all these years. The word ‘equivalence’ appears twice in each annual report – and that’s it. No explanation of what it means or that it means something very different to all the marketing claims of actual 5% retirement. And since it’s a rather significant policy or policy deviation, you might think it deserves more than a single word. Cheers.

    • sidhe

      David Hopkins – Ecotricity do publish their figures. The fuel mix, how much they invest in building new sources of renewable energy are all clearly flagged up on their website. They even show all the sites they have built, are building and are planning to build. I’m also sure they are obliged to have all their figures approved by Ofgem first – just like every other company.

      Good Energy – Ecotricity also have a tariff that provides 100% ‘green’ energy. Unlike your tariff though 50% of that energy they have built themselves. Even their ‘brown’ tariff has 50% wind energy that they have built.

      Stories like this which highlight dishonesty within the green electricity sector just give ammunition to those people who think it’s all a big con.

      What is the point of buying in and redistributing existing renewable energy? If I move my money from one bank account into lots of different ones I don’t magically end up with more in the original account (unfortunatley.. 😀 ) – there is still only a finite amount of money to go round.

      ‘Retiring’ bits of paper does not increase the amount of new renewable energy available to us as consumers – building new wind turbines does increase the amount of new renewable energy out there though.

    • Mark

      Hey Dale,

      Cut it out.
      You are doing a great job, but you ain’t perfect
      Good Energy are doing a great job, but ain’t perfect.
      Whilst you two squabble over trivialities, the real villans like the big suppliers and the government are laughing into their collective mire of do nothingness.
      Work together and hit the bad guys for a change.

      Mark

        • Xena

          Hardly trivial is it? Misleading thousands of customers….
          I think the whole point of this is “hitting the bad guys”!!!!
          The Big Six are bad guys as you put it, but selling exisiting green electricity at a premium price? Good Energy my foot….

    • Dawn

      Crikey – with a company that promotes itself as being eco – your not exactly friendly are you Dale?

      Stop wasting your time attacking the companies who are actually helping you in the fight against climate change and channel that anger towards the companies that arent.

      Surely that would be a much more productive use of your time and energy (excuse the pun).

        • Carly

          i think what Dale is doing here in pointing out that GE is being dishonest is definatly a good thing. GE dont help fight climate change…they dont invest, or build new sources of renewable energy.
          Pointing out other peoples dishonesty isnt mean or cruel…quite the opposite.

          Keep on fighting Dale!

        • dale Vince

          Hi Dawn, this is not an attack. ROC retirement has been pushed by GE and NCC and FOE these past five years – all that time this simple 5% claim has been made. Thousands of people have seen it. And all that time it’s not been true. That kind of deceit is actually bad for the industry, exposing it is necessary. Good Energy should own up and we can all move on. Cheers.

            • Richard

              If this is not an attack, I’d hate to see you in attack mode!

    • Xena

      @ Dawn

      I think it’s more about trying to prevent companies conning consumers who are trying to help the fight against climate change – might be worth having a look at Dale’s other articles on greenwash….

    • Richard

      Their “one big claim” is that they are the only 100% renewable electricity supplier, and this is why I get my electricity from them.

      You should read the auditor’s report more carefully – the auditors’ statement says near the bottom that “The Company retired a further 5% of ROC equivalents”. In what way does this not confirm that 5% ROC equivalents were retired?

        • dale Vince

          Hi Richard, the auditors report says two things, contradictory in nature – that GE held enough ROCs to retire equivalent to 5% (a bizarre notion BTW) and they they did retire the same amount. It would have been one or the other. So even the ‘auditors’ – who did not conduct an audit (in their own words) offer confusing words. But the big point here is that for five years every public claim has been a straight 5% and the only mention anywhere of a different approach is in the annual report, page 19 of the one I read – and there is gets one word, the added word is ‘equivalence. There’s no explanation, no description, nothing to flag this as a substantial policy shift. It’s buried and opaque. And in no way can justify the very public actual straight 5% claim. Cheers.

            • Richard

              Why are those comments contradictory – doesn’t it just mean that at the end of the year they held enough to retire, then after the end of the year they did retire them?

              BTW, other than being a customer I have no connection with GE!

    • Dawn

      Ok – talking of greenwash then…Ecotricity state that they invest all their money into building more generators. But doesnt that just increase their own asset portfolio which enables them to make more profit for themselves? With fossil fuels due to fade away in years to come isnt he just securing his own power in the industry by making sure he dominates the renewable generation market?

      At least with the GE way there is no big cheese holding all the power. The power is kept in the hands of the public, who all need to play a vital part in this global green issue. Its the old proverb – give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but give him the power to catch his own and he’ll eat for a lifetime. The GE ethos is the same – give people the power to generate their own electricity and we can build a more sustainable and balanced future.

      You could argue that Dale is just worried that having too many home generators in the UK might dilute his future power over the renewable market. It almost makes for a good Simpsons episode doesnt it – I mean, how would Mr Burns react if Homer built his own turbine and didn’t have to rely on Mr Burns’ filthy Nuclear power plant?

      I also think its rather silly to make claims such as “GE dont help fight climate change” and it shows how clouded your judgement is. Dont you realise that Good Energy is just a group of people like you and I who go to work each day to provide a renewable alternative to fossil fuels and to support anyone looking to generate their own renewable energy. They are not evil or vindictive. They are just everyday people who care about the environment and are trying their best to help.

      Your attention should be focused on the bigger picture and not on these petty little quabbles which only upset innocent people and distract everyone from the real problems in the world.

