Welcome to the Green Electricity Guide, the only independent, unbiased ranking of the environmental performance of all retailers selling electricity to Australian households.

The Electricity Sector

The electricity sector is the largest source of greenhouse emissions in Australia. About 80 percent of our electricity still comes from coal and gas. The rest comes from renewables: mostly hydro and wind but also from an increasing amount of rooftop and large-scale solar.

The electricity coming down the wire into your house is the same as everyone else’s on your street. However, retailers can choose who and where they buy electricity from. They can also choose whether or not to take public positions in favour of rapidly decarbonising the energy sector or maintaining the status quo.

By switching from a retailer that invests your money in fossil fuels to one that generates or buys energy from renewables, you are voting with your wallet and sending a signal to Australian energy companies that you want them to get serious about tackling climate change.

Ranking

We rank retailers on the emissions intensity of the power stations they own, their investments in and policy positions on renewable energy and fossil fuels, their deals for solar consumers, their carbon offset products, their promotion of energy efficiency and demand management, and their corporate transparency and sustainability reporting.

This year we have also scored their support for community energy, battery power and local energy trading.

We have also decided to recognise the Most Improved Retailer since the last Guide was published in 2015. This year that award goes to AGL, which jumped up the rankings thanks to its public support for decarbonising the energy sector, investments in new renewables, support for local energy initiatives and corporate sustainability efforts.

We also commend AGL for standing up to federal government bullying to try to keep Liddell power station open past 2022. However, AGL remains Australia’s biggest carbon polluter, and we think it should be doing more, especially by committing to close down all its inefficient, unreliable old coal power stations by 2030 – not as late as 2050.

Taking Power

The biggest impediment now to decarbonising the electricity sector is the current federal government, which has weak climate commitments and no workable plan to implement them.

Local and state governments, some electricity retailers, community energy groups and individual households and businesses are taking up the slack. They are transforming the energy sector from the old model of centralised coal and gas power stations supplying passive consumers to a new model based on local renewable energy generation, storage and trading.

By supporting innovative green retailers you can help tackle climate change, take control of your energy needs – and save money.

We’re showing you electricity suppliers in

Melbourne-based Australian retail arm of New Zealand-based public company Meridian Energy. In Australia, Meridian owns two wind farms and has announced the acquisition of several hydro power plants in NSW. It also has large contracts to buy power from solar and wind farms in Victoria and NSW. Powershop currently supplies over 100,000 customers in Victoria, NSW and South-East Queensland and has developed innovative ways to market to consumers and to communicate with them.

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Owns only renewable assets (via parent company), with emissions intensity close to zero

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Strong public position against investing in fossil fuels

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Does not have contracts to buy energy from fossil fuel power stations

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Involved in and supportive of local energy trading, demand response and community energy projects

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Higher than average GreenPower price

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Privately owned, Melbourne-based retailer selling energy in Victoria, NSW, ACT, Southeast Queensland and South Australia. Diamond owns biogas power plants and over a thousand rooftop solar installations. The first retailer to offer an export tariff for home batteries.

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Owns only renewable assets, with zero emissions intensity

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Strong public position against investing in fossil fuels

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Supports local energy trading and offers specific tariffs for solar battery exports

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Does not have contracts to buy energy from fossil fuel power stations

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Is not involved in demand management/response programs and does not offer carbon offsets (apart from GreenPower)

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

New, small, privately Australian owned retailer based in Melbourne. Currently operating in NSW and Southeast Queensland with plans to begin operating in Victoria and South Australia shortly. Has an innovative pricing model based on a fixed service charge with no profit margin on variable energy charges. Partners with Australian organisations to invest half its profits in local charities and community energy projects.

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Strong public position against investing in fossil fuels

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Supportive of community energy projects and local energy trading

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Solar export price(s) above state average(s) and provides equitable solar offers

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Does not have contracts to buy energy from fossil fuel power stations

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Does not promote energy efficiency and is not involved in demand management/response programs

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

New, small, community owned retailer based in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Currently has around 5,000 customers in rural and regional NSW, with plans to expand shortly. Supports community energy projects and is committed to returning 50% of profits to the NSW community.

