Stuck between a ROC and a hard place? Barriers to the take up of green energy in the UK

Ivan Diaz-Rainey*, John K. Ashton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 that 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3053-3061
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Energy policy
  • Green energy
  • Willingness to pay

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