Guide to going carbon neutral

There are steps you can take to reduce your environmental footprint.
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  • Updated:3 Nov 2007

06.Step 3: GreenPower

If you can’t generate your own clean electricity (by installing solar panels, for example), you can reduce the emissions from your household’s electricity use with accredited GreenPower, available from electricity retailers and offset companies.

The average household could pay around $200 to $300 extra per year for 100% Accredited GreenPower, or around $4 to $6 per week, depending on the supplier you choose. And if you reduce your electricity use through efficiency measures, it’ll cost less.

When you buy GreenPower, the electricity you use is replaced in the national electricity grid by energy from new (post-1997) renewable sources. This reduces the proportion of energy from coal being added to the grid and increases the demand for, and investment in, new clean energy. It doesn’t mean you’ll directly receive electricity from a different source, or that your appliances will be running off green electrons, though.

However, not all renewable energy is the same.

  • Some isn’t accredited — for example, energy from the Snowy Mountains scheme, which comes from large-scale hydro generators built in the 1950s.
  • Some electricity products are less than 100% GreenPower — the rest comes from old hydro generators or fossil fuel generators. Suppliers are required to tell you the percentage of accredited GreenPower in their products.
  • There are massive price differences between retailers, with the cost of 100% GreenPower ranging from no additional cost above standard electricity rates, to 11 cents per kWh.
  • The energy source affects its price. For example, solar power is likely to be dearer than biomass energy.

Over 500,000 households have switched to GreenPower, with nearly 1000 new customers signing up daily.

We need your help

Learn how the government is planning on preventing you from taking action to reduce carbon emissions through its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Help us fight back and make your action against climate change really count.


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