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ARK Tariff

Additional Renewable Kilowatt Energy Supply Tariff

Corporate Partnerships Manager Charlotte Davis with Gaia Energy Director Jim Hackford in July 2016

Gaia Energy teamed up with Christian Aid to develop the ARK Tariff (Additional Renewable Kilowatt tariff) in 2007. You can find more information at the Christian Aid’s website. Green electricity can still be short supply for non-domestic customers. Churches are in the SME (small-medium enterprise) market. Although the energy itself is non-green the ARK tariff creates environmental benefit in Mali, West Africa. For 10 years the target project has been the Mail Folk Centre. See the Christian Aid video

For contracts starting from 01/01/2016 a small uplift of £20 per year (incl VAT) per contract (either gas or electricity or both) is added to the Standing Charge. Previously the Standing Charge remained the same and 0.4p was added to the kWh for electricity and 0.08p added for gas. Changing the structure from 2016 has succeeded in increasing the overall contribution by reducing individual amounts, and attracting far more participants.

Climate change is a threat to us all. But while the richest countries are largely to blame, it is the poorest that are suffering most from extremes of droughts and floods.

What does ‘Additional’ mean exactly?

Most green electricity tariffs have been more about helping electricity companies fulfil their renewables obligation to the government, than creating more capacity (except tariffs run by small, green-only companies). Usually a premium is paid for green energy that was going to be generated anyway and so essentially made no difference. The ARK tariff means that renewable energy will be generated overseas in addition to energy that is generated anyway. Ofgem describes additionality in its Revision of Guidelines on Green Supply Offerings March 2005:

Additionality. 2.7 Consumers choosing a green supply offering need to be able to be satisfied that their support is making a difference to the envronment in one or more of the three following ways:

  • Ensuring additional generation from renewable sources than would otherwise have occurred; 
  • Ensuring investment in the expansion of renewable generation capacity that would not otherwise have occurred; 
  • A clearly identified environmental benefit not directly related to renewable energy supply.” 

This is not Carbon Offsetting. We do not claim the ARK tariff offsets all the carbon emitted by your Site. However, the effect will be to support a reduction in carbon emissions in developing countries that partially compensates for your emissions.

We believe the most effective way of creating significant change is by lobbying government.