GreenPower plans v green energy: How to use renewables in the home

wind turbines in a field at dusk

Using green energy in your home can be quite confusing as it’s hard to find information about where your energy is sourced, unless you’re producing your own solar.

There’s also the government’s GreenPower plan initiative, in which your household energy usage is matched in terms of renewable energy that then gets pumped onto the grid.

There are plenty of options to support the clean energy transition, but deciding how you want to do so can get tricky. We’ve broken down the difference between the GreenPower scheme and renewable energy sources below, to help you decide what is best for your household.

GreenPower plans put renewables into the grid

The GreenPower program is a government-managed scheme that allows Aussie households and businesses to match their electricity usage with certified renewable energy which is pumped back onto the grid on their behalf.

Customers can choose a percentage of their energy usage to sponsor, as paying to match 100% of your usage could get expensive. GreenPower plans are traditionally around 5-8c more expensive per kWh than a standard energy plan.

GreenPower plans support renewable energy without requiring customers to rely on it for their own household usage. While this may seem counterproductive, pumping renewables back into the grid means they will be used all across the network by households that may not even be aware of it, including your own.

It can also be a way to support renewables without forking out the money for solar panels or other clean energy sourcing instruments. Supporting the renewable energy sector via a GreenPower plan will also encourage new infrastructure and greater confidence in clean power.

Using green energy in your home

As all Australian energy comes from different grids around the country, the only way you can ensure your energy is 100% renewable is installing solar panels on your rooftop to power your own home.

Using energy from the grid will consist of power from all sources feeding into the grid. This means coal, gas and renewable sources will all be used in your home, but it’s impossible to see just how much of your energy is coming from each.

Installing solar panels on your rooftop and signing up with a provider that will help you use it can get your household running on renewables. You’ll need a battery as well to ensure the energy your panels are generating during the day can be used at night and periods of the day without strong sunlight.

While putting in solar panels requires a bit of an upfront investment, they will save you money on your energy bill over time. Most providers will even pay you for any excess solar energy you generate as it gets fed back into the grid.

Go carbon neutral to offset your emissions

If you’re keen on cutting your carbon emissions, most providers will have an offset program available.

Some options include carbon-neutral gas to bundle with your electricity, to providers offsetting your carbon usage by purchasing credits on your behalf or investing in renewable projects.

Some providers will offer these services free of charge, while others will require a small fee to cut your emissions. With Australia ranking behind other developed countries in terms of emissions, there’s no better time to go carbon neutral or reduce your emissions.

Interested in green power? Check out our renewable energy FAQs for everything you need to know. To find and compare energy plans in your area head over to our energy hub, or use the handy comparison tool below.

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