The inconvenient facts…
I took some flack last week for my first post on this subject. I expected to of course. It’s not like I wasn’t advised against it. My view is that something wrong has been going on and the whistle needed blowing on it – for the greater good. Better we put our own house in order than have the Daily Mail do it for us.
I know that I wrote a strongly worded piece and if you’ve not been close to this issue over the years the passion/frustration may be hard to understand or easy to misunderstand. I’ll expand on that later – there’s an illuminating back story to tell.
And passions run high on both sides as we’ve seen, but a lot of what’s been posted has not been about the real issue here.
In this second post I want to pull the focus back to the facts.
For over five years Good Energy have been making a very simple, very plain English, public promise to retire a certain amount of ROCs. That’s a fact. (A list of public claims on retirement is here – they all say the same thing.)
The data from OFGEM shows beyond argument that Good Energy’s ROC retirement claims have never been met – they have never been the truth. This is also a fact.
We raised this with Good Energy two months ago, they offered all sorts of responses before finally coming up with what I’m going to dub – ‘ROC claim number two’. This was first made known to Business Green here.
‘ROC claim number two’ goes like this – Good Energy don’t retire the 5% of ROCs which they claim to (in ROC claim number one), they have a different policy which sees them retire an ‘equivalent amount’ – by which they mean something quite complex, though it boils down to less actual ROCs than claimed.
This policy has never been set out in any Good Energy documentation we can find, it’s never been made public before now – you have to wonder why. There’s a public policy on the one hand and a secret, substantially smaller, one on the other hand. Not very good practice at best. Looks like deliberate deceit to me – but that’s opinion, based on my reading of the facts.
According to Juliet Davenport (CEO) Good Energy have just been misunderstood.
Well, not by people whose first language is English I feel. A claim to retire 5% is a very simple thing to understand – impossible to misunderstand. If there’s a gulf between that claim and the actuality then the reason is the claim itself is false – it does not accurately portray the reality.
But what is this hitherto secret ‘ROC claim number two’ all about?
It’s not simple, but in effect it means that if they claim to retire 5% ROCs they will actually retire nearer 3%. Because in their own estimation it’s not the ROCs that count – it’s the value retired, so 3% ROCs retired at full value equals 5% at partial value. Make sense? I don’t think so.
OFGEM have confirmed that there is no such concept in the Renewables Obligation. It’s a Good Energy construct. Fact.
You have to ask why not just say ‘we retire 3% ROCs’ why try to big this up as 5% (while meaning ‘financially equivalent to 5% at buyout value only’ without saying so).
That’s not a very transparent way to operate. I think this is also a fact.
But the big question is this – Is ROC claim number two ‘real’?
Did Good Energy retire ROCs all this time on that other ‘unspoken’ basis?
We crunched the new numbers… Drum roll time again… No they did not!
This is also a fact.
Here’s the table showing the number of ROCs that would need to be retired to meet this ‘new policy’ set against the number actually retired with the % of the new ROC promise actually met – or not – in the final column.
|Full ROC value (Buyout + Recycling)||ROC Buyout Value||Number of ROCs that should have been retired to meet promise||Value of ROCs that should have been retired (@ ROC Buyout price only)||ROC equivalents needed to be retired to match target value||Actual number of ROCs retired||% of Equivalence target met|
|How It’s Calculated||A||B||C||D=B*C||E=D/A||F||G=F/E|
Clearly this new policy has not been adhered to.
One untruth appears to be following another.
ROC claim number one, the public one, is clearly not the truth.
ROC claim number two, the fall back private one, is also clearly not the truth.
Is there a ROC claim number three?
Over to you Good Energy, ready to come clean yet?