Can choosing 'greener' energy for your home really make a difference? Does it cost more? And what about old king coal? Caitlin McGrane from Powershop takes on 5 myths about renewable energy that well and truly need busting.

#1: It’s a fad

Fads flame out quickly. Renewable energy is here to stay, and the cost of its generation keeps falling.

You know things are getting serious when a global corporate such as Google purchases a whopping 3 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity — that’s equal to what all of its offices and data centres around the world use on an annual basis. Closer to home, we now have a $50 million solar farm powering the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and in 2018 at least four much bigger solar farms will begin construction in Queensland, News South Wales and South Australia to feed the national grid.

Greener electricity solutions have grown over the last decade to become a real and sustainable choice for Australian households and capacity is continuing to grow. Does that sound like a fad to you?

#2: It doesn’t make a difference

Oh, but it does.

In Australia, buying electricity such as GreenPower, a government-accredited scheme, lets you support renewable energy generation by displacing your household carbon emissions with certified renewable energy. And the more customer demand, the more encouragement for further investment in that renewable energy generation – wind, solar, hydro and battery backup.

We’ve explained the whole GreenPower thingy in simple terms in a blog post. Have a read and feel the power.

#3: You can’t trust that it’s actually green

Conspiracy theories might be fun, but they don’t change facts and evidence. Here are the facts.

The government’s GreenPower Program organises publicly available independent auditing of all GreenPower Providers, to make sure companies (like ours) are investing in renewable energy on the customer’s behalf. If you have a head for detail, you can read the annual audits.

As for Powershop, keeping our status as a certified carbon neutral electricity retailer means we are tested against the ongoing requirements of the government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS). We’ve put together a little Q&A about what carbon neutral means and why it’s a good thing to choose carbon neutral electricity retailers.

#4: Coal is more reliable for the grid

At best, that’s a deliberately vague statement designed to comfort the non-curious. At worst, it’s just a bunch of baloney.

The early success of Tesla’s large scale battery farm in South Australia saw it respond in just 140 milliseconds to a coal-fired plant failure in December 2017, delivering enough gigawatts of power to help stabilise the grid and prevent a blackout.

Aging coal-fired plants on their own are unlikely to deliver reliable electricity in the future, not to mention the problems of high carbon emissions and the maintenance costs. Battery storage can help solve the problem of solar and wind’s oft-criticised “intermittency”. The future is clear: an increasing amount of renewables in Australia’s energy mix.

#5: It costs too much

We’ll cut to the chase here. Why not submit a PDF of your latest bill to us via the Powershop website for a quick comparison with your current electricity provider? We’ll give you an estimate on whether you could save at Powershop. Saving money and supporting a greener energy company – it can happen.

If it’s 100% carbon neutral power you’re after, you can get that from us at no extra cost. Or, spend a little more for GreenPower and it will probably only cost you only around $3 a week more than regular power from your current supplier.

Then there are the wonders of smart meters – gadgets that can be installed on your power board. These relay data that we display on our smartphone app providing really valuable info so you can understand your power use at home. You’ll learn how to use less and save more. More good news: Powershop customers can request to have a smart meter installed free of charge.

About Powershop

Powershop is new to the Queensland market, but not new to electricity with over 100,000 customers across Victoria, NSW and South-East Queensland.

We’re here to provide better power in many ways – better prices, fairer deals, but also a better deal for the planet. We’re the only power company that is 100% carbon neutral and Greenpeace has ranked us the Greenest Power Company in Australia two years running (Greenpeace Green Electricity Guide 2014 & 2015).