Australia’s best green energy providers in 2021
While Australia still includes fossil fuels in its energy mix, renewable energy sources are on the rise. And it seems Australian consumers are following the industry’s lead, with our nation remaining a global leader in uptake of solar power system installation, according to the CSIRO.
But whether you’re using solar panels to help power your home or considering an energy provider with carbon offsetting initiatives to help counteract your household emissions, you’ll want to find an affordable green energy plan to suit your needs.
That’s where the Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Energy come in. Each year our team of expert analysts does a thorough assessment of energy plans available to residential and small business customers. In 2021, we assessed 842 products from 47 energy retailers, with dedicated award categories for Solar-friendly Electricity and Green Electricity plans.
“The concept of ‘green’ or environmentally-friendly energy is a complex one,” Mozo Expert Judge Peter Marshall said.
“When a plan is awarded in our Solar-friendly Electricity category, it’s being recognised for providing more affordable energy for those households with existing solar panels in use.
“For the Green Electricity awards, plans are again assessed based on price, but providers need to satisfy the criteria of only generating renewable energy, providing carbon offsetting programs or taking part in the government-managed GreenPower scheme.”
Since energy prices vary depending on state distributor areas, plans were awarded in the different states and territories we assess for our awards (which includes Tasmania, NSW, Victoria, the ACT, South Australia and South East Queensland).
You can find all the winners in specific states at our Residential Energy Awards and Small Business Energy Awards pages. Before you check them out, find a more comprehensive rundown below of how we assessed solar-friendly and green electricity plans, plus a few of the major winners.
Best Green Electricity plans
To qualify for our Green Electricity awards, energy providers had to tick a couple of boxes while remaining price competitive. They could only generate or purchase renewable energy, promise to offset any energy customers use by buying carbon credits, or offer 100% GreenPower*.
Our expert judging panel compared different products available in Australia and found four companies – Nectr, Simply Energy, Energy Locals and Radian Energy – offering the cheapest green electricity plans across states we assessed.
Our cost calculation was based on residential energy use across three scenarios of household energy usage being low, medium and high. The assumptions for these levels were based on the industry benchmarks currently published by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
Small Business Winners
In the Small Business Green Electricity category, three providers rose up to snag awards. Simply Energy, Energy Locals and Radian Energy have some of the cheapest options available for an average small business. Simply Energy was a notable contender, winning in three states for this category.
Since the AER does not publish benchmarks of averages for small business customers, our experts selected and tested assumed electricity usage of 20,000 kWh/year for their Small Business price assessment.
Best Solar-friendly Electricity plans
To win a Solar-friendly Electricity award, plans were assessed with different assumptions and criteria, including the necessity for households or business premises to have existing solar panels.
The research team considered the cost of drawing electricity from the grid, assuming a certain percentage of a household’s or business’ energy needs would be met by its own solar-generated power. It also looked at rates for feed-in tariffs for selling excess energy to the grid, with all excess being sold instead of kept in battery storage.
Specifically when considering residential solar-friendly electricity plans, our analysts assumed that 50% of the solar-generated energy was used by the household, with the rest sold to the grid. Major winners in this category include Elysian Energy, Discover Energy and ReAmped Energy, among others. ReAmped was also Mozo’s Residential Electricity Retailer of the Year for the second year running.
Small Business Winners
According to the Mozo Experts Choice judging panel, these solar-friendly electricity retailers should be on your shortlist if you have a small business that uses solar panels. Providers like Alinta Energy, Simply Energy and 1st Energy among others were found to offer some of the cheapest solar-friendly energy products for an average small business. In our calculations, the research team assumed the solar generation capacity of small businesses was double that of residential customers.
For the full list of winners based on the state where you live and more details on how other award categories were calculated, have a read-through of our Mozo Experts Choice Energy Awards methodology report.
*GreenPower is a government-accredited scheme where individuals and businesses can pay a little extra to help drive more energy produced from renewable sources into the grid.