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Strong public position against investing in fossil fuels

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Supports community energy projects and has a carbon offset program (in addition to GreenPower)

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Has a high proportion of GreenPower sales

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Does not have contracts to buy energy from fossil fuel power stations

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Is not involved in demand management/response programs

Element ScoresCriteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Publicly listed company and Australia’s second largest electricity retailer with 3.6 million customers. Sells electricity in the eastern mainland states and South Australia. Claims to be the largest ASX-listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in Australia. However, it is also the largest fossil fuel generator and is therefore Australia’s largest carbon polluter.
AGL is the Guide’s Most Improved retailer for 2018 given the increase in its underlying score compared with 2015. This has occurred on the back of recent investments in wind and solar farms, support for a virtual power plant trial, and public commitments to close all existing conventional coal-fired plants by 2050. AGL has also resisted federal government pressure to keep the highly polluting and unreliable Liddell coal power station in NSW open beyond 2022.

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Strong public position against future investments in fossil fuels

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Comprehensive and accessible energy efficiency products and involvement in demand management/response programs

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Offers carbon offsets (other than GreenPower)

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Penalised by EPA NSW for pollution

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Extensive current investments in CSG and coal power stations, with emissions intensity above NEM average

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Renewables
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Publicly listed company and Australia’s biggest electricity retailer. Sells electricity in the eastern mainland states and South Australia. Owns one large black coal and several gas ‘peaking’ plants and pumped hydro. It has more than 700 MW of renewable energy in its portfolio, and will add 350 MW of new solar farms this year, with the aim of one-quarter of its generation being from renewable sources by 2020. Origin has committed to a company-wide 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2032 including exiting its coal investments and net zero emissions by 2050. Meanwhile Origin is the fourth biggest greenhouse polluter in Australia.

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Comprehensive and accessible energy efficiency products and involvement in demand management/ response programs

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Supports local energy (P2P) trading

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Solar export price(s) above state average(s) and provides equitable solar offers

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Publicly supports mining and generation of energy from coal seam gas (CSG)

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Extensive current investments in CSG and coal power stations, with emissions intensity above NEM average

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Renewables
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Owned by Hydro Tasmania, which is in turn owned by the Government of Tasmania. Momentum directly owns five cogeneration plants in Victorian hospitals. As well as hydro power stations, Hydro Tasmania owns two large gas plants. It has built a Hybrid Energy Hub on King Island and part-owns Woolnorth wind farm. Sells energy in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

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Owns mostly renewable assets (via parent company), with emissions intensity close to zero

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Strong public position against investing in fossil fuel

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management programs

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Does not offer carbon offset (apart from GreenPower)

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Has been fined for ‘greenwashing”

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Now owned by Snowy Hydro, so (like Lumo Energy) effectively it will soon be owned solely by the Commonwealth Government. Snowy Hydro owns large hydro power stations but also two gas peaking plants. Sells energy in the eastern mainland states and South Australia.

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Owns mostly renewable assets (via parent company), with emissions intensity close to zero

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Offers a lower than average price for GreenPower

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No current investments in coal or CSG, but no public position against them

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Has energy efficiency information on website but should be made more accessible

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No involvement in demand management/ response programs, community energy project or P2P trading

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Foreign-owned private company and third largest electricity retailer in Australia. Owns coal plants in Victoria and NSW, gas plants in South Australia and NSW and a wind farm in SA. It invested heavily in renewables in 2017 but is still the second biggest carbon polluter in Australia, with the highest emissions intensity of the big three retailers. It has the least ambitious decarbonisation goals of the big three. Sells energy in the eastern mainland states and South Australia.

