GreenPower is a joint initiative of ACT, NSW, SA, Vic and WA government agencies to provide an accreditation programme for renewable energy.
When a consumer chooses to buy a GreenPower product from an energy retailer, an extra amount is charged to their electricity account. The retailer then invests this extra amount in the renewable energy industry. The GreenPower programme audits these purchases.
It is complementary to the Renewable Energy Target because it:
By purchasing GreenPower, households and businesses commit their GreenPower providers to purchasing the equivalent amount of electricity from accredited renewable energy generators, which generate electricity from sources like wind, solar, water and bioenergy.
By purchasing GreenPower, customers are helping to support the renewable energy sector in Australia over and above the support required through the Renewable Energy Target.
GreenPower costs more than standard electricity because it is part of building completely new infrastructure for the grid. But, as with any new technology, development and improvement will see the costs reduce as the infrastructure and demand for it grows.
The cost of liable electricity retailers purchasing and surrendering certificates is passed on in electricity bills through tariffs. An estimate of the cost of GreenPower is around 5-8 cents per KWh more than your current electricity rate, if you elect to purchase 100 per cent GreenPower. This is because your electricity provider has to pay the wholesale electricity price for the renewable energy and an additional GreenPower premium.
For households and small businesses looking to shop around to find the most suitable GreenPower option, the Australian Energy Regulator has created a new energy price comparison website to assist in comparing electricity offers (including the GreenPower component) between different providers.
More information about GreenPower is available on the GreenPower website.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.