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Rebel(ling) against REGO’s

At Rebel Energy, we’re committed to providing clean energy as part of our customer offering. However, our rapid growth presents challenges in securing direct volumes of renewable energy from generators to meet our customers’ electricity demands. This has led us to consider purchasing Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs).

However, we understand the moral dilemma here. While REGOs would label our energy as 100% renewable, we’re cautious about this route. Just buying REGOs might seem like greenwashing, and we’re not comfortable with that. It’s hard to know how much of this trade actually supports renewable generation in the UK versus just benefiting traders or other intermediaries.

Rather than opting for this conventional route, we’ve decided to take a different stance. We see a better use for these funds: addressing the environmental damage caused by the energy industry and aiding those in poverty by reducing their energy consumption. We’re making a conscious choice to invest in initiatives that support nature and alleviate energy poverty in the UK.

The Rebel way is to view this as a self-imposed tax, with the proceeds directed towards environmental restoration and helping the most vulnerable households access energy-saving solutions. By giving to an independent charity, we ensure these funds are used effectively for the betterment of society as a whole.

Our approach may be unconventional, but we believe it’s the right one. It’s about making a hard but necessary choice for the benefit of our planet and its people.

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Rebel uses Eliq to put the customer first 

Rebel Energy has launched a new app for customers to monitor, track and manage their energy usage on the move.   Developed by Eliq, the energy technology platform provider, it encourages customers to submit meter readings directly to their account and see useful information about usage, bills, payments, account balance and more.

Bwalya Kasase, Head of Operations at Rebel Energy has been working closely with Eliq throughout the app’s development.  He says: “It has been great to be able to lean on the technological knowhow of Eliq in order to bring this app to our customers.  Now our customers can better manage their energy use.  Rather than waiting for their monthly bill, people can log on whenever they want and gain a deeper insight into how much they are spending in real time.”

Alex Ross, Project Manager at Eliq says: “We have loved working with Rebel because here is an energy supplier who is doing everything it can to end fuel poverty by helping its customers directly.

“Energy inefficiency is a large problem in the UK. Wastage costs money and harms the planet. Rising energy costs make this even more urgent. By choosing Eliq, Rebel provides yet another additional service to their customers, giving them the tools to understand their consumption through intelligent energy insights. Rebel customers will be empowered to take action on their energy usage, save money and get a better feeling of being in control.”

Already in the first two weeks of rollout, over 60% of Rebel Energy’s customers have downloaded the app.  Rebel continues to partner with Eliq to build a customer account portal for use on large screens.

The new Rebel Energy App is available in the Google Play & Apple App store for Rebel Energy customers to download free.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.eliq.rebel

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/rebel-energy/id1612269241

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JOIN THE REBELLION

We’ve all seen energy prices rocket.  Just look at our recent bills coming in at home.  But did you know that the amount of electricity you use in your home is also set to *double* over the next 15 years? 

We’ve worked this out based on an explosive combination of new factors, set off by the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine.  Changes includes more people working from home, the desire to wean ourselves off oil and gas, an increase in electric vehicles plugged in at home and heat pumps being rolled out. And how many more new gadgets will be needing electricity?  Add to this the stats about a growing population, an increase in housing stock, and more people living independently, and you can see why energy use is going up.

Commentators call it “The Energy Transition”.

Rebel is in the business of supplying energy, but we want to show people how to use it wisely, not to waste it, and to help people on low incomes to access technology and other ways to keep their costs managable and as low as possible. This issue is dearest to our hearts – ending fuel poverty in the UK.

Rebel was founded to offer clean energy, fair prices and superb customer service. We keep things local. We generate our energy in the UK, and we invest in carbon-removal projects throughout the country. Although many of our customers still use gas, we are helping them find alternative sources. We are supplying energy through solar panel installations and wind turbines. Because, what’s more…Rebel Energy will not rest until fossil fuels are history.

These are all huge issues, and we believe that we can tackle them because they are all interlinked anyway. Since the pandemic, people are trying to make more ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly choices. That incredible wave of altruism, determination to buy local and to help the people around us, is still with us.

That’s what makes Rebel the only energy supplier for this unique moment.

Join The Rebellion.  Sign up for change at www.rebelenergy.com

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BE THE FIRST TO REBEL IN 2022

It’s tough times for the energy market right now, but here at Rebel we’re keeping the proverbial fires burning thanks to another successful funding round with our amazing team of investors.

That means we can spend the winter focusing on what matters – building a sustainable, profitable business capable of weathering whatever storm the markets bring. We’ll be perfecting our automation, our tech systems and customer platforms to ensure we’re in the best possible shape for launch. And that will be the real test, because the quicker we can scale-up, the quicker we can begin the real work of helping the fuel-poor. 

Let’s face it, this winter is going to be really tough for those who are hard-up. With prices spiralling out of control, it’s not just energy suppliers struggling to stay afloat – the 1 in 10 UK households living in fuel poverty will experience rising debts, which means families cutting corners and children going hungry. With increasing the pressure to self-disconnect, we’ll see more respiratory illnesses and cold-weather deaths, particularly among the elderly who are most at risk. 

We think there’s never been a more important time to be a Rebel, and supporting an ethical supplier like ours means being part of a movement for change. We believe that change is worth it and we hope you do too.

Sign-up for our waiting list now to stay abreast of our plans for launch. When we kick-off in the new year, you’ll be the first to know. For any questions in the meantime, drop us a line at beta_tester@rebelenergy.com, we’d love to hear from you.

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OUR ELECTRICITY IS 100% RENEWABLE. BUT IT’S COMPLICATED.

For every unit of green energy that’s put on the grid, a REGO certificate is issued with it. These authenticate that the energy comes from a renewable source. 

Sounds fine. But REGOs have problems.  

The most glaring is that the REGO and its unit of energy can be separated. So a company can buy the certificate without buying the energy. This is greenwashing at its most flagrant — taking brown energy from the grid, and using a now-meaningless REGO to claim it as green. 

We buy the REGO and the energy that comes with it — so every unit of electricity we sell is matched with a unit of 100% renewable energy.  

But this has its problems too. We could argue that buying REGOs is increasing the country’s demand for green energy and incentivises generators. But we’re not going to do that. Because we’re not putting anything new onto the grid with a REGO— we’re just using what’s already there. 

To create a better energy future, we need to get new energy onto the grid. And REGOs won’t get us there.  

That’s why we’re forming relationships (these agreements are called power purchase agreements or PPAs) with renewable energy generators in the UK – ethical, community-minded producers whose business models we can get behind.  

At the end of our first year of trading, a big chunk of our energy will come from these generators (we’re working on an exact commitment). This will make our electricity fully traceable to the UK farm where it was produced, and help to grow the market for renewable power. All of which contributes to the long-term goal: turning every electron on the grid green.  

Then the real work starts. Equipping our customers with the means to generate their own energy. 

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BE PART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL. BECOME A BETA TESTER NOW.

We’re building a better energy supplier. Actually, it’s more than that: we’re redesigning the energy supplier from the ground up – for this unique and transformative moment in time

That takes work. And we need feedback on that work. So we’re looking for beta testers – an exclusive group of early customers to join us while we make sure everything runs smoothly. During this period, we’ll be testing our systems and checking all is in place. 

Here are the basics of beta-testing with us 

  • When supplying your energy, we guarantee you will always have power 
  • There will always be someone to help you 
  • Our website will look good, but our emails will be basic 
  • Your comments and feedback will shape what we do in the future 

And here are the essentials 

  • Call us on 0345 528 0195 if you need any help 
  • Or help@rebelenergy.com if you prefer to email
  • Dial 105 for electricity emergencies. Dial 0800 11 999 for gas emergencies. 

We get into more detail below, but if you already know you want to come on this journey, get a quote now.  

Industry-leading automation 

We’re automating back-end processes so our people can focus 100% on delivering what matters: great customer service, clean energy, real affordability, and helping those who need it. 

The automation is built. The processes are mapped out. The only thing missing is input from real people, using our website and web portal as normal. Once our robots (or ‘Rebelots’, if you will) get used to how our customers use the system, we’re confident it will be the best in the business.  

Customer experience 

We’re developing customer experience that’s caring, thorough and easy to use. And we haven’t quite perfected it yet.  

So until it’s rolled out in all its glory, we’ll have something more basic. In practice, that means things will be a little less slick on the design front. And emails might arrive a little slower than usual. But everything will be 100% personalised and accurate – and there will always be someone at the other end, ready to help.  

