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Australia’s greenest energy companies

Which Australian power companies really care about the environment? Find out with the Finder Green Awards.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The 2021 Finder Green Awards for energy was a close contest between companies making major headways in renewable energy, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies.

Couple that with more Australians looking to offset their carbon footprint, and our timing for picking out our green industry champions couldn't be better.

Greenest energy providers in Australia

We had three separate energy retailer categories for the 2021 Finder Green Awards. The overall category looks at all providers, but we also split them up further:

  • Traditional retailers – companies that also generate electricity
  • Retail-only companies – those that just sell electricity
Finder green awards logo

So, who topped our Finder Green charts?

Green Energy Retailer of the Year (Overall): Powershop
Traditional Energy Retailer of the Year (Traditional): Powershop
Green Energy Company of the Year (Retail-only): Energy Locals

You can find a full list of winners and finalists for the Finder Green Awards here.

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Powershop - Green Energy Retailer of the Year
(Overall and Traditional)

Powershop is one of the heavy hitters in the renewable energy space so it's no surprise that it came out on top in two of the categories.

Why was it chosen? It generates 100% electricity from zero emission sources like wind farms, and offers carbon-neutral plans as standard for all customers in Australia.

It also has impressive environmental targets in place and has launched a number of innovative initiatives to support clean technology in Australia.

Traditional categoryHow Powershop scored
Emissions from energy generation assets
(35% of overall score)
Powershop topped all the metrics in this section as it only owns renewable energy generation sites like the Mt Mercer Wind Farm and the Hume Dam Hydropower Station. This means 100% renewable energy and zero emissions.
GreenPower, carbon offsets and support for clean technology
(45% of overall score)
Powershop got top marks for offering carbon neutral to all customers and taking carbon credit quality seriously. It was also one of the top two providers when it came to the affordability of GreenPower and the proportion of customers choosing GreenPower.
Corporate environmental performance, reporting and targets
(20% of overall score)
Powershop scored highly across the board here with the fewest tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted per million dollars of revenue. It also got full marks for using 100% GreenPower in its corporate offices in Australia, and for having the highest recycling rates, plus the most ambitious environmental targets.
Retail-only categoryHow Powershop scored
Emissions from energy generation assets
(60% of overall score)
Again, Powershop was top scorer here thanks to 100% renewable energy generation assets. This means all power generated by Powershop comes from renewable sources that lead to zero emissions
GreenPower, carbon offsets and support for clean technology
(20% of overall score)
Powershop also scored well here with full marks for offering carbon neutral electricity to all customers as well as some of the most affordable GreenPower plans.
Corporate environmental performance, reporting and targets
(20% of overall score)
Powershop scored highly across the board in this section with low corporate emissions and 100% renewable power used in its offices in Australia. It also scored well for its impressive environmental targets.

Energy Locals logo

Energy Locals - Green Energy Retailer of the Year (Retail-only)

Energy Locals rose to the top in the retail-only category for the second year in a row. Since launching in 2016, Energy Locals has aimed to put sustainability at heart of its mission as a business and this continues to put them on the front foot of climate action in Australia.

Why was it chosen? Energy Locals has made sustainability and promoting renewable energy one of its main focuses. In particular, it was its efforts in promoting clean technology that set it apart.
Retail-only categoryHow Energy Locals scored
GreenPower, carbon offsets and Renewable Energy Target compliance
(52% of overall score)
Energy Locals scored well across the board here with full marks for offering carbon neutral electricity as standard to all customers. It also offers relatively affordable GreenPower plans.
Support for clean technology
(28% of overall score)
Energy Locals took the lead here thanks to some innovative ways to support the clean energy revolution. This includes playing a key role in the South Australia virtual power plant as well as partnerships with organisations like Amber Electric, Tesla, Enosi and Sonnen.
Corporate environmental performance, reporting and targets
(20% of overall score)
Lots of the providers scored well for this section with Energy Locals no exception. It had low greenhouse gas emissions, a clear carbon offset policy and a respectable recycling rate.

Compare GreenPower certified retailers

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Globird Energy Freelunch
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Local customer support based in Melbourne.
ActewAGL Standard Plan
ActewAGL Standard Plan
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EnergyAustralia Flexi Plan
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NSW,VIC,QLD,SA,ACT
NSW,VIC,SA,ACT
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Fixed rates and guaranteed discounts for the first 12 months.
Ergon Energy
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Not available at the moment
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Your energy provider for rural Queensland.
ActewAGL Capital Plan
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Elgas
Elgas
Not available at the moment
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  • GreenPower
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  • Monthly billing
N/A
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  • GreenPower
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ActewAGL Simple Saver Plan
ActewAGL Simple Saver Plan
ACT
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  • GreenPower
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What is green energy, and is it the same as GreenPower?

Green energy is often used interchangeably with the phrase renewable energy.

GreenPower, however:

  • Is a government-led initiative
  • Ensures the energy usage you're paying for will be matched by energy generated through government-approved renewable energy projects
  • Supports the growth of renewable energy generation in Australia
  • Is independently audited so you can be confident it's a greener option

What is carbon-neutral energy?

Carbon neutrality can be a confusing concept. At a basic level it means the environmental impact of an activity or company is offset with carbon credits.

Carbon credits are where things get confusing. They are:

carbon emission icon

Created and sold by projects which have a net positive impact on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere
tree planting icon
These projects could be anything from tree planting schemes to carbon-capture programs to renewable energy generation
love earth icon
It means that a carbon-neutral energy plan will have net-zero impact on the environment in the broadest sense but will not always mean more renewable energy is generated

What is the Green Electricity Guide?

While somewhat outdated at this stage, the 2018 Green Electricity Guide can still be used to get a general idea of the greenness" of some Australian energy retailers.

The guide was a joint initiative of Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre that ranked energy companies across a wide range of factors.

These included many of the same criteria as our own Finder Green Awards, including renewable generation, fossil fuel policy, emissions and energy management schemes.

energy efficient icon
Did you know?
  • 40% of Aussies are using energy efficient appliances, with the same amount using energy efficient lighting
  • 22% told us that they have solar panels
  • 8% have started buying green power
  • The average household pays $346 per quarter, while those using green energy pay $298 per quarter on average.

FAQs on green energy

We've unpacked the energy jargon used above so you can better understand how green power works.

More guides on Finder

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