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27 November 2009

Marks & Spencer Signs Renewable Electricity Contract For Scottish Stores

Marks & Spencer has signed a long-term agreement with SmartestEnergy, the UK’s largest purchaser and supplier of independently generated electricity, to purchase renewable electricity equivalent to the amount used to power its 65 Scottish stores.*

The agreement, which was coordinated by Marks & Spencer’s energy consultant, Inenco, will be effective from April 2010 until March 2014. The agreement is another major step towards achieving the retailer’s Plan A objective to source or generate 100% ‘green’ electricity for M&S stores, offices and distribution centres in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Under the contract, all the electricity will be sourced from independent renewable generation sites in Scotland. Through these contracts, SmartestEnergy directly supports local small scale independent generators and gives them a route to market for their electricity.

Mervyn Bowden, Head of Energy Management at Marks & Spencer, said: “Sourcing our electricity from independent renewable generation is an important part of our wider commitment to the environment through Plan A, our 100 point eco-plan. SmartestEnergy was the only supplier that provided this innovative arrangement supporting the local renewable generation sector, and we are delighted to be working with them under this exciting contract.”

SmartestEnergy is the only supplier in the UK that allows business customers to specify the exact generation project they want their renewable electricity to be sourced from. SmartestEnergy can secure renewable power that can be tracked from source to supply because it is backed by certificates guaranteeing the origin of the power.

This is possible because of the size and diversity of SmartestEnergy’s portfolio of renewable electricity. As the leading purchaser of independent generation in the UK, SmartestEnergy specialises in offering small scale, independent generators a route to market for their electricity through power purchase agreements. SmartestEnergy has agreements with over 400 generation sites across the UK, giving it a portfolio of over 1500MW of electricity.

Jo Butlin, VP for Retail at SmartestEnergy, said: “We are delighted to be working with Marks & Spencer. The group has shown itself as a true leader not only in industry but also in its commitment to the environment and the local community. If we want to meet our renewable energy and climate change targets it is essential that we support independent generators who are fundamental in helping us bridge the forthcoming energy gap in a cost-effective and environmentally-responsible way. Corporate demand can help support these generators and Marks & Spencer is leading the way”.

Over 300 business sites have signed up to buy 100% renewable electricity from SmartestEnergy since the launch of its supply service in September 2008. Customers include leading corporate organisations such as the Arcadia Group, Eurostar, L’Oreal (UK) Ltd, Lloyds Pharmacy, Yorkshire Building Society and Cumbria County Council.

Notes to Editors

* Except the M&S Pollock store which is supplied by npower.


  • Marks & Spencer also has long-term ‘green’ tariff renewable electricity contracts for its stores in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


  • M&S currently buys over 30% of its electricity from renewable sources, compared with a starting point of just 2% in 2006/07 and is on plan to meet its 100% target by 2012.

About SmartestEnergy:

  • SmartestEnergy is the leading purchaser and supplier of electricity from the independent generation sector in the UK, with around 40% of the independent generation market share. It has agreements with producers, covering more than 400 sites in the UK. Generators range from sub 1MW to 420MW.
  • SmartestEnergy’s portfolio of generators includes blue chip industrial companies such as Rolls Royce Power Development, British Sugar and Viridor Waste Management as well as individual generators and project developers.
  • SmartestEnergy helps half hourly metered companies reduce their carbon footprint and meet their environmental responsibilities by providing renewable and low carbon energy contracts at prices competitive with traditional power generation.
  • SmartestEnergy can deliver renewable power from a variety of technologies and projects including landfill gas; waste to energy; hydro; biomass and wind.
  • SmartestEnergy is a limited UK company and is wholly owned by the Marubeni Corporation of Japan. Marubeni’s Projects Division is a global power projects player and today handles aggregate installed capacity in excess of 72,000MW. As SmartestEnergy is able to draw upon Marubeni’s financial resources and management expertise, it is well placed to develop its position in the UK market.
  • SmartestEnergy can deliver renewable power, tracked from source to supply, through the bundling of the power with CCL Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) and Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO).
  • SmartestEnergy’s retail business is based on strong environmental values and is committed to reducing waste. SmartestEnergy will be using electronic billing for all customers, not only saving on paper but also providing customers with a dynamic service to help manage their energy costs.


Media Enquiries:

Emma Johnson
Marks & Spencer
+44 (0)20 8718 1980

David Hopkins
Carbon International
+44 (0)20 7483 3343

Lucy Evans
Carbon International
+44 (0)20 7483 3343

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