Building something better 

That last paragraph captures the nature of beta testing. Things will be a little slower and plainer to begin with. And there will probably be one or two things that look a bit off. But everything does work. And you get to shape something special: creating a better approach to energy, at a time when we need it the most.  

Get a quote to become a beta tester now. 

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THE UN DECADE ON ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST-EVER ENDEAVOURS

Tomorrow is the 47th World Environment Day (the very first was held in 1974, which tells us that we’ve been dealing with this issue for a long time). 

This one is special. It launches the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Spanning 2021 to 2030, this is a global mission to restore and revive billions of hectares of ecosystems. Saving the planet, saving ourselves.  

This is essential work: over the last century, we’ve destroyed half of our wetlands. Half of our coral reefs are gone too, and we might well lose 90% of them by 2030 even if we keep the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. We’ve lost uncountable acres of forests, peatbogs, seagrass meadows and mangroves. When those ecosystems go, they take insects, animals, plants and carbon stores with them. And it’s crucial to note that environmental degradation goes hand in hand with growing inequality. 

So there’s a lot of work to do: a lot of land and ocean to repair. A lot of nature to heal. And not a lot of time. 

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is one of the world’s greatest-ever endeavours — this is the chance to take hold of the magnificent world we live in, and save it from destruction. It’s a task that touches every inch of our earth, from the darkest reaches of the sea, to our busy cities and the tops of our mountains.  

We might feel overwhelmed by the scale of all this. But the fundamental truth is that change comes from holistic, sustainably-run, locally-empowered projects. And anyway, restoration is good for us. Apart from the bald fact that it gives us a future, it’s also good for our general health and wellbeing (and it actually gives healthy returns on financial investment too).  

In other words: we really can make a difference. We just have to do it. 

The themes of 2021’s World Environment Day are ‘Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.’ These are about ambition, action, imagination – and they put the era of vague commitments and watered-down plans firmly in the past. 

They also have a striking rhyme with our own values of ‘Rebuild, Restore, Renew’. Which makes sense: we share WED’s belief that restoring the planet and social justice are intimately and inextricably linked

You might ask what we’re doing, apart from supplying 100% renewable electricity.  

We set up Rebel Restoration to support brilliant projects that restore ecosystems, remove carbon from the atmosphere and empower local communities. A lot of these are in the UK (we’re particularly keen on restoring peatbogs and planting seagrass meadows), and we also want to plant mangroves overseas.  

We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do. We’re sure there will be teething problems and we’ll make mistakes – but we are fully committed to an approach that actually means something. We will do the right thing when there is nobody watching.  

This is the decade that makes or breaks it. And we know where we stand.

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WHEN WE RESTORE OUR OCEANS, WE RESTORE OUR OWN HEALTH

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘nature’. 

We know that being in nature is good for our mental health. It’s not some great new thing we’ve just discovered – it’s fundamental to who we are. Our health is our planet’s health. Our planet’s health is our health.  

Mental health is something we think about at Rebel, in terms of customers and employees (as far as we know, we’re the only energy supplier in the UK that offers each and every employee a paid wellbeing day once a month, to be spent however they wish). 

We’re particularly keen to talk about mental health and nature together, as interconnectedness is our favourite topic – the interconnectedness of us and nature, and of our problems and solutions.  

So bear with us while we explain what our approach to the carbon market has to do with mental health.  

When we started Rebel, we started work on Rebel Restoration. This is our foundation set up to support carbon-removal projects (mostly) in the UK.  

You’ll notice we don’t say ‘carbon offsetting’, and that’s because we think the phrase is misleading. We don’t really believe we can just offset carbon emissions from fossil fuels by paying somebody else to plant trees, and think everything will be ok.  

But what we can do is back projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere, restore biodiversity and empower local communities. While transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewables and electrification.  

The more holistic our approach, the better for our landscapes, and, in the end, for our own wellbeing.   

Take one of those projects closest to our hearts: seagrass.  

The ocean is good for us. Walking beside it, listening to the waves, swimming in it. Even just seeing the ocean has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. These benefits are so clear that time in wetlands is now being prescribed for people with mental health issues.  

So, for our own wellbeing, we need healthy oceans. And healthy oceans are oceans filled with seagrass.  

