Renewable Obligation: Number of ROCs Presented Towards 2018/19 UK Obligation

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Total obligation: 127,623,995 ROCs.

The Renewables Obligation (RO) requires licensed electricity suppliers to source a proportion of the electricity they supply to UK customers from renewable sources. We set suppliers’ obligations as a number of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). The revised obligation levels for 2018/19, announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on 05 January 2018 are:

  • 0.468 ROCs per MWh of electricity supplied to customers in England, Wales and Scotland
  • 0.185 ROCs per MWh of electricity supplied to customers in Northern Ireland

Using these obligation levels and multiplying by the total electricity supplied (MWh) to UK customers during this obligation period (1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019), the total obligation for 2018/19 is 127,623,995 ROCs. Split out for each obligation this is:

  • 114,579,143 ROCs in England and Wales
  • 11,611,524 ROCs in Scotland
  • 1,433,328 ROCs in Northern Ireland.

Suppliers were able to meet their obligations for 2018/19 by 1 September 2019 (31 August for buy-out payments) by:

  • Presenting ROCs to us
  • Making a buy-out payment of £47.22 per ROC
  • Using a combination of ROCs and a buy-out payment.

Any suppliers who did not meet their obligations in full by 1 September need to make a late payment by 31 October.

We have recently redistributed the Renewables Obligation (RO) buy-out fund for 2018/19. Details of the obligations and total payments for each RO scheme are shown in the Table 1 below.

Table 1


Total Obligation (ROCs) ROCs presented by suppliers Percentage of obligation met by ROCs Buy-out payments made by suppliers (rounded to nearest pound) Buy-out redistributed
England & Wales (RO) 114,579,143 95,846,330 83.7% £692,532,111 £687,789,063
Scotland (ROS) 11,611,524 10,574,337 91.1% £35,904,341 £35,659,675
Northern Ireland (NIRO) 1,433,328 1,223,293 85.3% £9,025,159 £8,963,145
Total 127,623,995 107,643,960 84.3%



Suppliers that presented ROCs towards their obligations and have fully discharged their obligation received buy-out fund recycle payments on 16 October 2019.

The amounts to be redistributed are shown in the far-right column in Table 1. We reached these values by withdrawing our and Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation’s (UR) administration costs, factoring in interest and rounding down the redistribution amounts to the nearest whole pound. Suppliers received approximately £6.80 for each ROC they presented. The proportion of the total ROCs each supplier presented, and therefore the share of buy-out payments they received, is shown in Table 2 (rounded to 2 decimal places).

There was a combined shortfall of £205,998,428.26 in the England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland buy-out funds. This was due to forty-two suppliers not meeting their total obligations by the above deadlines. These suppliers consequently owe late payments.

The deadline for suppliers to make late payments was 31 October 2019 and we will redistribute them before 1 January 2020. This will include interest paid by the suppliers at an annualised rate of 5.75% (5% + Bank of England base rate) as well as interest earned on the funds while in our accounts. When we redistribute the late payments we will also confirm the final recycle value, which will include an extra amount on top of the £6.80.

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