A guide to GreenPower for people renting

Here’s how people renting can get on board with renewable energy.

If your rental apartment or house doesn’t have solar panels, you can still tap into renewable energy sources to power your home. Choosing 100% GreenPower is a quick and easy way to be a clean energy champion.

Elizabeth Bay apartments. Image: Jessica Lindsay

GreenPower means you can choose 100% renewable energy

The GreenPower program is a government scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to choose renewable energy to meet up to 100% of their electricity needs.

When you buy a GreenPower product, you commit your electricity provider to buying the equivalent amount of renewable energy from government accredited sources.

Let’s say your household uses around 15 kWh of electricity a day. When you buy the equivalent in GreenPower, your provider adds the 15 kWh of new renewable energy to the electricity grid on your behalf. This may be from sources such as wind, solar, bio-energy or mini-hydro generators.

How to access GreenPower

Most Australian electricity retailers offer certified GreenPower products, so it is usually a matter of calling your existing provider to opt in. You could also choose an accredited GreenPower provider and apply online.

Always check retailer conditions. Some ask you to commit to a new contract, and some have flexible or fixed-term sign-ups. If you’re looking at switching electricity companies, find out if your existing supplier charges exit fees.

Ilana Cooper in her rented apartment powered by GreenPower. Image: Jessica Lindsay

City of Sydney resident and rental tenant Ilana Cooper says making the switch was easy. “I love that GreenPower lets me take responsibility for the resources I use,” Ilana says.

“To sign up, I just called my electricity supplier and asked to switch to GreenPower. It couldn’t have been simpler.”

Collective impact makes a difference

When you switch to GreenPower, you’re not only reducing your household’s greenhouse gas emissions. You’re also joining a collective drive to grow the renewable energy sector in Australia.

“By using an accredited GreenPower product, you’re acting as an advocate and driving demand for renewable energy,” says Kimberly Crawford, sustainability engagement coordinator at the City of Sydney.

Since 1997, GreenPower customers have saved more than 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gases from the electricity sector. This has enabled more than $1 billion to be invested into Australia's renewable energy sector.

Dollars and sense

When you purchase 100% GreenPower, you can be confident you’ve made an instant positive impact.

You can choose all or any of your household’s electricity use to come from GreenPower. Don’t worry if you can’t afford to offset 100% of your electricity as GreenPower. Every bit counts.

You can also ask your new supplier if they’ll offer a discount to go 100% renewable. Changing your energy company and going renewable may save you money.

More than 305,000 Australian households contribute to GreenPower, and the more households and businesses supporting renewable energy, the better.

If all City of Sydney households purchased 100% GreenPower today, we could reduce Sydney’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10%.

Sapphire Wind Farm in New England, NSW’s largest windfarm. Image: Sapphire Wind Farm

In 2017, 17% of Australia’s electricity came from renewables, according to the Clean Energy Council.

If every Australian household purchased 100% GreenPower by 2020, Australia could be 50% powered by renewables.

So now you’ve heard the facts, will you jump on board with the renewable revolution? Call your energy provider and opt into GreenPower, or choose an accredited GreenPower provider and apply online.

Potts Point apartments. Image: Jessica Lindsay

Further reading

  • Green electricity review – green ratings for 31 energy retailers including Origin, AGL and Energy Australia
  • Green Electricity Guide – independent, unbiased ranking of the environmental performance of all retailers selling electricity to Australian households

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