        • Dave

          Dawn, here’s a question: how can we vastly INCREASE the amount of energy generated in the UK from renewables? I’m interested in the endgame (getting off fossil fuels entirely), not in assuaging a few middle class consciences.

          We have to go large scale. Small home generators are great, but sorry, they aint gonna cut it. Do the math. If you can propose a sensible business plan which goes large scale and moves us towards 80% by 2050 then I’m up for it, but I suspect that business plan will look more like an ecotricity than a good energy. What do you think?

            • JH

              Agreed.

            • Dan W

              Dawn , I have to agree with Dave here. Renewables are already highly sought after as you can charge a premium for them under a 100% green tariff. All GE is doing is monopolising the existing renewables andc charging a premium for it. I know that originally they would have been wanting to provide support for renewables but I think the ecotrcity business model is the only one that is going to get us out of this mess. You talk about decentralisation but at the end of the day, the profit from GE will go to share holderfs whereas teh profit from ecotricity is going to new build as is eveident from the near exponential expansion of renewables in the ecotricity portfolio. I have solar and wind power and I intend to generate all of my own power one day but there are billiions of people who will not be able to do that and as such will need renewables or we are relient on coal and nuclear.

        • sidhe

          Dawn – I agree that both companies should be focusing on fighting those that are doing nothing to help in the fight with climate change.

          But in order to do that they both need to be completely transparent so they can’t be accused of misleading the public in anyway – it just gives more ammunition to those people who have a vested interest in discrediting ethically minded companies.

          Also, I would love to be able to be a part of micro generation but I live in a rented flat.. so the only way I can make that difference is by using the money I need to spend on electrcity anyway to help a company that is building new renewable energy, rather than paying for someone to redistribute the existing sources.

        • Xena

          Dawn – have a look at the website http://www.whichgreen.org.uk
          How can GE be giving anyone the power to build a green future without investing in renewables?
          Dale Vince is a big old hippy (no offence!) who isn’t out for personal gain or profit, and just wants to build more turbines, reduce the amount of carbon, and provide a damn good service to his customers while he’s at it!
          I agree with Dave and Dan W – GE make profit for their shareholders by charging a premium for shifting around “green” electriciy and don’t give a hoot about green… it’s all about the money
          Ecotricity are the only ones dedicated to making a difference and that’s so obvious…

            • Liz

              Just like to point out that the which green website actually…..guess who? Ecotricity in disguise. hmmm. Appearing to be an impartial third party…very transparent guys. Not adding to the confusion at all.

              I agree with Dawn – I’d rather my money went to supporting lots of Mr and Mrs Jones down the road for their solar panels, than into one ‘big old hippies’ pocket.

              I also want to know that my electricity is all coming from renewable sources – Ecotricity might put their customers bills into building new wind – but they must also be putting it into buying fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Unfortunately, this is also not very clear on the Ecotricity website – you dont realise until you have dug quite deep that you will not be getting 100% renewable electricity from them. And yes, I do realise they have a 100% tariff, but this is no different from the Big 6’s tariff. The fuel mix is the most important thing in my view.

              Lets face it – both Good Energy and Ecotricity are great companies, both doing great things to fighting climate change – they’re just doing it in different ways.

              So Dale – please stop your slandering and just get on with it. You are at serious risk of confusing people so much that they just give up an wont switch to either company – not good for anyone, or our planet.

                • Sam

                  Liz,

                  first things first. the Whichgreen website has an entire page dedicated to ‘about us’. http://www.whichgreen.org/about-us
                  the first sentence: “WhichGreen is an Ecotricity initiative”
                  more over, the figures all come from OFGEM. no smoke and mirrors there!

                  regardless of this, your comment, and the ones you refer to are completely besides the point. Good Energy business model is irrelevant (as is ecotricity’s).
                  Good Energy have lied. they MAY be doing good things, but they have lied/misled, the issue is not GE vs Eco. Its not Dale Vs Microgen.

                  It’s about dishonesty, and some serious hypocrisy.

                • Louise

                  Just to point out that Ecotricity do not attempt to hide that fact that Whichgreen is an Ecotricity Initiative, all you have to do is look at the about us page – http://www.whichgreen.org/about-us

                    • Richard

                      If you weren’t trying to hide it, it would be on the home page, not the about us page!

                      The data may be from Ofgem, but the spin is all from you!

                    • Liz

                      Exactly Richard. If you were transparent about it, the site would be Ecotricity branded, not buried on the about us page that no-one really reads anyway. Come on – you have to admit that is a teeny bit misleading.

                      Don’t believe for a second either that Good Energy have lied. They obviously go to great lengths to verify their claims – why would they bother if they had something to hide? They’ve won bucket loads of awards and Juliet is a leading figure in the renewable industry too – perhaps a touch of the green eyed monster is at work here?

                      I don’t know much about ROCs, other than the whole system is really complicated, and think this whole thing will boil down to you misunderstanding how the system works…and then I expect you’ll kick yourself…and probably face a rather large legal bill too.

                      Do you not realise that what you are doing here is totally undermining the public’s confidence in green electricity (as if it wasn’t damaged enough already). I wouldn’t be surprised if all this ends up costing you customers as people just get even more confused, and just give up.

                      To return to original point – both Good Energy and Ecotricity are doing great things, just in different ways. Why can’t you leave it up to the individual to choose which way they want to support renewables, rather than vindictively (and almost certainly – falsely) slamming your competition?

