Stuck Between a ROC and a Hard Place? Barriers to the Take-Up of Green Energy in the UK
Department of Accountancy and Finance, University of Otago, New Zealand
John K. Ashton
University of East Anglia - Norwich Business School; University of East Anglia - Centre for Competition Policy
January 1, 2008
Energy Policy, Vol. 36, No. 8, pp. 3053-3061 , 2008
This paper examines the UK mechanisms for ensuring future investment in renewable energy through consumer adoption of green energy tariffs and the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) system. Using a national survey and focus groups the stated willingness by UK customers to pay a premium for renewable or green energy and actual take-up of such tariffs is assessed. Substantial differences between willingness to pay for and the adoption of green energy tariffs are reported. This disparity is linked to a range of factors including consumer confusion, lack of supply, complexities of constructing 'green source' tariffs under the ROC system and a lack of customer trust. It is concluded the re-definition of the green energy market in favour of 'green source' tariffs, greater direct compliance with the Renewable Obligation by addressing supply constraints, and efforts in providing clearer information and choices for consumers via a compulsory green energy accreditation scheme are required if willing consumers' are to contribute to investment in renewable energy.
Keywords: willingness to pay, renewables, green marketing, energy policy
JEL Classification: L94, Q42, Q48, Q20Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 18, 2007 ; Last revised: January 24, 2011
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