Green tips #2: subscribe to GreenPower
September 2009
Solar panel array

OK, this is one of the ones that most people have heard of, but not enough people actually do. Put simply, GreenPower is an opt-in scheme that allows customers to source their electricity from renewable sources. Customers can choose the percentage of their consumption that they would like to source from renewable sources, and a corresponding change is added to their next electricity bill. This charge is necessary because renewable energy currently costs more per kilowatt hour than energy from fossil fuel sources.

Wind Power! by BoyReale
Photo credit: BoyReale

Put it this way: instead of giving money to an environmental charity that pays employees to lobby government and try to change policy, GreenPower let you give money directly to an an energy company that will invest it directly in renewable energy sources. The beauty of this scheme is that GreenPower is a contract with your energy company to fund the generation of renewable energy corresponding to your usage.

My house is currently on a plan that sources 100% of electricity consumption from renewable sources. Our last quarterly electricity bill totaled $589.05, which included a $57.20 GreenPower component. Averaged across the 91 days of the billing period, this equals an extra 63 cents per day for the household (or less than 11 cents per person per day for the six people that live in the sharehouse). What a small price to pay for the satisfaction of living from renewable energy!

Saint George Solar Farm by CFBSr
Photo credit: CFBSr

Switching has never been easier. All it takes is a quick phone call or email to your electricity company, and you should be signed to GreenPower by the close of business. Your consumer dollar will be directly funding the development of a local renewable energy industry, and will send a clear message about your environmental beliefs.

Some things are worth paying more for, and GreenPower is a clearly superior than the dirty coal power plants that still supply the majority of our electricity. Australian readers can learn more information on the government GreenPower website. Otherwise, just click around the website of your current energy company – you will need to talk to them to actually make the change (GreenPower is simply the government accreditor).