Seagrasses occupy 0.1% of the seafloor, yet are responsible for 11% of the organic carbon buried in the ocean. Seagrass meadows, mangroves and coastal wetlands capture carbon at a rate greater than that of tropical forests. 

Planting meadows of seagrass means more biodiversity, thriving native species, more bountiful fishing, engaged local communities, better places to visit.  

Or, put simply, healthier oceans equal healthier us. 

This is why we like the ‘nature’ theme of Mental Health Awareness Week. We’re trying lots of things in the interest of good health – from those wellbeing days for our employees to a customer approach that’s caring rather than merely transactional.  

But at the heart of it is a belief that everything is connected. That when we restore our oceans (and peatbogs, and forests), we restore our own health.

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FOR EARTH DAY 2021, WE KNOW WE’RE NOT DOING ENOUGH YET. BUT WE’RE GETTING THERE.

It was Earth Day a couple of weeks ago. We could have posted a picture of a tree and said ‘it’s all of our responsibilities to look after our planet and that’s why we supply 100% renewable electricity’.  

But we all know that that’s not good enough. 

Green is no good if it’s the preserve of the already well-off. Renewable energy shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be the default. Every piece of toast that pops out of a toaster on a fair British morning should have been cooked by renewable electricity. Every electron on the grid should be generated from UK-based renewable energy sources.

Anything less means we’re not trying hard enough.

Because we have bigger problems: gas and carbon-offsetting.

Our country is plumbed for gas. All of those emissions go into the atmosphere, and we can’t simply subtract them again…it’s not that simple. Don’t believe anyone that tells you it is. The only real solution is not to burn fossil fuels at all.

So, we need to move away from gas and towards heat pumps, electrification and fuel-efficient houses. And we need to do it urgently.

Until we get there, the whole carbon-offsetting conversation needs to change. Because the system that we have right now does not work. This market is so dysfunctional that a major company recently purchased carbon credits (a carbon credit is a certificate that allows you to claim you have removed X tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, you can learn more about it here), and it did this not by planting trees but by *not cutting them down*.

This is a failure on pretty much every level.

But the good news is that there are better, more effective ways of doing it. Like: investing in community-led projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere and restore biodiversity.

That’s why we, as a UK energy supplier, are backing UK carbon-removal projects. We will also back projects overseas where we believe the carbon, biodiversity and social impact merit it, but we will not forget our own fair isles, where 25% of our mammals are at imminent risk of extinction, where we have vast carbon removal potential, and habitat loss on land and in the sea has reached terrifying levels – 97% of our meadows on land, and 92% of our seagrass meadows are gone.

As we think about Earth Day 2021, we know we’re not doing enough yet. But we are working towards that. And we have built our company so we are legally obliged to get better, and better, and better.

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ON EARTH DAY, WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT FUEL POVERTY.

On Earth Day, we want to talk about fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty affects 3.18 million households in England and is a hard-to-see social problem that wrecks lives.

Why are we talking about it now? Because one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned over the years is that you can’t be green without being socially conscious. And you can’t be socially conscious without being green.

The truth about the mess we’re in is that it’s all interconnected, all deeply tangled together. And the longer we treat environmental issues as discreet from social issues, the longer we delay fixing them.

Look into any one issue, and you quickly find just how tangled it is with other issues. One big driver of fuel poverty is fuel-inefficient houses – old, drafty buildings require more energy to keep them going. And poorer people tend to live in these houses. So poor people pay more money, and more carbon gets released into the atmosphere.

To solve this issue, we need to make those houses more fuel-efficient (triple-glazing and insulation to start with, and better housing stock further down the line). And we need to make renewable energy accessible to all.

You can see why we use the word ‘holistic’ a lot. These problems can only be understood together.

That’s why we talk about ‘renewing the way business is done’. Because it’s not a viable option to simply donate more profit to charitable causes. No, the whole structure of business needs to change – by putting people and justice at the centre of what we do.

This means being oriented towards results, not intentions.

This means being led by the affected and the marginalised.

This means working together and collaborating for the collective good.

Energy is actually a great metaphor for this. The old way – extractive, centrally-owned, simplistic, offshore – isn’t working. So we’re going the new way – regenerative, local, intersectional, accountable.

Because not only can we address climate change and social issues at the same time. We must do so.