Introducing GreenPower: GreenPower is a voluntary government program that helps energy customers contribute to Australia's renewable energy use in the form of wind, solar, water or bioenergy. This guide will help you understand how it works and who provides it in Australia.
GreenPower: Need to know
- Is it popular? Australian energy customers have invested more than $500 million into renewables through GreenPower purchases since 2009.
- How much does it cost? If you buy 100% GreenPower, expect to pay 5 to 8 cents more per kWh.
- How do I know if a plan has GreenPower? To check if the energy product you're buying is certified, look for the GreenPower "tick" logo.
GreenPower is the only government-certified renewable energy scheme and it launched in 1997 to raise public awareness of the need for national renewable energy.
- How it works: It enables Australian energy customers to offset their electricity usage by purchasing electricity from certified renewable sources via their retailer.
- What does your retailer do? Once you purchase Greenpower through your retailer, renewable energy is then added to the grid on their behalf.
GreenPower lets your retailer feed renewable electricity into the grid on your behalf. The amount of "green electricity" you put back into the grid depends on how much energy your home or business uses and how much you're willing to spend.
When you buy GreenPower, your retailer buys certificates of the same amount from certified renewable energy generators. These certificates are also known as Large Scale Generation Certificates or LGCs and are made by accredited generators.
Does it mean my energy comes from renewables?
- No, your energy comes from typical sources like coal.
- Your usage is off-set with a contribution to renewables (renewable energy is fed into the grid on you behalf).
What are GreenPower generators?
GreenPower generators create electricity from sources that are renewable and can operate indefinitely. These generators create electricity from wind power, hydroelectric processes, wave and tidal power, and solar power. Each generator must be certified by the government.
According to the government, approximately 85% of Australian energy comes from non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal. As a result, electricity is the biggest single contributor to Australia's greenhouse emissions. By choosing GreenPower, you can offset your energy with renewables that produce no greenhouse gases.
Additionally, the scheme is helping to grow Australia's renewable energy sector. Most of what you pay for GreenPower goes directly to support and create certified renewable generators.
Whether or not a retailer is GreenPower certified also affects its green rating.
GreenPower costs more than your standard electricity. According to the official website, customers who buy 100% GreenPower will pay an estimated 5 to 8 cents more per KWh. To find out exactly how much more you'll have to pay, check with your energy retailer.
The more GreenPower you choose to purchase, the higher the cost. However, if you buy a 100% GreenPower product, you can offset all of the gas emissions created by your energy use and further reduce your impact on the planet.
The truth is, the benefit of GreenPower is different to each customer.
- If you are willing to pay a little bit extra to support renewable energy investment in Australia, then it could be a good option.
- If you are expected carbon emissions to be cut, then another renewable option like investing in solar might be better for you.
GreenPower vs Carbon-Neutral vs Green Energy Ratings
The main aim is to:
- Increase renewable energy generation across Australia
- Grow consumer awareness of and demand for renewable energy
- Give consumers more choice in renewable energy products
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation
Most electricity retailers in Australia offer GreenPower products. To find a certified retailer, look for the official "tick" logo.