You can support renewable energy through the electricity you choose to buy – even if you can’t get solar on your roof. There are several different ways to choose renewables when you buy electricity.
GreenPower is a national government program that enables households and businesses to choose renewable energy through their electricity plan. When you choose to buy GreenPower, your electricity retailer purchases an equivalent amount of electricity from accredited renewable sources, such as large scale wind and solar.
Most electricity retailers offer GreenPower and it typically comes at an additional cost. This is because your electricity provider pays the wholesale electricity price for the renewable electricity and a certified GreenPower premium. By purchasing 100% GreenPower, you will be covering all of your household’s emissions from electricity.
Choosing GreenPower is a simple, practical step we can all take to reduce our carbon emissions. In this short video, learn how to compare 100% GreenPower energy plans online and switch, with the energy experts at Renew.
Video: Why choose GreenPower?
Video: How to buy GreenPower in 10 minutes
Webinar: Renewable energy and GreenPower
Tools to help you buy GreenPower
To switch to renewable electricity, you can start by simply asking your current electricity retailer whether they offer 100% GreenPower and how much it costs (cents per kilowatt hour). As there are so many energy retailers and different energy plans available, it is a good idea to compare your current retailer's offer with others in the market.
There are several websites that can help you compare electricity and gas offers. To help you switch to renewable electricity, use a comparison site that includes information on GreenPower offers and check whether it shows all energy offers available in the market. Some websites have commercial arrangements with certain energy providers, so they only show some of the energy offers available.
Below are comparison sites that state that they compare all publicly available offers on the market. Along with using these tools, you may like to contact energy providers directly to help you find an offer that best suits your circumstances.
- The GreenPower site enables you to find a provider that supplies 100% accredited GreenPower. You will then need to contact them to ask for their best GreenPower rate.
- The Victorian Government’s Victorian Energy Compare is an online tool to help you compare electricity and gas offers from all energy retailers, based on information you provide about your household or business. You will need to select the option to show GreenPower offers and then focus on those that are 100% GreenPower.
- There a range of comparison sites that list publicly available energy plans from retailers. For example, WATTever allows you to filter offers and find plans which offer 100% Greenpower.
- The Green Electricity Guide by Greenpeace ranks energy retailers according to their overall carbon emissions, reliance on coal, and climate impact.
Some electricity retailers offer ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘carbon offset’ electricity. This means your power company buys carbon offsets to offset the emissions from your grid-supplied electricity, which typically comes from coal and gas. Carbon offsets are purchased from certified sustainability projects that reduce carbon emissions. These include tree planting, land management, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Although they are more costly, offsets backed by an independent standard such as the Gold Standard must meet certain criteria to ensure they deliver the intended impact.
Where does your energy come from?
Your choice of electricity retailer has an impact on the demand for renewable energy. All of our energy comes from the same centralised pool of electricity in the National Electricity Market (NEM). Electricity retailers may own electricity generation assets, or have contracts to buy electricity from generators – and these could be fossil fuel plants or renewable energy. You can choose a power company that’s committed to increasing their renewable energy supply.
The Green Electricity Guide by Greenpeace provides information to help you compare the environmental performance of electricity retailers according to their overall carbon emissions, reliance on coal and climate impact.
Webinar: Buying renewable energy and home energy efficiency
Watch our webinar featuring an expert speaker from Renew explain the ins and out of buying renewable energy, GreenPower, carbon offset energy and household energy efficiency. Download the webinar slide pack (5.02MB, PDF).
Yarra Council is powered by 100% renewable electricity
All Council operations, our buildings, street lights and electric vehicles, are powered by 100% renewable energy. In an Australian first, we joined with other local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations to collectively purchase renewable energy from a new windfarm in regional Victoria, through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.
Find out more about how Council has switched to 100% renewable energy and reduced its energy usage.