Sustainable living

Explain it quickly: How to go renewable without rooftop solar

Even if you’re renting, you can choose 100% renewable electricity. Learn about GreenPower and power purchase agreements.

Jono - GreenPower customer

It’s faster and easier to get renewable electricity than most people think.

Most of us are deeply concerned about the environment and would like to take more personal action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

At the City of Sydney, we’re often asked, “How can I get renewable electricity if installing solar isn’t an option?”

You can switch to renewably-sourced electricity in less than 10 minutes. And you don’t need any upfront money.

Here’s a quick guide to your renewable electricity options if rooftop solar isn’t an option for you.

Renters or homeowners living in apartments and houses

Opt for an official 100% GreenPower electricity plan.

Switching to an accredited 100% GreenPower-based electricity plan is the biggest thing many of us can do for the environment today.

Most electricity providers sell GreenPower, but they might call it something different, like green energy. And, annoyingly, it's often really hard to find on their websites.

Find out everything you need to know about GreenPower and switch today.

Be wary: Electricity providers often try to push carbon neutral or carbon offset plans. These plans are not about 100% renewable electricity – they don’t support the growth of Australia’s renewable sector. See more on the difference between carbon neutral plans and GreenPower.

Tiffany, GreenPower customer, Waterloo
Tiffany, GreenPower customer, Waterloo

Alana, GreenPower customer, Potts Point
Alana, GreenPower customer, Potts Point

Small businesses

Opt for an official 100% GreenPower electricity plan.

GreenPower electricity plans are available for businesses too. More than 20 electricity providers sell GreenPower in Sydney, so it's easy to get.

Sydney businesses, such as homewares store Koskela, tell us there are some very good GreenPower rates available. It's worth shopping around.

GreenPower customer, Australian homewares store Koskela
GreenPower customer, Australian homewares store Koskela

Medium or large businesses

Take a look at power purchase agreements.

As a business owner, you may have heard the growing chatter about power purchase agreements or PPAs.

These are agreements that a business or organisation will buy electricity from a generator, such as a solar or wind farm, at an agreed price over a fixed term, usually 10 years.

Entering into a corporate agreement with a renewable-electricity generator can increase price certainty for a business. This makes it an excellent investment while reducing your emissions and improving your environmental reputation.

We have a PPA. Other organisations with PPAs include Ascham School in Edgecliff, the University of NSW, Kettle Chips, and Sydney Opera House.

Read more about PPAs.

We want to make it easier for you to go 100% renewable. If you have questions about GreenPower, PPAs, or getting solar installed, email us at

Good luck. We need more people like you going 100% renewable.

We started using 100% renewable electricity in July 2020. We buy electricity from wind and solar farms in regional NSW covers all of our operations – 115 buildings, 75 parks, 5 pools and 23,000 street lights.

Published 3 September 2020, updated 30 May 2022