Letter to the editor – Greenchoice

Thursday 30 August 2012

Displayed in The Canberra Times, page 16, on
Thursday 30 August 2012

I write to respond to recent discussion in the media regarding the impact of carbon pricing on ActewAGL’s Greenchoice program.

ActewAGL agrees that incurring carbon costs as a Greenchoice customer seems counterintuitive. Energy customers all across Australia are understandably questioning why the carbon price is affecting GreenPower programs. The answer is a combination of government policy and the structure of the national electricity market. ActewAGL has had no part in structuring this policy and if there is to be any change in this matter, it is for the Federal Government to make.

ActewAGL has a competitive offer for its Greenchoice customers. We encourage our customers to consider the whole energy offer when analysing the value of green products and comparing ActewAGL to our competitors. There is more to consider than just the GreenPower premium.

Our analysis suggests that a typical ACT residential customer, purchasing 10 per cent Greenchoice on a standard retail contract, is approximately $60 better off per annum against a comparable competitor offer. This is because electricity tariffs vary from retailer to retailer and, in this instance, the standard offer rate from the other retailer is higher than ours. For a Greenchoice customer on an ActewAGL Bundle contract, which receives discounts up to 25 per cent, the saving is substantially more.

It is critical that customers do not accept energy offers at face value. A low GreenPower premium doesn’t necessarily mean a low price for the product.  We encourage customers to contact us for information, understand the fine print and do their own evaluation.

- ActewAGL Chief Executive Officer Michael Costello