Lowering bills, cutting carbon
Investing in Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) is a powerful step towards achieving your sustainability goals. EACs allow you to match electricity consumption anywhere in your supply chain with renewable sources, reducing your emissions and providing evidence of your commitment to a net zero future.Contact us about EACs
Whether you’re tied into a contract or struggling to engage a landlord, we can match your electricity usage with green power – just as an energy supplier would.
Reduce the indirect emissions associated with employees working from home or the power used by your products once they’re in the hands of your customers.
Big Clean Switch empowers businesses to invest in Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) for a greener future. Since 2016, our dedicated team has been supporting businesses in transitioning to renewable energy sources while ensuring affordability.
We provide clear and concise guidance, helping you navigate the complexities of EACs, while safeguarding against any hidden costs. Our expertise lies in reviewing the market to identify the optimal EAC options that align with your sustainability goals, ensuring you make an informed decision that positively impacts the environment.
We conduct a thorough assessment of the power consumption you need to match with green power. This includes taking account of the residual energy mix in each territory (the proportion of the grid mix that is green once all of the green power that is already claimed through EACs is removed).
We source pricing for certificates from the appropriate regions and consumption levels, ensuring that the renewable electricity claimed by your business accurately reflects your consumption.
Once a price is agreed, we retire the certificates on your behalf, making sure the same units of green power can’t be claimed by anyone else. We’ll then share the certificate numbers with you, so you have an audit trail for your purchase.
The adoption of renewable energy certificates is recognised by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s ‘market-based methodology’ as a means to reducing scope 2 emissions*, (as opposed to buying offsets). That’s because buying EACS increases demand for green electricity, making it more attractive to invest in new generation and storage infrastructure, and accelerating the decarbonisation of the grid. To learn more about this approach and access the scope 2 guidance, click here.
* The use of EACs isn’t yet written into the scope 3 guidance, but the underlying principles are the same, and it is already recognised in other standards such as the Carbon Neutral standard.
View our recent (free) webinar with our founder, Jon Fletcher, explaining what EACs are, and how they could help save the planet.
Can you source certificates for our international operations?
We work compare prices from a large number of third-party organisations that allow us to source EACs from all over the world, so whether you’re looking for REC’s in New York or iRec’s in India, we can assist you with your sustainability goals.
Can we source certificates for future reporting periods?
Yes, it is possible to secure EAC prices for future reporting. The actual certificates will only be transferred once the power has been generated and the certificates have been issued, but you can fix the price you pay in advance. Purchasing EACs in this way can help hedge against price volatility, as well as giving generators certainty over future revenues, making it easier for them to secure financing.
Why does purchasing EACs allow me to report lower carbon emissions?
The availability of EACs is limited by the amount of renewable power supplied to any Grid. Increasing the demand for EACs therefore puts more pressure on supply, pushing up prices and providing additional incentives for the development of new renewables. These in turn contribute to further decarbonisation of the grid, as well as helping to counteract EAC price inflation. Because the carbon intensity falls as new renewables are introduced, the role of EACs in encouraging this investment is recognised by allowing companies to report lower emissions from power use backed by EACs.
Haven’t EACs been criticised?
Some organisations have criticised EACs for failing to drive new investment in renewables. Central this has been the persistent failure of EAC prices to reach levels that are material to change decisions about investment in new generation. This has now changed, and in many countries, EACs are now trading at levels that make investing in renewables much more appealing. In the UK, for example, recent prices have reached more than £7 per megawatt hour – far above the £5/MWh threshold quoted by most lenders and investors as necessary to make EACs material in funding decisions.
What is the ‘residual mix’ of the grid?
The residual mix of the energy grid refers to the combination of energy sources that remain after accounting for specific energy generation methods, such as renewable energy sources, that are directly tracked and accounted for. We take this into account when calculating your EAC requirement.
What costs are involved?
The costs of each certificate depend on several factors, including region, quantity and demand. We charge a management fee to cover our time in sourcing these certificates for you, and pass on the certificate prices to you at cost. Where we use intermediaries to source certificates (more common for certificates outside the UK) their fees may also be included in the certificate costs.
How do you avoid double counting and verify the source of the certificates?
Once certificates are purchased and transferred to us or a third party commissioned by us, we ensure they are ‘retired’ on your behalf. This ensures that they cannot be claimed by another party. We will provide you with the certificate numbers, giving you a transparent and auditable record of the certificates’ ownership and retirement. Additionally, Independent third-party verification and auditing processes are commonly employed to ensure the accuracy and integrity of EAC transactions.
Can I source EACs from any country?
EACs are available across much of the world and EACs should be matched to the electricity grid where the power consumption takes place. If, for example, you are buying EACs against the electricity used when customers in France use your products, then ideally you should purchase EACs issued to generators in France. Our guidance here goes further than current greenhouse gas reporting guidelines, which only require certificates to be from the same ‘market’. This looser definition would in theory allow you to match French power consumption with EACs from any country within the European Union. We believe masks real differences in the carbon intensity of electricity grids across Europe, and acts as a suppressant on EAC prices across the board.