UNDERSTANDING HOW GREEN ELECTRICITY WORKS


UNDERSTANDING HOW GREEN ELECTRICITY WORKS



Increasingly used in common parlance, the term “green electricity” is also now used as a prime selling point by electricity suppliers.

The so-called green electricity sales contracts are flourishing, but still raise some questions from consumers facing a rather complex operation. What exactly is green electricity? How does a green electricity contract work? Can we define with certainty the origin of the electricity that we consume thanks to such a contract?

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BOOSTHEAT guides you to better understand the different realities that green electricity offers can cover.

What is green electricity?

 

We talk about green electricity when it comes from renewable energy sources

In France, an electricity offer is said to be green if the supplier can prove that it has produced or purchased at least as much renewable electricity as the consumption of the customers of its offer.

 

Green electricity offers in France

 

Today, the majority of electricity suppliers offer green offers. Suppliers have two options:

  • Offer green offers by simply acquiring certificates of guarantees of origin;

  • Offer, in addition to guarantees of origin, offers in which it undertakes to obtain supplies from its own green electricity production sites or to purchase green electricity from other producers.



On the other hand, it is impossible to physically determine the origin of the electricity delivered to a customer . Electricity is delivered to all customers connected to the same French electricity network, regardless of the supplier and the type of offer. The electricity considered is that of the French network, for which the percentage of green energy is considered overall. In 2017, the share of total green electricity was 18.4% in France.

Transparency is nevertheless essential in order to keep each customer informed of the energy transition efforts made by the contract supplier. Each supplier must therefore indicate on the customer's bill the distribution of the sources of electricity production , and specify the share of green electricity .

Suppliers must also mention the geographical origin of the guarantees of origin (in France or in Europe), and specify whether their supply comes from their own renewable energy production sites or from an external producer.

 

What are the advantages of taking out a green electricity contract?

UNDERSTANDING HOW GREEN ELECTRICITY WORKS


 

The production of green electricity is generally more expensive than that from natural gas or nuclear power.


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Certain offers can nevertheless prove to be very advantageous for the consumer and contribute to a significant reduction in the energy bill. To make the right choices, it's important to take the time to compare the different offers from each provider.

However, according to ADEME, the current green electricity contract system cannot contribute, as it stands, to the development of new electricity infrastructures of renewable origin. Indeed, the guarantee of origin (GO) certificates mainly have the interest of improving the traceability of electricity , by providing proof that a quantity of renewable electricity has been injected into the network at a given time. It is not compulsory to buy green electricity: the only regulatory obligation is the purchase of certificates of guarantee of origin. These documents have only a low value and, for the moment, can only have a low impact on the energy transition.


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The offers also lack clarity and their real environmental impact is difficult to understand in the eyes of consumers.

At present, the main interest of green electricity offers is to demonstrate its commitment to the energy transition to send a signal to suppliers and encourage them to produce or buy more electricity from renewable sources. Subscribing to a green electricity offer is therefore above all an act of responsible consumption .


ADEME's 2018 recommendations

 

In a notice published on December 4, 2018, ADEME provides details on possible improvements to the green electricity supply system. To improve the readability of the various contracts and to be able to compare them more easily, ADEME recommends adopting a common reference system. This standard would prevent certain offers from claiming to be “local”, others “direct producer” or even “guarantee of origin”, this complexity being able to create a great deal of confusion among customers.

The quality level of offers could also be improved, with the creation of labels to distinguish different qualities of green electricity.


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The ideal is, in the long term, to succeed in financing the installation of new renewable energy infrastructures in order to progress more rapidly towards the energy transition .


UNDERSTANDING HOW GREEN ELECTRICITY WORKS


 Find your own energy mix

 

The green electricity contracts are not the only way to contribute to the energy transition. Moreover, in order to benefit from the best efficiency and reduce their energy bill, households have every interest in thinking about their own energy mix, in particular by looking for other alternatives to electricity for the production of heating and electricity. domestic hot water .

The production of heat and domestic hot water remains the primary source of household electricity consumption. This production can be rationalized by turning to other energies with better efficiency, in particular when the surface to be heated is large. Heating large areas with electricity requires significant production that can weigh heavily on the energy bill.


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Households with larger areas therefore have every interest in equipping themselves with alternative heating systems to benefit from the best possible efficiency. Thanks to a hybrid system taking advantage of the best of the heat pump and the condensing boiler, the BOOSTHEAT boiler, for example, is today considered to be the least energy efficient in the world 

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