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Carbon Neutral

Carbon neutral energy explained

If you’re a little confused by the jargon around carbon emissions and renewable power, you’re not alone. 

Here’s a quick explainer on what carbon neutrality is, why carbon offsets matter and how they work – so you can better decide on the kind of energy plan you want.  

Energy and carbon 

The electricity in Australia’s energy grids comes from a whole range of generation sources, including coal and gas fired power stations, wind farms, solar farms and hydropower.  

 Some of those generation sources create greenhouses gases: particles that trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to overall global warming and climate change.  

 The most plentiful greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which is why ‘carbon’ tends to get used as a kind of shorthand when talking about emissions. 

Getting power from the grid 

When you get electricity from your local grid, you’re drawing on electricity that is supplied by a whole range of energy generation sources, some more carbon-producing than others.  

Your power company and distributor can’t control the source of the power you use – but there are a couple of things that can be done to help reduce that power’s environmental impact. 

Carbon offsets

One way to balance the greenhouse gases created by using electricity is to carbon offset – which means funding projects and technologies that help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  

That’s exactly what our Power Offset and 100% Carbon Neutral plan^* does. We offset the emissions associated with your energy use under these plans by buying certificates or offsets relating to projects that help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Our portfolio of carbon credits is drawn from a range of projects around the world that use proven methodologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere or avoid or reduce emissions. We work with projects that deliver positive impacts on local communities, biodiversity and habitats, as well as clear emissions reductions or removal that meet the criteria of independent carbon credit standards. 

^Note that our 100% Carbon Neutral plan is no longer available to new customers.  

*CO2 compensation is not a substitute for switching to lower emission energy solutions or reducing the use of fossil fuels. Carbon offsets are purchased and retired to compensate the calculated lifecycle CO2e emissions of the product. Although these carbon credits have been generated in accordance with international carbon standards, the compensation may not be exact.  

How do carbon offsets work?

Wondering how carbon offsets work? Here’s the quick version.
Projects that do things that counteract greenhouse gas effects – like planting trees or improving processes so they produce less emissions – can create carbon offsets or certificates under a number of different national and international schemes.
These offsets or certificates can then be bought by entities to claim offsets for the greenhouse gases produced by their activities.
The creation of offsets and certificates generate revenue for carbon abatement projects and encourage further investment in these projects.