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Discussion > ASA policy is to let Green orgs/biz get away with false claims, it seems

Roger Longstaff complained about Shell Energy promising 100%
It provoked the usual ASA that's OK response
but with slightly new words

I put the reply and then explain it in brackets/italics

I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about a recent TV ad by Shell Energy that stated they supplied 100% renewable energy to their customers. Their reply is shown below.


Thank you for contacting us about Shell’s advert and for your patience while your complaint was considered.

We asked the ASA Council to make a decision on the issue you raised as well as similar complaints that we received about this ad. However, after careful consideration, they have decided that no further action should be taken.

Your complaint
I understand that you challenged whether the claim "100% renewable electricity" was misleading because they believed it implied Shell Energy provided renewable energy direct to consumers’ homes.

Our rules
Advertising is considered to be misleading if it is likely to result in a decision, such as to seek out more information or make a purchase or donation, which consumers generally would not otherwise have made

The ASA Council’s decision
Council noted the ad stated that Shell Energy “supply all our home energy customers with 100% renewable electricity”, as well as “where does your electricity come from?” and “home energy matters”.
While they noted the complainants’ concerns, we noted that the ad did not state that Shell Energy supplied 100% renewable energy directly to customers
, and considered the general interpretation was likely to be that it referred
to the provenance of the electricity that Shell Energy customers paid for

( ie they say there are two things
i Electricity you get, which is any old energy in the grid
ii. Electricity that you paid to get inputted to to the grid which is provided directly from renewables or has ROCs that cover it, even if its from gas etc.

Council understood that the vast majority of power generated by renewable and non-renewable sources was sent to and then distributed via the National Grid and, as such, it was generally not possible to have renewable energy supplied direct from power source to consumer. However, electricity used by customers on renewable energy tariffs, such as those we understood was offered by Shell Energy, was accounted for by electricity from renewable sources being fed into the National Grid, which added to the total renewable energy supplied to consumers even though their electricity was delivered to them via the National Grid.

Council noted that the on-screen text explained (was it big enough ?) the process by which Shell Energy offset the energy used by its customers, in stating “for every unit of electricity you buy we’ll purchase renewable certificates for electricity from various renewable sources”, and considered that was likely to further clarify that the ad related to the provenance of the supply, rather than being understood to refer to how energy was provided to the home. For the reasons given, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead consumers into believing that Shell Energy supplied 100% renewable energy direct to consumers’ homes.

Action taken
We have made the advertiser aware of the issues that were brought to our attention in case they wish to take on-board the information provided when creating their ads in the future.
Although we won’t take further action this time, we will keep a record of your complaint for reference in our future assessments. We will also take your complaint into account in our regular, proactive ‘intelligence gathering’ sweeps, where we analyse a range of information – including complaints made to us – to report on issues, even when they have not broken the advertising rules, that have caused concern.
We hope this helps to explain our decision, and thank you again for contacting us.

Kind regards
Bianca Scarpati Complaints Executive

Jun 19, 2019 at 4:59 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen