City of Sydney urges residents, businesses to switch to GreenPower to cut emissions

The City of Sydney is urging residents and business owners to switch to GreenPower to drastically cut their emissions, after survey results showed many residents didn’t know it existed.

GreenPower is a government-managed program that lets individuals and businesses support renewable energy generation and the City of Sydney says choosing an accredited 100% GreenPower electricity plan lets people support the growth of Australia’s renewable sector.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said switching to renewable energy was one of the biggest changes an individual could make to help tackle the climate crisis.

“Many of our residents believe they can’t go renewable if they are renting or live in an apartment block. But there’s more to renewable electricity than just putting solar panels on the roof,” the Lord Mayor said.

“More than half of our local area emissions, 66%, come from electricity, which shows just how significant an impact switching to green energy can make.



“For households, 46% of residential emissions come from electricity. Making the switch is a simple way to make a big difference.

“We know that greening the grid and switching to renewable energy is essential for combating the climate crisis, but many of our residents and businesses believe they can only do this by installing solar panels, which doesn’t help those who are renting or who live in apartment blocks.

“The City of Sydney switched to 100% renewable electricity in June 2020 and has been certified carbon neutral since 2011. As we take the next step in combating the climate crisis, we’re urging our residents and businesses to also make the switch.

“By turning to a GreenPower electricity plan, you can help Australia shift away from fossil fuels and move the City of Sydney local area towards its target of net zero by 2035.”

GreenPower survey results from the respondents who don’t have a GreenPower electricity plan:

  • 33% didn’t know it existed
  • 11% didn’t realise what a difference it could make to emissions
  • 7% said they hadn’t got around to it
  • 4.5% were on embedded networks (private electricity networks with no personal choice in provider)
  • 12.7% said they didn’t trust electricity companies to use the money to fund renewable energy generation
  • 57% said they would switch if they knew it was the best thing they could do for the environment.

“We know our residents want action on the environment and we know they want to do their bit – and the reality is switching to GreenPower is the single biggest and, probably easiest, thing you can do to help tackle the climate crisis,” the Lord Mayor said.

Commenting on the City of Sydney campaign, Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said that switching to GreenPower was a great option for people who traditionally would be unable to source renewable electricity.

“Over 3 million Australian homes and small businesses have installed solar panels, but if this isn’t an option for you, purchasing GreenPower is an excellent alternative,” Thornton said.

“Most electricity retailers will offer you an option to buy certified GreenPower – look for the GreenPower logo. GreenPower is a government-managed scheme that allows households to purchase certified renewable energy through their electricity retailers. This ensures the retailer is purchasing electricity sourced from renewable energy projects.”

Thornton notes that GreenPower differs from carbon neutral electricity plans, which rely on carbon offsets rather than working to green the Australian grid – and in order to differentiate, “it’s best to check with the energy provider offering the plan before signing up.”

“When you choose GreenPower, you’re helping to drive Australia’s clean energy transition. The greater the demand, the more renewable energy is added to the grid, helping to support Australian jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Thornton said.

City of Sydney resident Guillaume Papillon said he switched to GreenPower after the 2020 bushfires.

“At the back of my mind, I wanted to be more environmentally-focused but, like many, I was often thinking that: ‘It only happens to others.’ Smelling the smoke and seeing the red skies over Sydney, along with the impact on our wildlife and community made me think that it was my responsibility too.”

For information on GreenPower go to getgreenpower.sydney.

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