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Comprehensive and accessible energy efficiency products and involvement in demand management/ response programs

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Offers carbon offsets (other than GreenPower)

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Solar export price(s) mostly above state average(s) and provides equitable solar offers

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Not clearly opposed to coal or CGS

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Investments in coal power stations, with emissions intensity above NEM average

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Now owned by Snowy Hydro, so (like Red Energy) effectively it will soon be owned solely by the Commonwealth Government. Snowy Hydro owns large hydro power stations but also two gas peaking plants. Has over half a million customers. Sells energy in the eastern mainland states and South Australia.
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Owns mostly renewable energy generation assets (via parent company), with emissions intensity close to zero

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Offers a lower than average price for GreenPower

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Offers equitable solar offers

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No current investments in coal or CSG, but no public position against them

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No involvement in demand management/response programs, community energy projects or local energy trading

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Subsidiary of AGL selling electricity to customers in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Has mostly business customers. Does not own any power stations. Where no separate data is available it is treated as the same as AGL, so info below only shows results where they differ from AGL’s.

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Strong public position against future investments in fossil fuels (via parent company)

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Offers a lower than average price for GreenPower

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Offers equitable solar offers but export rate is lower than average in most states

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Does not support P2P trading, community energy projects and is not involved in demand management/ response programs

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Investments in coal power stations (parent company), with emissions intensity above NEM average

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Wholly owned by the Tasmanian Government, and is the only retailer in that state. Does not own any power stations itself. As well as hydro power stations, Hydro Tasmania owns two large gas plants. It has built a Hybrid Energy Hub on King Island and part-owns Woolnorth wind farm.

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Owns only renewable assets (via parent company), with emissions intensity close to zero

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Offers a lower than average price for GreenPower

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Solar export price(s) below NEM average but provides equitable solar offers

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Does not support local energy trading, community energy projects and is not involved in demand management/response programs

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Change to Unknown
Position on coal and CGS is not known

Criteria Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Jointly owned by Icon Water (formerly ACTEW Water, owned by the ACT Government,) and AGL Energy via subsidiary companies. Only operates in the ACT and nearby areas of NSW. Does not own power stations of its own, but parent company AGL does. See AGL for more details.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Privately owned, part of the M2 Group. Does not own any power stations. Retails in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Wholly owned by the Northern Territory Government and the sole electricity retailer in the Territory, with over 80,000 customers. The NT Government owns a number of power stations, almost all of them using fossil fuels.

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Solar export price(s) above NEM average and provides equitable solar offers

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Offers comprehensive energy efficiency information

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No public position on fossil fuels

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Retail arm of Queensland regional and rural electricity network. Owned by the Queensland Government. Services around 700,000 customers outside the southeast of the state. For many people living in these areas Ergon is the only electricity retailer option. It owns one medium size gas fired power station and 33 smaller stand-alone power stations in remote areas. Most are diesel fuelled or hybrids, but they also include relatively small solar PV, concentrated solar, geothermal and wind plants.

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Comprehensive and accessible energy efficiency products and information

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Solar export price(s) below NEM average but provides equitable solar offers

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Has a higher than average price for GreenPower and the proportion of GreenPower sales is not known

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No involvement in demand management/response programs, community energy project or P2P trading

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Does own generation assets but emission intensity unknown

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Tango Energy is the new name for the retail arm of Pacific Hydro, a foreign-owned private company also operating in South America. Mostly a generator with small retail operations in Victoria only. Owns seven wind farms and several hydro plants.

