Powershop Australia responds to an article in The Australian

In 2014, Powershop launched a partnership with GetUp! to give consumers access to a greener electricity retailer and a fairer deal for all. We are proud that together, GetUp and Powershop have actively lobbied to save the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and launched a community energy campaign supporting a solar installation at the Addison Road Community Centre, located in Marrickville NSW.

Close to 20,000 GetUp members have switched their electricity to Powershop via the Better Power campaign. As we offset 100% of the carbon associated with our customers’ electricity usage, Better Power campaign supporters have offset approximately 162,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses.

The Australian today published an article which references our relationship with Getup!, and contains a number of inaccuracies.

Assertion 1: The bulk of Powershop’s electricity, often all of it, is sourced from coal-fired power stations because renewable energy from wind or hydro power can only service just over 15 per cent of the market at full capacity, and downtime is common.

No matter which energy retailer you buy your electricity from, it all comes from the same central pool because all energy retailers in Australia buy their electricity from the National Electricity Market (NEM), also known as the grid.

Our parent company Meridian Energy, owns and operates two wind farms which only put renewable energy into the grid. Currently these two wind farms produce more electricity than our customers consume.

Even so, we can’t control which electrons are actually delivered to our customers’ home or business. So we made the decision to offset 100% of the carbon emissions associated with our customer’s electricity use to help customers reduce their carbon footprint. More info about Powershop and carbon offsetting can be found here.

Assertion 2: Most of the renewable energy from an alleged “100 per cent renewable power generator” is on-sold to other retailers as well

Meridian Energy are a 100% renewable energy generator and like all generators, the electricity produced is sold into the grid. The electricity industry is complex, if you’d like to know more about it head here.

Assertion 3: The $2m GetUp! earned from Powershop is on top of donations since its inception in 2005

We provide GetUp! a financial contribution for every GetUp! member who switches their electricity to Powershop via the Better Power campaign. We have not made any donations to GetUp in the time we have been working with them.

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