                      Dont you think you have bigger fish to fry – ie the millions of people that havent switched to some form of green electricity at all yet.

        • dale Vince

          Hi Dawn, amusing idea the Simpsons. I think you might be on to something. Juliet is Homer, caught telling one very big whopper and trying to get her way our of it by telling just more ridiculous lies and you are Marg Simpson, blinded by love or something and willing to forgive/overlook anything that Homer says or does……. 🙂 The facts are the facts people, don’t shoot the messenger, there’s serious deceit at the heart of this whole ROC retirement thing – and it’s been going on too long. The flak for this belongs to Juliet, somebody that understood exactly how ROCs work, and who knew exactly what she was doing. Cheers.

    • Sam

      People have to stop looking at goodenergy as something that fights the good fight (other than their above mentioned impotence) their duplicity runs so deep and is more damaging than big six green wash. This is a good guy gone bad.

      Reminds me of movies were no one wants to believe a cop could be a serial killer, it’s a harsh truth. And so is this blog.

    • Dawn

      I dont disagree with your business plan – i think it is fantastic that you are investing so much in renewable energy.

      What I do disagree is your business ethics. I think you spend too much time attacking GE who is at least trying to help build a renewable future when you should be fighting the companies that are really doing nothing at all.

      Small generators arent going to save the world, but at least they are pointing in the right direction.

      Why not use your voice to focus on the companies that still have their backs turned and you might actually do some real good.

      Be David! – fight Goliath! – and stop slaying all the innocent villagers who are only trying to help!

        • Richard

          I have to agree completely with Dawn. You’ve accused Good Energy of deceit, fraud and hypocrisy. You’ve suggested that the NCC, FOE etc were mislead. Yet you provide no actual evidence of this.

          You also have at least 2 websites that seem to exist almost entirely for the purpose of slagging off your competitor – but both are, at best, misleadingly branded.

          This is simply not acceptable business practice and for that reason you can be sure I will never be an Ecotricity customer.

            • dale Vince

              Hi Richard, I’m not sure why you say I’ve presented no evidence here, did you not read my post? The evidence is two fold – on the one hand a longstanding clear claim (from GE) to retire 5% additional ROCs and on the other we have OFGEMs solemn word that this has never been undertaken. If you need proof that NCC and FOE have also been told this 5% claim then look no further than their own words – both organisations repeat that claim as one of the main reasons to recommend GE. And now GE says it does not actually retire 5% additional ROCs, it uses ‘an accounting method’ to retire less than that- what more proof do you need dude?

              Not sure which two web sites of our you’re referring too, we don’t actually have any that exist to slag off GE – whichgreen exists to show simple facts (from OFGEM and suppliers) about who spends how much. GE don’t come out of that well, I can’t help that, it’s the truth. The big six also come out pretty badly on the whole – it’s also the truth. The UK has 5% renewable energy and it won’t get more unless someone builds it – that’s why we focus on building it and telling people who else is building and how much – that’s the change you can bring, if you choose. Cheers.

            • Jeffrey Lam

              Richard I think you exaggerate slightly
              “You also have at least 2 websites that seem to exist almost entirely for the purpose of slagging off your competitor”

              Let’s look at the titles of recent posts on zerocarbonista:
              Good (Energy) Lies
              Woke up Sunday morning… with a price on my head!
              The Wind Car – Episode 8 of 6
              The Wind Car – Episode 7 of 6
              Wind powered cheer
              Greenbird smashes world record
              The car with no name
              Top of the League again
              The Wind Car – Episode 6 of 6
              Sea Shepherd Returns From the Whale Wars
              It wasn’t ET ‘wat done it’
              A Very Tense Day of Saving Whales
              ROCs, REGOs and wind-powering GB
              Captains Blog – January 29th
              The Wind Car (5 of 6)
              Dam Fuel Poverty – Part Two
              Where’s Mulder and Scully when you need them?
              The truth is out there
              Can you be a meathead and a treehugger?

              I think that’ll do, as we are now going back to last year and the list is already long enough.

              Right, let’s say that this post, “Top of the League again”, and “ROCs, REGOs and wind-powering GB” are “slagging off your competitor”. That’s 3 out of 19, so about 16% of the posts. So can you please tell me how 16% means “almost entirely”? Or do Good Energy hunt whales, make petrol/diesel cars, and break turbines?

        • dale Vince

          Hey Dawn, we’re not against micro generation or independent generation – we are in fact the original champion of that, from way back in 96 we opened the way to numerous ’embedded benefits’ long before Good Energy came along. Presenting us as against this stuff is what Good Energy people like to do (are you one of them?) AND it’s off the point. This is not about anything other than false claims made regarding ROC retirement. Look closely at that issue. Cheers.

            • Richard

              Yes, I read your post. Lots of claims, but no actual evidence. And was it “one of the main” reasons NCC recommended them (as you now say), or “the single thing” as you originally claimed? Would the NCC’s recommendation have been any different if, as you claim (with no evidence) that they were misled? Reading the NCC report, I very much doubt that it would have made any difference at all to their recommendation.

              The other web site I referred to was of course this one!

            • Richard

              OK, yes I exaggerated for effect – but the point still stands. Both sites are used to slag off your competitors and both are misleadingly branded.

                • Jeffrey Lam

                  whether or not the sites have been used to slag off competitors, the result (of this site, zerocarbonista) is some lively debate, which (a) you and I are party to and (b) is a good thing. And the second point is why I regularly visit this site.

                  If you (or anyone else) have any opinions on any other posts on this site, then you’re welcome to post them in the appropriate place. I’d welcome the debate anyway.

                  ok, we’re on opposite sides of the fence as far as ecotricity’s behaviour goes, but as far as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, from all UK activities and from all global activities are concerned we’re on the same side.

                  by the way, I’ve noticed that you now have an “s” on the end of “competitor”, whereas your previous comments don’t have the “s”. I suppose that means you’ve noticed that Good Energy isn’t the only company being criticised here, but the big six too. Actually, Dale doesn’t only have a go at competitors, but the government, the watchdogs, some of the media, NIMBYs, the oil companies and the car companies all seem to be fair game. I think fair enough.

    • Dan W

      Also Dawn , I think Dale would deserve to have massive assetts in his portfolio if he has invested all of his money in it. I’m sure it”s a lot of hard work to do. Besides, anyone can do it. He is not preventing anyone else from starting a company doing the same thing. Dale supports microgeneration also and I’m fairly sure they have been looking at a urbann wind turbine for microgeneration.

    • paul

      Guys and girls,

      I know this has stirred up some passion, but all this talk of ‘transparency’ is making me feel a bit nauseous. Here’s why:

      As admin of this blog I get to see all your IP addresses and email addresses, which often reveals who you work for – even if the contents of your comment does not (or even your name David 😉 ).

      I don’t want to discourage anyone from posting here, but please be aware of the fact that the internet is far from anonymous.

      With respect to transparency – I would suggest that everyone who comments further declares their interests, or if they don’t want to – then perhaps stay out of the discussion..?

      Thanks for your consideration, Paul

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Just reading through and it looks like we are getting near the truth, but we’re not quite at the bottom of it.

      As David Hopkins, Rob C and Richard so helpfully point out (from GE’s website), they retire “an equivalent of 5% ROCS”, not actually 5% ROCS. So perhaps what GE say is technically true, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t misleading. And we still don’t know what this “equivalent” actually is. Can anyone elaborate?

      As for business plans, ecotricity’s appears more effective to me than GE’s. GE’s approach is to encourage others to build renewables by keeping the price up (retiring ROCs, LECs and/or “equivalents”), but rather than try and encourage others to build, wouldn’t it be easier, more efficient and ultimately more effective to just go ahead and build the renewables?

      Personally, I think Dale has been more “unfriendly” and inflammatory than I would have been. But I’m not the owner of a large company building a significant part of the UK’s renewable capacity, being slated by FOE and NCC for not retiring ROCs, and seeing GE being recommended even though they don’t build renewable capacity. Some of the responses are equally unfriendly, but understandable.

      Whatever, let’s focus on getting to the truth: what are GE actually retiring? Good Energy really need to be involved in this discussion too. If their claims are misleading, then they need to be cleared up. Some people have said here that exposing these discrepancies and concerns will erode the green movement. On the contrary, better that these are exposed and rectified now, than by the media or a watchdog if and when both/either GE and ecotricity are big companies. “Iron sharpens iron”

        • dale Vince

          Hi Jeffrey, the web site changed in the last few days, don’t be misled by that. The single word ‘equivalence’ deep in annual reports is the only occurrence that existed before this week – weighed against a shed load of pronouncements of a straight 5% retirement. Good Energy should be involved I agree, they have many questions to answer, and a situation that they should correct. All the facts are still not out, the truth is (incredibly) still not being told. Cheers.

    • Tom

      I’m a GE customer, and I’m very concerned about this story. I’m going to call them for clarifications.

      Dale, FWIW, I chose GE over you because of your WhichGreen ‘initiative’. I think it’s misleading, and I think you should take it down or brand it accurately.

        • Tom

          I spoke to Anna Roberts at Good Energy, and I’m satisfied with her explanation. In summary, the ROCs which all electricity companies are required to present have a different (lower) cost to the additional ROCs which Good Energy retire. Good Energy calculate the cost of the additonal ROCs as an average of both types; their 5% ‘equivalence’ is based on this average cost. This seems reasonable, based on my layman’s understanding of the ROC market.

          I wish that the world of renewable electricity were less murky. I urge all green suppliers to be unremittingly transparent. Tell us about the shortcomings and complexities in your chosen accounting model, not that you’re great and everyone else is rubbish – we’ll prefer you for it.

        • dale Vince

          Hi Tom, when I want to know who is behind a web site I look for the about us button – we thought we’d covered it fairly with the whole page there making that clear. But tell you what, we’ll slap a big old flag on the home page for people that don’t look too closely. I think it’s fair enough to do so. Thanks for the feedback.

          Cheers.

            • Dan W

              Hi Dale , the ‘which green’ site was the only aspect of the Ecotricity ethic that I couldn’t entirely agree with – for the same reasons as Tom has outlined. At a glance , it could look like it is being passed off as an independant entity and by placing an ‘ Ecotricity’ banner up there on the homepage you will be ensuring that their can be absolultey no criticism of ecotricity at all. The denialist camp will soon be all over green leccy companies when they gain market share so anyone who is swimming with their pants down will be cought out when the tide comes in anyway. As you know they are a formidable and relentless foe and will pick through the practices of GE and Ecotricity any way. A dailymail headline of ‘Green Electricity Company Scams Customers’ translates in the public mind as ‘All Green Electricity Companies Scam Customers’ , so I think Dale is right to shout about this confusing and misrepresented selling point.

