Energy suppliers

The Renewables Obligation (RO) places an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers in the UK to source a proportion of their supply to customers from eligible renewable sources.
The obligation is set annually by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The obligation period runs from 1 April to 31 March and the obligation level is published at least six months prior, by 1 October of the previous year.

It is based on a prediction of the amount of electricity that will be supplied in the UK and the number of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) that will be issued to eligible renewable generators.


Obligation period (1st April - 31st March)

Buy-out price (per ROC)

Obligation level for England & Wales and Scotland (ROCs/MWh)

Obligation level for Northern Ireland (ROCs/MWh)

2009-2010 £37.19 0.097 0.035
2010-2011 £36.99 0.111 0.0427
2011-2012 £38.69 0.124 0.055
2012-2013 £40.71 0.158 0.081
2013-2014 £42.02 0.206 0.097
2014-2015 £43.30 0.244 0.107
2015-2016 £44.33 0.29 0.119
2016-2017 £44.77 0.348 0.142
2017-2018 £45.58 0.409 0.167
2018-2019 £47.22 0.468 0.185

The recommended methodology for calculating electricity supply data is given in Appendix 5 of our Guidance for Suppliers. For reference, this includes:

  • Supply to customers connected directly to a licensed distribution network
  • Supply to customers connected to a licence-exempt distribution network
  • Supply to customers connected directly to the transmission system.

A supplier’s obligation is calculated by:

Supplier obligation (ROCs) = Total electricity supplied (MWh) x Obligation level (ROCs/MWh)

How suppliers can meet their obligations

Suppliers can meet their annual obligation by presenting ROCs, making a payment into a buy-out fund or a combination of the two.

Where no electricity has been sold during an obligation period, a zero sales declaration must be made instead. We set the buy-out price per ROC, adjusted with the Retail Prices Index annually.

Our scheme administration costs are recovered from the buy-out fund. The remaining buy-out fund together with any interest accrued is then redistributed to suppliers in proportion to the number of ROCs each presented.

For a list of key dates and actions, refer to RO compliance process.
For full details on how to comply please read our Guidance for suppliers.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 11th Sep 2017
  • Guidance, Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This document has been updated to reflect the anticipated changes to the RO scheme arising from the Draft RO (Amendment) (EIIs) Orders 2017.

  • Published: 1st Dec 2015
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document provides guidance for all GB and NI licensed electricity suppliers under the Renewables Obligation. It explains what licensed electricity suppliers need to do in order to comply with the Renewables Obligation.

  • Published: 1st Dec 2015
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This information sheet explains how to understand Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) identifiers and provides lists of all the current generation type, country, technology type, and banding type identifiers.

  • Published: 3rd Apr 2013
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
See draft updated version of the RO Guidance for licensed electricity suppliers which takes into account the 2013 banding review amendments.