Fed back solar power no longer deducts CO2 from footprint
From April 29, 2022, ‘returned self generated electricity’ in the Envirometer has a factor of 0 kg CO2/kWh instead of a negative factor for gray power. This also effects existing, older years. If you used the item ‘returned self generated electricity’, the CO2 footprint in your Envirometer is higher than before.
Years ago, when Stichting Stimular added ‘returned electricity’ to the Envirometer, it seemed logical that you would receive a ‘reward’ in your CO2 footprint for supplying green electricity to the electricity grid. So solar power supplied to the grid resulted in a deduction from your own CO2 footprint. At the time, very little green electricity was returned and almost never more than the company used in electricity. Now it turns out that was the wrong choice.
Why no longer CO2 deduction for returned electricity?
- By feeding green energy back to the grid, you have become a supplier of green electricity. That is not part of your internal business operations and therefore not part of your own CO2 footprint.
- If you return electricity, you also sell the Guarantees of Origin (GoO) of your electricity. Your supplier will sell the green energy supplied by you as green energy to a third party. The environmental benefit of the green electricity is therefore for the customer of the energy company.
Now this has been changed:
- the Envirometer is in line with the international GHG protocol (GreenHouseGas) and ISO 14064, which state that green electricity fed back into the electricity grid should not count as CO2 reduction.
- it is easier and more unambiguous to fill in the fed back green electricity (until now, the explanation of the item stated that you did not have to fill in more than you used when returning it).
- calculations of CO2 footprint and key figures in the Envirometer are more accurate and you run no risk of net negative CO2 emissions in your footprint or key figure.
- there is an extra incentive to use self-generated sustainable electricity as much as possible.
Advice on how to deal with this change
If you have used ‘returned electricity’ for one or more years, your CO2 emissions for electricity have now become higher. Below are some tips on how to deal with it.
- If you have 100% green energy and if you had limited ‘of which green energy’ to the net purchased electricity (purchased minus returned), the calculation was correct, but not anymore. To make it right again, fill in the total purchased electricity at ‘of which green energy’.
- If you have entered gray power and ‘returned electricity’, then the calculation has been adjusted and improved.
- If you published CO2 footprints on the Envirometer website, these will not change automatically. If you want to adjust a ‘public footprint’: first ‘stop sharing’ and then share again.
- If you have entered the net purchased electricity (purchased minus returned) for purchased electricity, you are still calculating with a negative CO2 factor for returned electricity. You can correct this by dividing the net power into purchased and returned power.
Calculating a CO2 footprint has thus been improved, in line with the GHG protocol and entering data has become more logical (and therefore easier), especially for companies that produce more green energy than they use themselves.