Policy update - Accounting for green power

12th March 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Energy ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Procurement ,
  • Renewable



IEMA's Nick Blyth on the development of new guidelines on how to account for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions produced by electricity from "green" tariffs

How organisations account for supplied “green” electricity in their carbon footprints varies considerably and can be contentious.

To harmonise practices worldwide, the World Resources Institute is developing new GHG accounting guidelines specifically for green electricity. IEMA is participating in the development of the guidelines, and has witnessed divergent views emerge on the two main approaches:

  • Consumed scope 2 – counting the GHGs of electricity supplied to, and consumed by, the organisation, mainly using grid-average factors.
  • Purchased scope 2 – counting the GHGs attributed to the generation of purchased electricity, which can lead to zero-emission accounting.

In the UK, Defra guidance for organisations is for all purchased electricity – supplied via the national grid – to be accounted for using a grid average emission factor. This provides an incentive for energy efficiency and onsite renewables, but it does not encourage organisations to switch to “greener” tariffs. Internationally, practice is more varied.

One proposal is for a dual reporting principle that acknowledges the two distinct means of assessing emissions and the GHG risks and opportunities potentially reflected in each figure.

This would require companies to quantify scope 2 emissions based on where the electricity was consumed and, where applicable, calculate the emissions associated with purchased electricity separately.

IEMA believes this approach would be an improvement on the existing GHG protocol and tested this through a mini poll of members.

The dual approach offers a number of benefits, according to the poll’s respondents, including: more complete information for decision making and greater transparency for stakeholders.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Swing voters show strong support for renewables

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Tom Harris examines the supply chain constraints facing the growing number of interconnector projects

2nd April 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s latest Public Attitudes Tracker has found broad support for efforts to tackle climate change, although there are significant concerns that bills will rise.

13th March 2024

Read more

A consortium including IEMA and the Good Homes Alliance have drafted a letter to UK government ministers expressing disappointment with the proposed Future Homes Standard.

26th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close