                • Dan W

                  I apologise for the attrocious spelling. It’s because I type too fast.

                • Richard

                  Showing Ecotricity prominently on the home page will be a big improvement, but other media will still probably refer to the report by the Which Green name without disclosing Ecotricity’s involvement.

                  So, why not simply brand it is an Ecotricity report?

            • Jimbob

              Dale,
              you never did slap a flag, or was it a joke you were making?

              Do you spend all your time sniping at people (oh yes, it’s because you care so much about transparency & honesty blah blah blah)?

    • Jeffrey Lam

      Hello all,
      just read this on ecotricity’s website, and it explains this equivalence thing, or you can read the original here. Got there eventually.

      Good Energy really need to be more upfront about what they do.

        • Richard

          I agree GE could have been clearer about this, and if that was all Dale had posted I would have had no problems with it. But he’s blown it up out of all proportion and that’s not acceptable business practice.

    • Jonny Holt

      Hello everyone,

      I think there is a parallel in this story to current events.

      Some MPs, claiming expenses under Byzantine rules to which either they are not – or should not be – entitled, have seemingly brought the whole mass of politicians into disrepute.

      A green electricity supplier has claimed credit for an esoteric accounting activity that is not widely understood and thought by some to be unimportant. If OFGEN is correct in its figures, as seems almost certain, then it is a serious breach of the public’s trust by GE – particularly if it means they have in effect been trading insolvently.

      However, it appears that this whole episode will likely be seized on by others, with their own interests, as evidence of the venal and morally compromised nature of the green power generation sector as a whole. I think it is incumbent on everyone to minimise the chances of this happening. It requires some careful and well directed PR – but with no taint of politicking or schadenfreude.

      Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes.

      Best regards,

      Jonny.

    • Matt

      Hi all

      First of all, I’m an Ecotricity employee, although having said that I’ve not been involved in anything relating to this discussion.

      To be honest, I don’t fully understand the minutiae of this discussion, but the way I see it, if GE did not feel guilty about what they had done, there would have been no need for them to change the claims they were making on their website or in their literature. Dale – I’m sure you can back this up with evidence, i.e. screenshots of previous versions of their site etc.?

      Regardless of your opinions of either supplier, this issue is related to this one claim, nothing else.

      thanks

      Matt

    • Nicholas

      I am not so clear why ecotricity is opposed to the retiring of ROCs. Since ecotricity generates a surplus of them, I would have thought it would be in their interest for the price to be as high as possible. I am not entirely clear that I buy the market distortion argument either since ecotricity only meets about 50% of its obligations from self-build. However, if ecotricity is vindicated in its accusations then that should be really bad for Green Energy. First the Bankers, then the MPs’ expense claims then Green Energy! I wanted to hear their side of the story on their own website but I could not find anything. I don’t like that.

        • Jeffrey Lam

          I think you’ve got to think a bit deeper than that Nicholas. Ok, if Good Energy (not Green Energy, who are a different supplier) retire ROCs, then yes perhaps ecotricity would get more from selling their ROCs. But if FOE and NCC recommend Good Energy over ecotricity then is that good for ecotricity? Or if to get the same recommendation, ecotricity needs to retire their ROCs rather than sell them?

          And that’s only the business (i.e. money-making) case. The climate-change case is that UK needs to reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, and 26% by 2020. Therefore we should aim to reduce the UK’s emissions from electricity generation by about this amount. The only way to do that is to build renewable sources of energy (or nuclear energy, or fit carbon capture and storage when it becomes available). Currently about 5% of electricity produced is renewable. If a company spends the money retiring ROCs, then they are not spending that money building sources of renewable energy.

    • Chris

      A slight side-step!…

      I was wondering if you had any comment on this recent news article Dale : Britains only windmill manufacturer is closing its doors.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/apr/28/vestas-wind-turbine-factory-close

      Will this affect firms like Ecotricity at all? If you believe what the Green Party state on their website, scientists say we must reduce our emissions by 10% per year, or by 90% by 2030. Do you think this will be seriously hampared by this closure?

        • Jeffrey Lam

          Hi Chris,
          I know you want an answer from Dale, but I can probably give you some answers. I’ve followed zerocarbonista for a while, so I know what Dale has said in the past.

          I’ll answer the Green Party claim first, but my answer has nothing to do with what Dale might say on this. There is a lot of debate about what would happen if global temperatures rose 1C, what might happen if they rose 2C etc. So first of all I don’t think everyone is agreed on what temperature increase to accept, but I think most people have agreed that global average temperatures must not rise above 2C, or the consequences would be disastrous.

          Then we move on to the debate about what level of CO2 (and other GHGs) corresponds to that rise. I believe scientists are roughly agreed on 550ppm of CO2 + equivalents (which has become a dirty word in this post, but if you want an explanation I’ll give it) would correspond to 2C.

          Then finally which nations should take which share of GHG emissions cut? This is less about science and more about fairness. Many think that as the developed world have contributed the most towards climate change, the developed world should make the lion’s share of the cuts. And the sooner we do it, the less CO2 is up there.

          In George Monbiot’s book “Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning”, he calculates (if I remember correctly) 2C rise, 550ppm, therefore the UK needs to cut its emissions by 90% by 2030. This is probably where the Green Party got its claim from. Note that this is the UK, not the world, but is probably pretty close for the developed (industrialised) world as a whole.

