Successful Ofgem project makes Social Energy the first supplier to deliver green energy from residential rooftop solar in Great Britain

Social Energy’s customers have become the first green residential prosumers in Great Britain after homeowners in their fleet were able to claim REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) certificates for the renewable energy they generate under an Ofgem scheme. Social Energy requested Ofgem work on a bulk application process to bring small-scale domestic PV generators onto the REGO scheme.

The pilot project to certify domestic green energy began 18 months ago. As a result, Social Energy will be able to use official mechanisms to demonstrate that customers are able to generate, utilise, and share green energy. As an energy supplier built specifically to serve the members of Social Energy’s solar and battery VPP (virtual power plant), the company worked with Ofgem and succeeded in generating 5,274 REGO certificates from its 6,600+ GB VPP members to date.

This isn’t the only time that Social Energy has taken the first-mover mantle in the residential solar and storage space, having become the first VPP operator to deliver FFR (firm frequency response) from residential assets, and the first to successfully secure bids in the week-ahead FFR markets with a wholly residential portfolio.

As a result of its push to break new ground in the residential prosumer market, Social Energy recently announced the launch of a 20p/kWh export tariff, available to members of its VPP, with a secondary unlimited export rate of 6p/kWh after the initial 1,000kWh per annum capped rate. The new tariff will now be able to not only pay customers an average £240 back on their annual bill but to recognise that valuable energy as truly green.

Ben Gatley, Managing Director of Social Energy UK said “The project first started because we wanted a way to engage with the accreditation process with bulk numbers rather than individual generators. An individual application, depending on site size and structure, requires the generator and Ofgem to work together, sometimes over extended timeframes to reach accreditation. We have now cut this down to a single click for our customers and Ofgem has simplified and automated their process for small-scale domestic generators. As a result, more than 30% of our existing community has officially green generation and 100% of new customers. We are looking forward to translating this pilot project into a long-term route of delivering our deep green proposition.

Although REGOs are just one piece of the puzzle for creating the standards for green energy, we believe that everyone at all levels has the right to be an active participant in the existing energy market.”

He then continued to say “We hope this project will evolve with Ofgem’s upcoming technology infrastructure changes, and with over 1 million domestic renewable assets in the UK, can become the blueprint towards delivering better green accountability and standards for smaller-scale renewables.”

Gareth John, Deputy Director of Delivery & Schemes at Ofgem, said “Households who have installed solar panels or generate other forms of renewable electricity have been able to claim REGOs under the scheme, but we recognise such smaller generators were either unaware of the scheme or didn’t wish to participate in it. We were approached by Social Energy who wanted to trial a new approach making it easier for their customers to access the REGO scheme. We were happy to explore how this could be done and are now able to provide this streamlined facility to other suppliers, making it easier for households and other smaller generators to claim REGOs, helping them to contribute to – and benefit from – the UK’s renewable energy push.”

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