As detailed in our earlier blog post, Powershop has decided to become Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral energy retailer. So what does it mean? We’ve had a crack at answering some of the questions we think you might have on our move to being 100% carbon neutral.
Why is Powershop doing this?
We believe that a commitment to renewable energy is demonstrated by deeds not words, and we know that our customers are looking to make their support for renewable energy real. Following the repeal of the Carbon Tax, we know that customers are asking “what can I do to help reduce global emissions?” From 1 September, the answer is “switch to Powershop”.
Will this cost me anything?
No. Powershop are going 100% carbon neutral at no cost to customers. We are reinvesting savings we make into these certificates because we know our customers will appreciate it. In fact, we’ve just introduced even greater discounts, effective 1 September 2014, to make this an even cheaper option.
This is on top of savings that we’ve passed through to customers over the last couple of years, which was already on average about $298 per customer, through things like our guaranteed discounts and by not changing electricity prices as our network costs increased.
What about the RET, do we still need that?
We sure do. The Renewable Energy Target is the only thing that is going to lead to a substantial restructuring of the Australian energy market to increase the proportion of renewable energy and decrease the contribution from high emissions intensity generators like coal. That’s why Powershop is standing up for the RET. Not only does it improve our electricity market, it lowers prices for you.
How is this different to GreenPower, and do I still need to buy GreenPower?
Buying 100% GreenPower is the best thing you can do to support renewable energy in Australia. While Powershop being carbon neutral reduces global emissions, it doesn’t necessarily impact upon Australia’s actual emissions. Electricity generation is one of the main sources of Australia’s carbon emissions. Only by switching from high emissions intensity generation to renewable energy can Australia make a meaningful reduction in its own emissions. By buying GreenPower, you are doing the most you can to support the construction of renewable energy generation right here in Australia. Powershop offers 100% GreenPower accredited products.
Does this mean I don’t have to care about how much energy I use?
The best thing you can do to lower your emissions, is lower your electricity consumption. That will mean that efforts to reduce global emissions can be expended on someone else’s emissions.
Funnily enough, lowering your consumption is also the best way to lower your bill. Powershop might be up to 30% cheaper than other retailers, but we’re not free, and you save 100% of the cost of energy that you don’t use.
What do these carbon certificates actually do?
Powershop will be utilising United Nations recognised Certified Emission Reduction certificates. These certify that global emissions have been reduced by a Clean Development Mechanism project verified in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol was the international agreement which set global emissions reduction targets.
Did you guys just dream this up?
Hardly. Meridian Energy Limited, our parent company, has been proudly certified as carbon neutral since 2007. We have always planned to be certified as carbon neutral in Australia, and the repeal of the Carbon Tax has encouraged us to expand this to include our customers’ electricity purchases.
Does this mean we don’t need a Carbon Tax?
It’s good, it’s bad, who knows. What we know is that if you yourself want to make a difference, you now have that option. Best of all, it’s free. You can buy our cheap cheap power, and still be helping the planet.
I want to offset my carbon emissions from my car – can you guys help with that?
Can I say my business buys 100% carbon neutral now?
Once we’ve finalised our Government accreditation, we expect you’ll be able to put up a cool little sticker telling your clients that you’re doing your bit, and buying 100% carbon neutral electricity. If you’re interested in going 100% carbon neutral like we have, purchasing carbon neutral electricity is a good way to start. If you’re already 100% carbon neutral like we are, that sounds like a match made in heaven.
Read next: Powershop and GetUp! partner with Environmental Film Festival Melbourne
Read previous: Australia’s greenest retailer just got a whole lot greener