How green is your electricity supplier?

There are many factors you might want to think about when choosing an electricity supplier and one of them is its green credentials. After all, everyone likes to think they are doing their bit for the environment, whether it's through supporting green charities, recycling, or receiving goods and services from eco-friendly companies.

Well a new guide from Greenpeace Australia and the Total Environment Centre (TEC) is designed to make it easier to pick green electricity providers by assessing them against seven criteria.

It's the first time Australians have been given the chance to access a guide like this and Senior Greenpeace Campaigner Reece Turner believes it'll bring real advantages.

"Thankfully the days are gone where you were stuck with one power company," said Mr Turner. "There's now a new breed of retailers investing in renewables, eager to snare customers with an appetite for a renewable energy future."

He revealed how there's a growing distrust of electricity suppliers, which is why people need to make sure they have all the facts to hand before they make a decision regarding which one to switch to.

Each supplier is given either a green or red ranking in the guide depending on how well they perform against the different areas of assessment. These are pollution intensity of their assets, investments in fossil fuels or renewable energy, offers to solar owners, and support or hostility towards the Renewable Energy Target.

The availability of GreenPower products, investment in coal seam gas, and whether or not they are committed to purchasing electricity produced by burning native forest timber are also taken into account.

Energy Market Advocate for the TEC Mark Byrne said the guide is more ambitious than anything that has been released before and is the only independent guide that considers the environmental performance of Australian electricity retailers.

"It shows a big divide between the old companies which dominate the energy market and rely on burning coal and gas for electricity generation, and a new breed of forward-looking companies which are providing cleaner energy at a comparable price," noted Mr Byrne.

He urged consumers to realise that finding green electricity suppliers is not as difficult as it used to be and with more providers coming to the fore, it should become even easier. It's hoped that this will spur on other companies to do their bit and continue working towards a more sustainable future.

Posted by Richard West