          Oh the question about whether the UK emissions as a whole will be seriously hampered by the closing of Vestas. My answer would be its very complicated, followed by probably not. Even though electricity generation is the UK’s biggest source of GHG emissions (about a third if I remember correctly), transport will become a bigger source if aviation expansion continues. Industry and domestic heating, the other big-hitters, are also variables.

          Besides, the UK government isn’t even aiming at the 90% by 2030 target. The Climate Change Act sets two targets: 26% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Christian Aid, Tearfund and a host of other NGOs seem to be happy with this target, which brings us back to what target should we be aiming for in the first place? The closing of Vestas is really the least of our worries (as far as climate change is concerned, I do hope the workers come out ok)

        • Jeffrey Lam

          Yes that answer was a little long. My apologies. Second, the question of whether the closure of Vestas affects ecotricity.

          I don’t really know the answer, but my guess is probably not.

          Ecotricity, if I’m not mistaken, use a company called Enercon, based in Germany. The whole turbine assembly is bought from them, and they also do the installation. But who makes their turbine blades? Might be Vestas, but my guess is probably not.

          Oh actually I’ve just read the Guardian article again, and it says that they have been making blades for the US. So there’s the answer there: no.

            • Chris

              Thanks Jeff. Informative as usual.

              Maybe you are right, and the change will be insignificant. But I assume if less companies are making blades, and global demand is still the same (or increasing, as it is currently), the market price for windmills and as a result also for green tarrifs will increase.

    • Chris

      I’ve just noticed the correction to the original story! Maybe not (quite) as bad as I’d thought!

    • Nicholas

      My doubts about the market distortion issue are that if ecotricity could get its self-build quota of electricity generation upto about say 90%, it might be more profitable. Les customers means a higher ratio so in the long run I don’t see a problem for ecotricity if Good Energy takes away the odd customer.

      That said there is something I don’t understand about the Good Energy business model. As I understand it they are trying to act as a sort of ebay of green electricity generation. “You generate a few kWh of electricity and we pay you for it.” As such I would have thought the best way of encouraging green generation is to pay a good price for it. I have been put off installing solar panels as it takes so long to pay off the investment. I don’t see how retiring ROCs helps raise those prices.

        • Jeffrey Lam

          Ah Nicholas, I ought to refer you to previous posts, but I can’t remember which ones exactly. In any case, here is the gist of my understanding of what Dale thinks.

          To build the UK’s (the whole UK, not just one particularly supplier) renewable electricity up quickly, it would help if one builds the sources that produce the most renewable power for the least cost. Dale would have us believe that source (at least in the UK) is big, onshore wind. I think I agree with him. Micro-generation’s efficiency (ratio of power produced to cost) is significantly less than big wind. Same goes for offshore wind, for solar electricity etc. Whether it’s taxpayer’s money, or the money of the person paying for the generator, or the supplier’s/customer’s money, it’s still money that could be better spent building big, turbines onshore.

          I remember Dale saying somewhere that it’s best to go for the more efficient measures of cutting your emissions before going for solar panels. i.e. insulating your house properly, fitting energy efficient appliances, solar hot water etc. Not particularly exciting, but these will cut your emissions and your spending more than solar electricity will, per pound invested.

        • Jeffrey Lam

          “My doubts about the market distortion issue are that if ecotricity could get its self-build quota of electricity generation upto about say 90%, it might be more profitable.”
          I think I agree with you there. In fact, ecotricity should aim for over 100% (say, 125 or 150%). I think Dale may have said this himself. Then, on non-windy days or at peak times, ecotricity don’t have a deficit and so don’t have to buy from the balancing market at awful rates. And on windy days and low-demand times, ecotricity will sell their surplus, unfortunately at poor rates, but selling cheap is better than buying expensive.

    • Hamilton

      First off, I’m an ecotricity customer. If you have a complaint then make it in a factual fashion to the right authorities, to investigate, and have a fair if robust discussion with Good Energies/Juliet Davenport, without all the hyperbole and rhetoric. It makes Ecotricity look petty, reduces my confidence in the company – and smacks of some kind of personal fight gone public. Aren’t EcoT’s real competitors not the traditional suppliers, ie the ones whose customer base you want to make inroads into? We need all green companies to be very smart, highly professional mainstream businesses if we are going to make a real and accelerated transition to a renewable energy economy. Put your time into better disclosure rules but don’t waste time and energy slagging off your rivals.

        • Julian

          I couldn’t agree more. What a fantastic waste of energy – myself included.

    • zoe

      I have just spent over an hour reading through this debate and now i am tired and more confused as to where to put my hard earned money that quite honestly is becoming a very dwindling resource in these times of adversity.i stumbled across this link whilst looking for cheaper green energy.  I currently use good energy and have for the last 4 years but they are expensive and not doing enough to produce alot of “good energy” at the moment.  As you point out they redestributed most of  what they sell. I am a citizen of this planet with two kids that i want to raise with the hope that we can live in harmony with the earth. Huge power companies who provide lots of energy are not worth supporting unless they have clear ethics and their utmost priority is to make a contribution to humanity and restoring the earth to being habitable for all of its occupants for the next few thousand years and more!! I want 100% renewables and zero co2 emmissions in the ideal future but when your company still uses 47% fossil fuel i can’t align my personal ethics with yours and buy from you . Your company is still producing huge amounts of carbon emmissions by having fossil fuels to sell. Do you invest in conservation too when you build wind farms ? It would be sensible to be encouraging lots of small scale energy generation so the land isn’t lost under the turbine plains. for now until you are completely eco friendly i will have to continue to pay more for 100% renewable energy. Keep up the good work though as you do invest in some good projects too.

