The Green Electricity Guide and surveying the energy landscape in 2022

Australian Solar Farm and wind turbines generating renewable electricity greenpeace 2022

At Mozo, our experts do the hard yards of financial analysis to find you the best deals on energy. For our 2021 awards we compared 842 energy plans, and awarded the providers that could offer environmentally sound electricity without breaking the bank.

But for a view of the purely environmental credentials of Australia’s energy providers - one that doesn’t consider cost to the customer - Greenpeace has come up with some answers. Last week, the environmental campaigners published the latest edition of their Green Electricity Guide.

According to Greenpeace, the quickest and easiest way you can make an impact on your emissions is to vote with your wallet. They say that “by switching to a greener electricity provider you’re helping to transform Australia’s electricity system by bringing more renewable energy in.”

Their guide represents a fairly transparent and comprehensive attempt to judge the benefits and drawbacks of the various energy providers. The results can be further broken down to see the best provider by state - though many operating across the national energy market can be accessed regardless of your state.

Honest energy providers or just greenwashing?

The highest rated providers only generated electricity through renewables, and were not owned by polluting parent companies.

Unlike their green energy guide from 2018, this time Greenpeace chose not to give marks for carbon offsets paid for by providers.

Carbon offsetting is often advertised as a major green credential, but it can be difficult to assess whether offsets actually make a difference to a company’s environmental impacts. For that reason, large providers fell in the rankings once their extensive carbon-offset programs were excluded.

The green electricity leaders

Greenpeace gave these providers the nod based on environmental credibility - so you can check out the Mozo guides and comparisons to see how you can save on your energy bill with these providers.

These two providers (which share their solar assets) both scored a perfect five-star rating from the guide. All of the electricity they produce is generated through their renewable infrastructure. Diamond Energy also claims to supply more energy to the grid than their customers consume, ensuring that their emissions are offset by more than just carbon credits.

  • Nectr Energy (Winner of Mozo’s green electricity award for NSW)

The runners-up also scored well for their use of renewables, and ‘Greenpower’ offset plans which match non-renewable electricity with solar and wind, dollar-for-dollar. The high-scoring providers generally offered solar-feed in tariffs to further balance your costs.

Once electricity has been produced it enters the nationwide electricity grid. Since this is a pool of energy from a range of sources including coal fired generation, providers cannot legally claim that they only supply you with ‘renewable electricity’.

At the end of the day, there’s no way for providers to guarantee that the electrons coming out of your wall were not made by a coal plant. But with the right plan, and the right provider, you can keep a clear conscience knowing that your money solely paid for renewable energy to be generated.

Why it’s hard to impress Greenpeace

While Greenpeace liked that many providers invested partially in renewables, they didn’t appreciate that they still bought energy on the electricity market – mixing fossil fuels into their provided power.

On any given day, roughly three-quarters of Australia’s energy demand is met by coal-fired or gas power plants.

This means that the majority of electricity retailers can expect to be drawing their energy from non-renewable sources. These providers are looking to turn a profit in the market, and turn to the cheapest sources of energy to do so - it ultimately took a bit more to impress Greenpeace and break into the top bracket.

Mozo’s expert choices

Mozo’s Expert choice awards in 2021 chose energy plans that won’t burn a hole in your pocket or the ozone layer.

The 2021 winners for green electricity scored respectable 4-star ratings from Greenpeace. These companies all offered 100% ‘Greenpower’ plans, which let customers ensure that they are paying for renewable electricity, even if the company does provide non-renewable energy on their other plans.

Want to learn more about the clean power transition? Head over to our renewable energy FAQs for everything you need to know. Visit our energy hub to find and compare providers in your area, or make use of our handy comparison tool below.

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