Tuesday, 2 December 2008

MYTH-BUSTERS!!! Concerning energy use, GreenPower, reducing greenhouse gas emissions . . .

As an individual, does it make much difference what I do when it comes to electricity usage in terms of greenhouse gas production?

Yes, it really does make a difference! Approximately 50 per cent of your household-generated greenhouse emissions come from electricity. This is because most of our electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

These emissions are rising rapidly, by 66% since 1990. We can reduce them by conserving energy, becoming more energy efficient and by switching to renewable energy. Changing the way that our electricity is produced is one of the actions that we can take to help avert dangerous climate change. At present, only about 8% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, despite Australia having excellent wind and solar resources.

So I’ll sign up for renewable energy…There, I’ve made a big difference already!!
Look closely at the “renewable energy” product before you sign up for it. Make sure that the renewable energy you are purchasing is accredited GreenPower. This means you can reduce your emissions by up to approximately 50% (depending on the percentage of accredited GreenPower that you buy). For an average household, this could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 7 tonnes per year. Buying GreenPower means you increase the amount of renewable energy in Australia over and above any mandatory targets.

But GreenPower will increase my power bill by a huge amount, won’t it?
You will pay extra for most GreenPower products, but you need to “do the maths” just to see how much more it may be. The cost to the average household for 100% GreenPower is around $6.00/week. A couple of coffees!

And it is relatively easy to increase the energy efficiency of your home, thus reducing your power consumption. Buying GreenPower is an investment in further development of renewable energy sources, helping to reduce our reliance on coal-generated electricity. The cost of buying accredited GreenPower will vary, depending on the amount of GreenPower in the product, and also the source of the energy,.eg. if you buy a product that is 50% accredited GreenPower, it will cost less than 100% ; solar is more expensive than wind.

How do I know that it’s accredited GreenPower that I’m buying?
Because these products carry the ‘tick’ label, which also says “GreenPower Accredited Renewable Energy”. The people behind GreenPower are representatives of several state government agencies and departments plus a number of non-financial members. The National GreenPower Accreditation Program sets the rules for GreenPower products and independently audits GreenPower retailers’ sales and purchases and generators’ operations to make sure they are meeting the accreditation criteria.

NB. We would like to know whether our 100% GreenPower Campaign has been effective. If you decide to take up 100% accredited GreenPower please let us know by emailing ci@the.inter.net.au.


Material sourced from www.greenelectricitywatch.org.au and www.greenpower.gov.au

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