        • Chris

          Put it this way Zoe. Ecotricity have for 5 years published their level of investment in new sources of green energy on whichgreen.org in a comparison table. I have yet to see or hear of anyone provide a convincing argument to suggest this information is not true.

          If like me you believe £/customer carries more weight than total investment in green energy (or even ROCs for that matter), I’d say you should consider looking into Ecotricity 🙂

          – And no I don’t work for them!

        • Jeffrey Lam

          Here’s how I see it Zoe, like I’ve said before: there is no excuse not to think for yourselves (ok I didn’t say it exactly like that last time). If you are unable or unwilling to, then you have to rely on what someone else says, which may be true, wrong, a lie or some combination.

          Anyway, I have this to say:

          ecotricity have a 100% tariff. There is a slight premium over the non-100% tariff, but it is smaller than Good Energy’s. (I believe) This is because ecotricity don’t retire ROCs, which is expensive to do. I personally agree that retiring ROCs is less effective than selling the ROCs and using the money to invest in new sources of renewable energy. I don’t know what your view is on ROCs.

          I’m not sure whether you want 100% renewables yourself, or whether you only want to buy from companies that offer 100% renewables, but that’s your decision.

        • Dave

          Zoe, yes the above debate and the manner of delivery leave much to be desired. However, let’s get real. You want to live a life of 100% renewables. That’s great, we all do, but for now to get the whole country living 100% renewables is a pipedream. It’s not reality. What we need is mechanisms to *increase* the amount of power we generate from renewables so that we can *move towards* the vision. It’s about the direction we’re going in. One such mechanism is Ecotricity’s business model, a power company which (if my understanding is correct) uses revenue from customers to leverage larger loans to develop wind farms. This to me is a Good Business Model For Rapidly Expanding The Amount Of Renewables In The UK. Expansion is what is important, not a few individuals having 100% today. The only metric that matters is PER CAPITA renewable energy generated. None of us (however much we try to think) live guilt free carbon free lives at the moment. What we need to do is change things and move in a different direction.

    • Merrick

      Dale, you ask “The most breathtaking and bare faced hypocrisy you’ve ever heard?”

      I’d say it was beaten by the claim that “Ecotricity is harnessed from natural sources, like the wind, the sun and water, that don’t pollute and don’t contribute to climate change” when most of what Ecotricity supply comes from fossil fuels and nukes.

        • Xena

          Merrick – have a look a bit further down the page… at the section that talks about the Fuel Mix
          It quite openly talks about the fact that Ecotricity does have brown energy in the mix and that the percentage of this is reducing every year…

    • Merrick

      Xena, it is clearly misleading to say a product comes from sources ‘that don’t pollute and don’t contribute to climate change’ when in fact the majority of it comes from sources that do.

      Having a link further down the page to a different page – the last in a list of 11 options – doesn’t redress that in any meaningful sense. It’s the internet equivalent of insurance policies burying get-out clauses in the small print.

      And the page on the first link, and big bold letters, says, ‘They’re all doing it, draping themselves in images of windmills and claiming green credentials – but how green are the UK’s electricity companies really?’. Nice irony there.

      Don’t get me wrong, I admire much of what Ecotricity do. And I absolutely believe there is a well-founded and honourable position in the argument that retiring ROCs doesn’t do as much good as flogging them to high-carbon suppliers but immediately putting all the money into new wind turbines.

      However, like Good Energy and the vast majority of companies of all kinds, Ecotricity is clearly guilty of misleading people with its publicity material.

        • dale Vince

          Hi Merick, you should read the page again, it’s not a sales page, it describes the different types of green electricity, split between deep and pale green – and even conventional power.

          What you’re looking at here is an informational page deepish in our web site, many many years old (from when people needed to know this stuff more).

          Ecotricity is deep green electricity, our tariffs contain both ecotricity and conventional sources – that’s also abundantly clear. Check our tariff pages for a more contextual source of info.

          I think you’re in danger of presenting very selective information, slightly out of context and concluding it’s a deceit on anything like the scale of that of Good Energy’s ROC claim – which is front and centre, bold and clear – and false.

          There’s no comparison here.

          Cheers.

            • Merrick

              Ecotricity is deep green electricity, our tariffs contain both ecotricity and conventional sources – that’s also abundantly clear.

              Ah, so you use ‘Ecotricity’ to mean the company and what it supplies most of the time, but in this context, even though the article doesn’t say so, it means ‘just the electricity generated by Ecotricity, a minority of what it supplies’.

              Abundantly clear. Yeah, sure.

    • Matt

      Hey

      So Merrick if you check the ecotricity fuel mix you’ll find that 53.6% is supplied from ecotricity turbines. 53.6% by its very nature is not a minority.

      Or isn’t that abundantly clear? 🙂

    • Matthew

      To be honest when I found this post after a ‘goodenergy vs ecotricity’ Google search, I felt Good Energy must be a pretty terrible company. Quite at odds with their image.

      Until, that is, I realized that the author of the post was none other than the founder of Ecotricity. Ahem…

      I realize this is sort of a personal blog (although it does have a stinking great Ecotricity logo at the *bottom* of the page, neatly tucked away from prying eyes) but it seems pretty low that the founder of one company should be slagging off a rival company in this way. In some ways I don’t know or care if the allegations are true. What’s important to me is that Good Energy and Ecotricity are doing *something*, even if it’s not always quite right.