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Owns mostly renewable assets, with emissions intensity close to zero

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Solar export price lower than state average but provides equitable solar offers

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Parent company’s investments in fossil fuels and policy positions unknown

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Does not promote energy efficiency or engage in demand management/ response programs

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small, privately owned offshoot of telco Vocus Communications. Specialises in bundling electricity with phone plans. No generation assets. Operates in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Owned by Engie (formerly GDF Suez of France), one of the largest energy companies in the world. Services about 500,000 customers in NSW, ACT, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Engie owns and operates about 1,000 MW of wind and gas-fired generating plants in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Comprehensive energy efficiency information (on website)

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Solar export price(s) mostly above state average(s) and provides equitable solar offers

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Parent company charged for breaching workplace safety and putting community at risk

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Investments in coal power stations (via parent company), result in 2016/17 emissions intensity well above NEM average

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

Element Scores

Emission
Decarboniation
Carbon Offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small private company retailing in Victoria, NSW, Southeast Queensland and South Australia. Recently bought by the Amaysim Group but run separately. Does not own any power stations. Promotes itself as a 100% online retailer.

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Solar export price(s) above state average(s) but the solar offers are not equitable

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Complies with Renewable Energy Target requirements

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Provides energy efficiency information (on website)

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Position on fossil fuels unknown

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Impossible to calculate GreenPower price and the GreenPower proportion of sales is not known

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small, new, private company currently operating in NSW and Southeast Queensland. Does not own any power stations.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small private company retailing in Victoria, NSW, Southeast Queensland and South Australia. Does not own any power stations.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Energy arm of telco retailer. Operates in Victoria, NSW, Southeast Queensland and South Australia. Does not own any power stations.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Private company owned by US-based company TPG Capital. Supplies electricity and gas to over 700,000 customers in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Owns gas plants in several states. Closed its two coal fired power stations at Port Augusta in 2016 but bought the brown coal Loy Yang B power station in 2017. Has acquired the development rights to a ~500MW renewable energy project pipeline.

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Provides energy efficiency information (on website)

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Produces a Sustainability Report

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Does not have a position on fossil fuels and has recently purchased a coal fired power station

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

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Did not comply with Renewable Energy Target requirements in 2016

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon Offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small private company retailing in Victoria. Does not own any power stations.

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Solar export price(s) above state average

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Provides energy efficiency information (on website)

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Does not have a position on fossil fuels

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

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Did not comply with Renewable Energy Target requirements in 2016

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small private company retailing in Victoria. Does not own any power stations.

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Provides energy efficiency information (on website)

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Solar export price(s) below state average but provides equitable solar offers

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Did not comply with Renewable Energy Target requirements in 2016

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

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Position on fossil fuels unknown

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offset
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small private company retailing in Victoria. Does not own any power stations.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon Offsets
Renewables
Fossil Fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Small retailer owned by Tel.Pacific. Operates in NSW and Victoria. Does not own any power stations.

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Provides energy efficiency information (on website)

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Did not comply with Renewable Energy Target requirements in 2016

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Does not clearly offer a price for solar export/feed-in-tariff

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Does not offer GreenPower or other carbon offsets

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Position on fossil fuels unknown

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

New, small private company retailing in Victoria, NSW and Southeast Queensland. Does not own any power stations.

Element Scores

Emissions
Decarbonisation
Carbon offsets
Renewables
Fossil fuels
EE and DR/DM*
Transparency

Note that these are the raw scores out of 10 for each sub‐criterion, which are then weighted to produce the element scores and final overall score (see Fact Sheet)

* Energy Efficiency & Demand Response/Management

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve thought about the questions you might have, and tackled them in the frequently asked questions section. We hope they help! If you’ve got a question we haven’t addressed, please get in touch via the contact form.

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The Total Environment Centre and Greenpeace Australia Pacific are providing this information to assist consumers with their choices and to assist advocacy efforts to create a greener, more sustainable energy system. We do not endorse any particular retailer. Both organisations do not receive any corporate funding from energy providers.

Greenpeace does not accept money from any corporations or Governments. Retailers wishing to use this information in their advertising are advised to contact The Total Environment Centre or Greenpeace Australia Pacific before doing so.

This project was funded by Energy Consumers Australia as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Consumers Australia.

The information on this website was current on 24 March 2018 and does not reflect any changes in company ownership, assets, offers, public policy positions, etc made after that date.