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ARK Tariff

Additional Renewable Kilowatt Energy Supply Tariff

Women from several self-help groups in Goldia Village, Bene Tsemay district meet to discuss the benefits and challenges of the SCIP energy project.

Gaia Energy teamed up with Christian Aid to develop the ARK Tariff (Additional Renewable Kilowatt tariff) in 2007. Until late 2017 the target project has been the Mali Folk Centre, but from January 2018 a new project has been selected.

Customers using this ethical energy tariff are helping fund a community Solar Powered Horticulture Cold Chain Facility in the Makueni County of Kenya.

The benefits of this are:

  • it provides farmers with a small-scale, low-cost and sustainable energy source
  • it helps to increase income and food security
  • it gives access to reliable lighting
  • it reduces the use of kerosene lamps which have extensive health and environmental drawbacks.

You can find more information at Christian Aid’s website.

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

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.