Consumer demand to flex their green power

GreenPower customers angry their voluntary actions still won't count.

Nearly 900,000 Australian households currently paying higher energy prices by choosing GreenPower are angry that their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions still won’t count under the changes to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme announced by the federal government earlier this week.

Under the changes, GreenPower consumption levels in 2009 will be set as the baseline for futures measures. This means that only new sales of GreenPower purchased from 2010 will count as additional to the mandatory target.

As a result the ten percent of households who already pay more for GreenPower won’t be reducing Australia’s emissions as they expect, but will effectively be making it cheaper for business to pollute even more.

“Consumers are angry that the efforts they have taken to reduce carbon emissions by purchasing GreenPower are wasted under the proposed CPRS,” said CHOICE senior policy officer Victoria Coleman.

“In 2008, GreenPower provided over 1.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy to over 877,000 households and 34,000 businesses. Under the government’s changes this simply won’t count.”

In addition to GreenPower, this week’s announcement means that other voluntary actions, like installation of solar panels or purchasing fuel efficient cars, also won’t reduce Australia’s total emissions beyond businesses’ mandatory targets.

“Consumers have every right to be frustrated. The government is destroying consumer confidence in a growing industry, threatening thousands of current and potential jobs and risking its commitment to developing a green economy.”

CHOICE has launched a campaign, GreenPower: Keep it Real, which has already received a strong response from consumers angry at the government’s announcement.

“While we fight this battle consumers should continue to buy GreenPower and they should join our campaign by sending a message to Senator Wong. The government needs to act to ensure the extra money consumers spend on buying GreenPower actually counts for something.”

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