GreenPower: a Voluntary Government Program That Connects You to Renewable Energy

Information verified correct on December 6th, 2016

GreenPower_logo

GreenPower puts the Earth’s health in your hands, allowing you to feed renewable electricity into your
grid.

What is GreenPower?

GreenPower is the only government-certified renewable energy scheme, where you can purchase electricity from renewable sources all via your electricity retailer. Many of the larger retailers and some of the small ones offer GreenPower plans. These plans allow you to commit fractions of your energy consumption towards renewables. The GreenPower project was implemented to raise public awareness towards the need for national renewable energy.


How does it work?

GreenPower lets your retailer feed renewable electricity into the grid on your behalf. The amount of ‘green electricity’ you’re able to commit back to the grid is determined by the amount you use in your home and/or business. Different retailers offer different amounts of green electricity that you can commit to — you’ll have to investigate the details for each retailer individually. The more green electricity you commit to the system, the higher the cost for you, but the lower the long-term cost for the planet.

Where can I purchase GreenPower?

The majority of electricity retailers in Australia provide GreenPower options. Though the exact opportunities differ between retailers, the three largest retailers of green energy are AGL, EnergyAustralia, and Origin Energy. All of these retailers offer options for GreenPower feedback, while smaller suppliers like Lumo Energy provide options for just 10% renewable energy.

A brief history of GreenPower

GreenPower is an environmental initiative that came about in 1997 through a concerted effort from the state governments of NSW, VIC, ACT, SA, and TAS. In 2008, 11 years after it began, the GreenPower scheme is now supported by some of the country’s largest energy suppliers including AGL, EnergyAustralia, Integral Energy, and Simply Energy.

Why should I consider GreenPower?

In 2009, Australian residents purchased 1 million MWh of green electricity, and businesses purchased 1.2 million MWh. Enrolling in a GreenPower scheme is an effective way to support Australia’s renewable energy industry. It is also an effective way to reduce your household or business’s impact on the Earth.

What are GreenPower generators?

GreenPower generators create electricity from sources that are renewable — that is, can operate indefinitely. Since fossil fuels were created in the deep past, once they are exhausted we will have no recourse for that type of energy. GreenPower generators create electricity from renewable sources such as through wind-power, hydroelectric processes, energy through breaking down organic material, and of course solar power. GreenPower generators are spread throughout the country and specialise on one of these methods based on their location.

How trustworthy is the GreenPower scheme?

Twice a year, each state government involved in the scheme conducts an independent audit of the green electricity providers to ensure a truly renewable product is being produced.

For businesses:

What are the benefits?
  • More than 32,500 businesses have helped mitigate their environmental impact
  • Committed $300 million into renewable energy infrastructure
  • Inherent brand and marketing benefits
What are the costs?
  • Signing up for GreenPower is more expensive than electricity from regular non-renewable sources.
How do I find a provider?

Finding GreenPower providers is easy, you can speak to energy consultants, or alternatively go onto the GreenPower page to compare the deals offered by green electricity providers.

Case Study
Unipod

According to the GreenPower website, many businesses are operating with an outdated energy plan. Switching to an updated GreenPower plan can often result in net savings for a group. For instance, “...Unipod is projected to have saved $21,000 annually by switching to a new energy plan, including 10% GreenPower”.

Douglas Shire Council

Further, Douglas Shire Council — with 20 employees — purchased 1000 megawatt hours of green energy, saving them from emitting 1000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

For residential:

What are the benefits?
  • You’ll be joining over half a million homes in making a difference to the planet/
  • Contributing money towards the renewable energy sector; Australian residents have already contributed $250 million towards a more sustainable future.
What are the costs?
  • Signing up for GreenPower is more expensive than electricity from regular non-renewable sources. For more information on typical costs, you can visit the GreenPower website or take a look at a typical case study (below).
How do I find a provider?

Finding GreenPower providers is easy, you can speak to energy consultants, or alternatively go onto the GreenPower page to compare the deals offered by green electricity providers.

Case Study

For an average Australian home, the price of generating 100% of your home’s annual electricity is as little as three cups of coffee per week.

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