‘The Green Electricity Guide’ reveals electricity retailers’ stance on renewable energy

Earlier this year Greenpeace released ‘The Green Electricity Guide’ – an online resource aiming to “help inform Australians about which electricity retailers really are as [environmentally-friendly] as they say they are”.

The guide offers a breakdown and ranking of electricity retailers in each separate state or territory, as well as an overall national ranking. Retailers were ranked from best to worst as determined by the following seven criteria:

  • Investments in fossil fuels or renewables;
  • The carbon emissions intensity of assets;
  • Support for–or hostility to–Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET);
  • Solar offers;
  • GreenPower products;
  • Whether or not they invest in coal seam gas or other unconventional gas; and
  • Commitment to not buying electricity generated by burning native forest products.

The five highest ranked companies nationwide are Powershop, Diamond Energy, Aurora Energy, Momentum Energy and Red Energy. Notable solarsupporting electricity retailers include Diamond Energy, Red Energy, Click Energy, Lumo Energy and Synergy, which all offer solar export tariffs higher than the mandated rates in their respective states.

Two of our nation’s biggest energy retailers–Energy Australia and Origin Energy–performed particularly badly, with rankings of 2nd and 3rd last from the 20 retailers compared nationwide. In comparison, AGL demonstrated relatively stronger environmental performance with a belowaverage ranking of 13th on the list. These three retailers combined currently provide electricity to just over 75% of Australia’s households.

By switching to the right retailer, consumers can show electricity providers that they support renewables and are willing to vote for it with their wallets. And with particular retailers offering generous solar export tariffs, committing to the right retailer can also increase returns on PV investments.

Top Image Credit: Greenpeace

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

John Rodriguez

John regularly contributes original technology articles to Solar Choice News. He is a PhD candidate in solar PV engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), having graduated with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Engineering (UNSW, specialising in PV). His knowledge of and passion for renewables technology led to him receiving the federally-funded Australian Postgraduate Award and Engineering Research Award for research excellence, in addition to being a Co-operative Program scholar during his undergraduate studies. John also works as an energy efficiency and process engineer and analyst.
John Rodriguez