Greenchoice – Frequently asked questions

 

What is Greenchoice?

Greenchoice is ActewAGL's green energy program that gives everybody the opportunity to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from their home or business by increasing the amount of electricity sourced from accredited GreenPower generators.

How does the program work?

You don't need extra powerlines or installation. Your electricity is supplied the same as before. It just means ActewAGL can buy more energy from accredited GreenPower generators, like wind power, solar, mini-hydro and biomass.

ActewAGL buys electricity on the national electricity market. When you join Greenchoice, you are instructing us to buy a specified amount of renewable energy on your behalf from accredited GreenPower generators.

That energy is fed back into the national electricity grid, replacing the same amount of energy that would have been generated from traditional fossil fuel sources. The result is that your home or business is helping to reduce greenhouse gases being discharged into the atmosphere from the generation of electricity.

Is there an independent review of the program?

Each year, Greenchoice is reviewed by government–appointed independent auditors to ensure that our Greenchoice energy really comes from renewable sources, and that we purchase enough to cover our customers' demand.

Will I receive a separate bill?

If you're an ActewAGL customer, your Greenchoice payment will be itemised separately on your regular electricity bill. The cost is separate from and in addition to your normal electricity charges. If you are not an ActewAGL customer, and sign up to a Greenchoice Fixed-use plan, you will receive a separate Greenchoice bill from us and your regular electricity bill from your normal provider.

What happens to my Greenchoice payments?

The extra money you pay for Greenchoice is used by ActewAGL to purchase electricity from accredited GreenPower generators, which is more expensive than energy from fossil fuel sources.

Why does renewable energy cost more than fossil fuel produced electricity?

Fossil fuel-based electricity generation has been the primary source of energy for some time. This means that investment in infrastructure to supply energy in this way was made some time ago.

Renewable energy is still in its infancy and as such it presently costs more to supply. Once more renewable energy generators are introduced it could be expected that the price will decrease due to an economy of scale and a greater availability of energy from GreenPower generators.

Fossil fuel-based electricity generation does not take into account hidden costs such as resource depletion, pollution and climate change impact.

While you might not directly experience the impact of this now, the environment does - and future generations will.

By joining Greenchoice you are helping to even-up the playing field between these two types of energy sources.

I thought ActewAGL had to buy renewable energy for the Renewable Energy Target (RET) - why should I pay extra when you have to do it anyway?

The RET requires energy retailers to meet increasingly larger proportions of total electricity sales from renewable energy sources. By joining Greenchoice you can boost green energy purchases over and above RET mandated levels, assisting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from your home or business by increasing the amount of electricity generated from accredited GreenPower generators.

Do I have to be an ActewAGL customer to join Greenchoice?

No, anybody in Australia can join Greenchoice – you don't need to be an ActewAGL customer.

Greenchoice payments are separate from and in addition to your electricity charges. They are additional payments used solely to purchase energy from accredited GreenPower generators, which is then fed back into the national electricity grid.

How can I join Greenchoice?

Simply complete and submit the online form – home or business – or call 13 14 93.

How does joining Greenchoice compare to other things I might do?

Joining Greenchoice is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your home or business.

Does ActewAGL purchase green energy for its own needs?

Yes. It is an accreditation requirement that we purchase green energy for our own needs.

Does Greenchoice buy electricity generated from native wood waste?

ActewAGL does not and will not purchase this type of energy for Greenchoice or for any other purpose.

Where does ActewAGL source its green energy from?

This changes from year-to-year as we enter into new supply contracts. In 2009, ActewAGL’s Greenchoice sales were met with wind power purchased from Hallet Wind Farm (SA).

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that cannot be depleted or can be replaced such as wind power, solar, mini-hydro and biomass. Renewable sources such as these will always be available and are essentially non-polluting.

Greenchoice is independently assessed by the National GreenPower Accreditation Program to ensure our renewable energy purchases are acceptable. GreenPower is an initiative of the ACT, NSW, SA, QLD VIC and WA government agencies to guarantee that the renewable electricity you buy from energy suppliers meets stringent environmental standards. Suitable green energy sources include:

  • wind farms - wind turbines
  • solar farms - photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • small hydro - not involving the flooding of ecosystems or the construction of new dams
  • biomass - using landfill gas and agricultural industry wastes (for example, bagasse)
  • solar thermal

Where can I find out more about the greenhouse effect, green energy and renewable energy generation?

A useful starting point would be the GreenPower website. You can also call us on 13 14 93.

What is the GreenPower 'tick'?

The GreenPower 'tick' signifies that Greenchoice is accredited by the National GreenPower Accreditation Program. It is your guarantee that Greenchoice energy comes from government–approved renewable energy sources.

To display the tick, Greenchoice must:

  • participate in an independent annual audit to verify its GreenPower purchases
  • ensure we use renewable energy only from approved, environmentally friendly sources
  • use customer contributions to drive additional investment in the Australian renewable energy industry above legislative requirements.

 

ActewAGL Retail ABN 46 221 314 841 2003