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What is GreenPower? How does it differ from offsetting?

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

GreenPower is a really promising government operated scheme that is helping to drive the renewable energy revolution in Australia. Since the GreenPower scheme began, more than 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas have been avoided. That’s the same as taking 4 million cars off the road for a year!

While renewable energy generation in Australia varies from state to state, with the ACT doing the best and with good progress happening in states like South Australia, for the most part, Australia’s energy predominantly comes from fossil fuels which are driving climate change.

GreenPower aims to shift Australia away from its reliance on coal and other fossil fuels by directly contributing to the renewable energy sector. It's incredible that a scheme like this has survived successive governments who have been hell-bent on getting rid of the Renewable Energy Target, but somehow it has survived, potentially by going under the radar, and it's a great way for us to help increase the supply of renewable energy into the grid!

So what exactly is GreenPower?

GreenPower adds more supply of renewable energy into the grid on your behalf. When you sign up to GreenPower with your electricity retailer, GreenPower makes purchases from renewable energy generators equivalent to the amount of energy you use. This energy is then fed into the electricity grid, thus directly helping to grow the supply of renewable energy in Australia!

Hydro-electric power station in Tarraleah, Tasmania.

What are the benefits of GreenPower?

  • It enables renters, who are unable to install rooftop solar, to support renewable energy and the renewable energy industry.

  • It’s widely available and it’s getting cheaper. While GreenPower is an added expense to your electricity bill, it is significantly cheaper and more widespread than ever before, with accredited GreenPower retailers in every state and territory.

  • It’s helping to drive out fossil fuels. The positive impact and potential of this scheme is huge with its ability to support the development of new and emerging renewable energy projects and further crowd out fossil fuel generation, which is already fast becoming economically unviable.

How do I switch to GreenPower?

  1. First up, check out this list to see if your current provider already offers GreenPower. If they do, then signing up should be a breeze. We’ve noticed that this list isn’t exhaustive, so if you don’t see your provider then head to their website and search for ‘GreenPower’ just to be sure. If your electricity provider isn’t a GreenPower provider, or you would like this opportunity to shop around and compare rates, check out this useful tool which simplifies comparing rates and offers. Note: Use the GreenPower filter to only see relevant providers.

  2. Open up the GreenPower sign up form on your chosen providers website, add in your details and you’re done!

But I’m already offsetting

GreenPower is different from carbon offsetting your energy emissions. Since GreenPower matches your energy usage by buying the equivalent amount of energy from renewable sources and feeding them into the grid, it directly results in the additional supply and growth of government-accredited wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy generation in Australia. Signing up to GreenPower is a great way to take your offsetting a step further by contributing to the growth and predominance of renewable energy in the grid. And the more people who choose GreenPower, the more renewable energy goes into the grid, which crowds out fossil fuels!

Note: GreenPower doesn't mean changing your retailer, which we recommend if you’re with a retailer that supports fossil fuels. Switching to a good electricity retailer that doesn't own fossil fuel generation assets and that materially supports our energy sector's transition away from fossil fuels to renewables, is another way you can ensure your money and your custom support the decarbonisation of our economy. Check out the app for more details.

By contributing directly to Australia’s sustainable energy sector, you are helping this incredibly important local industry to grow and reducing the country’s need to create coal pollution and greenhouse emissions.

One Small Step’s free Get GreenPower course gives you all the info you need to get GreenPower and contribute to a renewable energy future in Australia.

Illustration of solar panel, wind turbine and sun in circular economy

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