Australia’s only government-backed accreditation program for renewable electricity sales, GreenPower, has unveiled new branding as it seeks to inspire renewed interest from a growing number of business looking to cut their emissions.
The GreenPower program is a voluntary way for households and businesses to purchase renewable electricity through their retailer, with the government-backed program providing a process for verifying that purchases are actually helping to grow Australia’s wind and solar sectors and cut emissions.
All power purchased through the GreenPower program is in addition to the federally mandated Renewable Energy Target, ensuring that customer purchases under the voluntary program help to grow Australia’s renewable energy supplies.
Around 110,000 households and 17,500 businesses currently opt-in to purchasing renewable electricity through the GreenPower program, with almost 500 wind, solar, hydro and biomass projects accredited as GreenPower generators.
In addition to a refreshed logo and brand identity, the GreenPower program has launched an updated website, with new functionality that it hopes will help electricity customers identify a suitable GreenPower product.
“The Program has been instrumental in giving grid electricity customers the option to choose renewable energy, offsetting their emissions and supporting Australia’s transition to renewable energy,” Chair of the National GreenPower Steering Group Tim Stock said.
“That’s why it’s exciting that we have launched GreenPower’s refreshed brand. This strong and modern look will make it easier for customers to choose a renewable energy product that is audited and is above and beyond the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target.”
“As part of this, we’ve rebuilt our current GreenPower website to have a modern web platform with greater functionality.”
The GreenPower program was launched in 1997, and has provided an accreditation process that allows electricity customers to purchase verified supplies of renewable electricity from their retailers. Most major electricity retailers offer some form of GreenPower as an add-on to their electricity products.
As the purchase of renewable electricity under the GreenPower program has been tied to a requirement placed on electricity retailers to acquire a matching number of renewable energy certificates, the GreenPower program has come at added costs.
However, since the price of large-scale renewable energy certificates has fallen by more than half over the last few years, the GreenPower program is encouraging households and businesses to consider participating in the voluntary program.
“As renewable energy has become cheaper, so has GreenPower. We’ve seen a reduction in GreenPower prices offered by energy retailers in the order of 50 per cent over the last two years, which is good news for customers,” Stock said.
With the falling cost of solar technologies, the GreenPower program has had to compete with rooftop solar, as an alternative option for households to produce their own electricity from a renewable energy source.
Some electricity retailers have also begun offering free, or low cost, carbon neutral electricity products, but which often utilise cheap carbon abatement products purchased overseas, rather than emissions reductions within Australia.
However, the GreenPower program has attracted growing interest from commercial and industrial energy users, as a straight forward way for businesses to reduce their emissions footprint by purchasing verified renewable electricity.
The program is also an accessible way for residential energy uses without the ability to install rooftop solar, such as renters or apartment dwellers, to purchase renewable energy.
“The energy market is evolving rapidly, and at the same time many consumers are making medium to long-term investment decisions, such as to install solar panels or sign up to a Power Purchasing Agreement,” Stock added.
“This makes it necessary for GreenPower to review its role in helping customers find renewable energy options. There has been a change in people purchasing GreenPower as rooftop solar and other renewable options have become affordable.”
“However, many customers are renting or live in apartments and don’t have these options, so GreenPower continues to have an important role to play going forward,” Stock added.