GREEN ELECTRICITY GUIDE POINTS TO BIG CHANGES IN POWER MARKET
The release of the Green Electricity Guide, by Greenpeace with the support of Total Environment Centre, reflects significant changes in the electricity market and prompted a call to require emissions reporting by all retailers.
“The latest results show a real changing of the guard,” according to Mark Byrne, TEC’s Energy Market Advocate. “In each of the previous Guides, Powershop took the top spot. Now that mantle has been taken by Enova Energy, a small, community owned retailer based in Byron Bay.”
‘’Enova, Diamond Energy, Energy Locals and other new, small retailers are challenging the Big Three (Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia) with their commitment to source only renewable energy for their customers.”
“These new retailers are introducing improved ways of serving their customers, including tariffs that allow people to buy from and sell to the grid at times that suit them. They are also committed to working with communities to ensure that the power and profits stay local. Some, like Enova, are investing in innovations like community scale batteries, to make the most use of rooftop solar energy exported to the grid.”
Powershop dropped several places because it is now owned by Shell, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel producers, which degrades its green power reputation.
New retailer rules
However, there is still a long way to go, Mark emphasises. “We mustn't lose sight of the end point of the energy transition, which is a zero carbon energy system. Australia’s electricity grid is still about two-thirds powered by coal and gas. We need to pick up the pace, by quitting coal and gas and investing in renewables and energy storage, to have the best chance of staying within the global goal of 1.5 degrees of global heating.”
‘’To this end, TEC is considering formally proposing a change to the National Electricity Rules that would require all retailers to calculate and publish the emissions intensity of their sales to customers.’’
“There is only one source of the electrons that flow to your home or business,” explained Mark Byrne. “But retailers have choices about where they buy their electricity from. Unfortunately, at present that information is very difficult to obtain. We want to make it mandatory and transparent.”
For more information, contact Mark Byrne at info(at)tec.org.au