      It seems to me ‘green’ people spend too much time squabbling among themselves rather than looking at the bigger picture. These two companies need to be helping each other get things right, not scoring petty points over each other and focussing on making as much money as possible.

      Anyway all this has made up my mind for me. I’m now going to switch to Good Energy, not Ecotricity. One lost customer because of a rather ill-advised blog post…

        • Matt

          Matthew,

          I’m sure that the regular posters on this blog are all aware that Dale is the MD of ecotricity, it’s not hidden away at all. Also if you read the about me section Dale writes about founding ecotricity.

          I dont think the issue here is on rival companies trying to discredit the other. The real issue is the lack of clarity and honesty in businesss that is such a widespread practice these days.

          Good Energy’s underachievments compared to their promises in their marketing puts a bad slant on the renewable sector, not this post. And now they have made their counter arguments they have changed their claims to try and make themselves look better.

          In my opinion Good Energy (and you being their customer) don’t do a great deal to combat climate change, let me explain.

          Good Energy purchase exhisting forms of renewable energy (they do not generate it themselves), because this electricity exhists it would be used somewhere by someone anyway. What happens is that you (a Good Energy customer) are mearly taking renewable electricity from someone else, its been shifted around and the total green mix isn’t increased.

          Reducing your own carbon emissions yes but not the emissions of the country as a whole. Net result=no impact on climate change.

        • TR

          I’m not entirely sure how a “stinking great” logo can be “neatly tucked away”… especially when it’s in bold black font against a pastel background but I’ll try to move on as that’s not really the point.

          There are various links between this site and the actual Ecotricity site so it’s not exactly a secret that Dale founded ecotricity… it’s even on the About Me section. I don’t think you ca ask for more… after all, as you mentioned, this is a personal blog so if he made mention of Ecotricity it would probably come across as either arrogant or that this website’s main purpose is actually to advertise Ecotricity.
          Even without all that, I’m not sure exactly how you cn be surprised by his link to Ecotricity when you googled “goodenergy vs ecotricity”, surely you already knew who the ‘dispute’ was between.

          I think that Dale’s main point was that although Good Energy are green, they are/were misleading people into believing that they were greener than they are. This is something that needs to be pointed out and it doesn’t matter who by.

          IMO if Good Energy intentially mislead potential customers in regards to how green they are, then they’re almost as bad as EdF for their Green Britain campaign… maybe it’s not on the same scale (probably because Good Energy can’t afford to spend £6m on advertising like EdF) but it’s the same premise.

          I really don’t get people’s problem with this blog… surely the idea’s not a new one, or even an unrealistic one….
          If a company says they do something, they should do it.
          I know it’d be naive to think that all companies act this way, but it certainly should be something we aim for.

            • Jeffrey Lam

              TR
              I think Matthew meant he googled “goodenergy vs ecotricity” to work out which supplier he should go with, not to research any dispute.
              But other than that I agree with you, Matt and Xena.

                • TR

                  heh, your probably right… I was wondering about that 🙂

        • Xena

          It really is a shame that people don’t see this blog post for what it is. It’s exposing the truth to consumers… and truth really isn’t something that consumers see much of from most companies.
          Yes, Dale is the founder and MD of Ecotricity, but it’s not about that… I don’t even thing it’s about one company vs another really… it’s about filtering the bullsh!t out of green energy.
          Keep going Dale. Your honesty is a great thing. And if one customer out of thousands decides to go somewhere else, then that’s his problem.

    • Matthew

      Ouch! I guess this is a bit of a hot topic. Apologies for any ill-feeling my comments may have caused.

      Anyway guys you were right. I was just trying to find out which supplier might be ‘better’. I’m just as confused as ever.

      I just wish I’d found a truly independent review first. I’m not questioning Dale’s ability to write and think independently of Ecotricity! Just that anything ever written by the MD of a company about a rival company is always going to be tinged with a sense of partiality, at least to outsiders like me. C’est la guerre.

      Good luck guys. But like I said, I’ve gone with the other side on this one…

        • Dave

          Matthew, I say try to put aside the muddied waters of this particular debate and decide for yourself on the basis of which business model you prefer. The reason I have gone with Ecotricity rather than GE is because I believe the Ecotricity business model will result in the building of more wind turbines, more quickly than the GE model. It’s as simple as that.

            • Jimbob

              The Ecotricity logo is not hidden, but most people won’t scroll down to the bottom at all – they’ll try to read through the debates, get sick of it at some point, then not read either the about me or see the logo. So in effect and impact, it’s hidden, but not by intent.

              There seem to be lots of people who post here with an Ecotricity allegiance, through work or whatever. Not surprising seeing as it’s an Ecotricity blog. But you don’t realise that when you search for ecotricity vs good energy. And many of you, Dale included, dress up in “we’re uncovering bad things” clothes the most snide “vote for EcoT” verbage out! Just for that, I’m voting Good Energy – with my pocket. (However, I do also want to support a company that are not giving money to nuclear, coal etc through a mixed tariff)

                • Xena

                  I don’t know where you get the impression that most people who post on this site work for Ecotricity… I got the distinct feeling that it was the opposite.

                  And for someone who seems to dislike people who “snipe” at other people, you seem to be darn good at it yourself!

    • Me

      I had an interview with Ecotricity a few years ago and the person who interviewed me said that every time Dale needed some money e.g. to buy a new barn, he’d flog off some ROCs.

      So I’d be careful what you read into the folks…