CHAPTER 4: HOW TO GET OFF GAS
Sign up for GreenPower retailers
There’s a lot to think about when choosing an energy provider. While price is critical, environmental credentials are equally important.
Many Australians want to make environmentally conscious choices when it comes to choosing their electricity provider, but it isn’t always clear what the energy retailers provide, and there’s a tonne of greenwashing across the industry.
What is GreenPower?
When you buy renewable energy via your provider, it is quantified and traded through certificates that are added to a government-accredited scheme known as GreenPower. When you buy a GreenPower product from your electricity retailer, you’re paying for electricity produced by renewable power sources that meet a strict set of criteria for accreditation. But the renewable energy is not fed directly into your house. Instead, it’s added to the grid on your behalf.
When you buy GreenPower from your retailer, the retailer registers the sale in their database. At the start of the next year, the retailer must buy certificates representing the same amount of electricity from an approved renewable energy generator. Called Large Scale Generation Certificates or LGCs, each one represents 1 Megawatt Hour of renewable electricity. LGCs can only be ‘created’ by accredited wind, solar, hydro or biomass generators of more than 100kW in size.
Since 2014, Not-for-profit Greenpeace has put out a Green Energy Guide that measures energy providers’ ‘green’ credentials based upon several measurables such as their carbon emissions, coal reliance, and overall climate impact. Providing a state-by-state ranking, it is the only independent guide to the environmental performance of electricity retailers in Australia.
Switching electricity providers is one of the quickest and easiest ways you can impact the way energy retailers operate. By switching to a greener electricity provider, you’re helping to transform Australia’s electricity system by encouraging providers to source more energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro.
Renew also supports the purchasing of GreenPower.