New Green Electricity Guide

Green Lifestyle

A new electricity guide ranks the green credentials of electricity retailers.


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A new online Green Electricity Guide is an independent tool consumers can use to compare the green credentials of electricity companies. State-by-state rankings assess retailers against seven criteria, creating a simple guide for consumers who want to switch to a more environmentally friendly power company.

Produced by Greenpeace Australia and the Total Environment Centre, the website ranks 20 electricity retailers using publicly available information as well as a survey, which nearly all the companies returned.

“For the first time Australians can access an independent Green Electricity Guide which cuts through the mire of deals and shines a light on whether power companies are really as green as they claim,” said Senior Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner.

“Consumers rank energy providers up there with snake oil sellers and used car salesmen. Power companies have earned a poor reputation for their foot in the door, hard-sell tactics where confusing information rules the day.”

The electricity sector is the largest source of greenhouse emissions in Australia and 85 per cent of electricity still comes from coal and gas fired power stations. The energy market is changing and people have the choice to purchase from electricity retailers that invest primarily in renewable energy.

Companies are given either a green, orange or red ranking and are assessed on seven criteria, including investments in fossil fuels or renewables, the pollution intensity of their assets, whether they invest in coal seam gas and whether they support or are hostile to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. The Renewable Energy Target is a policy that aims to ensure 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

Reece Turner continues, “the biggest greenwashers by far are the top three energy retailers – EnergyAustralia, AGL and Origin Energy, which provide electricity to over three quarters of Australian households. The Dirty Three like to tout their green credentials but the guide shows their investments in renewables are relatively small and behind the scenes they are actively working to undermine Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.” All attracted a ‘red’ ranking in the guide.

Those attracting ‘green’ rankings are Diamond, Aurora, Momentum and Red. Powershop is the highest ranked company, but is currently only available in Victoria.

Mark Byrne, Energy Market Advocate for the Total Environment Centre added: “this guide shows a big divide between the old companies which dominate the energy market and rely on burning coal and gas for electricity generation, and a new breed of forward-looking companies which are providing cleaner energy at a comparable price.

“Identifying a genuinely green electricity provider is no longer like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This guide sends a message to other providers to do the right thing and hopefully change the face of electricity sector in Australia.

“But there is more we could know about retailers’ environmental performance, so TEC is calling for regulators to require retailers to disclose the emissions intensity of the total fuel mix – in other words, how much carbon pollution they are causing from all the energy they sell to customers, not just from the power stations they own.”

Click here for the Green Electricity Guide.