The Paua renewable energy guarantee. Carbon reporting for your electric fleet

Paua Earth Day guarantee - 100% renewable energy to users of the Paua EV charge card


The Paua renewable energy guarantee

Paua guarantee’s that all electricity used with its network partners is 100% renewable and therefore guaranteed zero emissions.

We do this because we know that many of our customers are making the switch to EV for their environmental benefits. And we also know that many of our customers report on their scope 2 carbon emissions. So this blog sets out a little more about how we do it and introduces some of the key carbon reporting concepts.

Carbon reporting 

So lets start with carbon reporting. In the UK there are two main standards considered for carbon reporting; the Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol and the Defra emissions reporting guidelines. The UK Government now requires all companies listed on the main market of the FTSE to report on their emissions annually. In the main we see companies following the GHG protocol which broadly aligns to the Defra standards.

The Greenhouse gas protocol introduces the principles of Scope1, 2 and 3 emissions.

  • Scope 1 emissions covers emissions from sources that an organisation owns or controls directly – for example from burning fuel in a fleet of combustion engine vehicles.
  • Scope 2 emissions are emissions that a company causes indirectly when the energy it purchases and uses is produced. For example, for a fleet of electric vehicles the emissions from the generation of the electricity they’re powered by would fall into this category.
  • Scope 3 encompasses emissions that are not produced by the company itself, and not the result of activities from assets owned or controlled by them, but by those that it’s indirectly responsible for, up and down its value chain. An example of this is when a company buys, uses and disposes of products from suppliers. Employee’s commuting is also a scope 3 emission. Losses from transmission and distribution of electricity are also included in Scope 3. Scope 3 emissions include all sources not within the scope 1 and 2 boundaries.

This means that when operating a fleet of electric vehicles, a business needs to consider all their electricity purchases as part of their scope 2 emissions. This includes public EV charging. Here at Paua we are seeking to make this easier by guaranteeing that all electricity from our charge point network partners is renewable. In doing so we can guarantee that the emissions factor to be considered for your carbon reporting is 0g CO2/kWh. Paua can provide you all the kWh and once multiplied by “0” you know that the result will be zero emissions for you reporting.

The approach taken to carbon intensity of electricity uses location and market-based methodologies. Location-based look at the average grid mix (as proposed by Defra) and then market-based would look at the specific supplier mix (as proposed by the GHG Protocol), which for Paua is 100% renewable energy.

Paua notes that the approach outline above is based on using the disclosed fuel mix of your providers. If Paua is providing your public charging then our mix is 0gCO2/kWh. If we had a formalised fuel mix disclosure it would look like this. But please note that we do not have a fuel mix disclosure as charge point operators are not considered electricity suppliers.

Paua fuel mix disclosure - 100% renewable energy guaranteed

So what does Paua do to ensure that all electricity is zero emissions?

Paua has over 20 chargepoint network partners.

We work with each of them to verify whether their network is 100% renewable supplied. In many cases this is what the networks seek to achieve. However, there are some networks who work with a wide range of partners. Therefore, they cannot guarantee that the supplies are 100% renewable because some sites have electricity provided by their partners. In this case Paua is able to track all the energy used on these networks.

Paua calculates monthly the total energy within the networks that are not 100% renewable and we purchase renewable electricity guarantee of origin certificates to an equivalent amount before cancelling these certificates via Ofgem. The purchase of certificates from a tradable market ensures that Paua has guaranteed the electricity is renewable and the cancellation via Ofgem means that they cannot be sold again.

What Paua is very excited about is the ability to guarantee emissions on an hourly basis and this is something that we are investigating for the future.

Things to watch out for

There has been an increasing trend for tech companies to use real time API’s to calculate carbon intensity according to the exact time that electricity is being used. Whilst this is an interesting technical approach it is a very misleading metric to consider for two reasons

  • Firstly it is not an appropriate measure to use when conducting carbon reporting as outlined above.
  • Secondly it is an implied more accurate data point for the consumption of electricity. This is actually quite misleading. If you actually want to calculate the direct impact of your electric vehicles on the electricity system then you have to consider the marginal intensity of carbon production. This means that you calculate the impact that you plugging your vehicle into the system has at the exact moment you plug in. Your plugging in increases the need for electricity and therefore the “next” generation plant that comes on is a result of you plugging in. However this is a technically challenging calculation and therefore very few people do this.

Therefore our general advice is to avoid the use of real time carbon calculations for anything other than consumer applications that nudge drivers towards consideration of the impact of plugging in; not corporate reporting.

And finally if you want to learn more about the Paua 100% renewable guarantee then contact us to learn more.