What is the best way to buy green energy?
The COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow has got everyone thinking about the environment and how we can play our part in reducing carbon emissions. But the obvious dilemma is we all need to use electricity to power our homes – and our lives. So, what are we supposed to do?
To be clear from the outset, there’s currently no way you can directly and exclusively buy green energy generated from renewable sources in Australia. Sure, the country produces a huge amount of renewable energy from solar, wind and hydro sources – in fact, from time to time, some states produce enough green energy in a day that they don’t need to rely on dirty old power stations. But the reality is we have a long way to go before you can safely assume that the energy in your home comes from renewable sources – unless you’ve managed to become entirely self-sufficient with solar. If you buy power from the grid, this is made up of electricity generated from all sources, including coal and gas.
So, what can you do now? Well, installing solar and finding a good solar plan is of course a great option if you can afford it. But even then, you’ll likely still need to purchase power from the grid, so there is further opportunity to do your bit for the environment.
When it comes to picking an energy plan that goes some way to doing your bit for the environment, there are two options:
- GreenPower: This is a widely recognised, government accredited program aimed at increasing investment and demand for renewable energy here in Australia. With GreenPower, customers can offset their electricity usage with certified renewable energy in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates, purchased by the retailer on behalf of customers who sign up, according to their electricity usage and the plan they have chosen (i.e. 25%, 50% or 100% GreenPower).
- Carbon Offset: Lots of retailers offer carbon offset energy plans in addition to or instead of GreenPower. Put simply, carbon offsetting is about making up for the carbon emissions that customers create through their electricity usage by supporting emissions reduction targets in Australia or other parts of the world (e.g. by planting enough trees to capture the carbon equivalent to your personal energy usage). You can select a percentage of your usage to be offset or go the full 100%.
Carbon offsetting is certainly better than nothing, but at ReAmped Energy we believe GreenPower is the best way to go. GreenPower purchases go above and beyond the mandatory government requirements of the Renewable Energy Target, and our GreenPower purchases are audited so customers can feel confident knowing their money goes directly to renewable energy generators.
Each dollar invested into GreenPower gets us a step closer to ending our reliance on dirty energy. It’s great to plant trees all over the world, but we believe GreenPower is the better choice than simply carbon offsetting.
Some retailers like to promote 100% carbon offset energy plans in their marketing which is perfectly fine, but investing in GreenPower means you’re doing your bit for the environment in the long run.
Rather than continuing the status quo (burning coal) and then planting trees to offset the emissions, we can actually work towards preventing those carbons from being produced in the first place, by investing money towards the development of new renewable generation capacity.
Find out more about our GreenPower options.
National Meter Identifier (NMI)
The NMI is a unique 10 or 11 digit number used to identify every electricity network connection point in Australia. You can find your NMI on your electricity bill. Here are some examples: