How is GreenPower different from carbon offsets?
GreenPower is the best way to avoid emissions from electricity use in Australia. Carbon offsets should only be used for emissions that can’t be avoided after you have reduced your emissions as much as possible, for example by buying renewable electricity.
GreenPower is accredited Australian renewable electricity sourced from the sun, wind, water and bioenergy. The GreenPower program is a government accreditation that ensures the electricity use of customers that buy GreenPower is matched with renewable electricity added to the grid.
Buying GreenPower means more renewable electricity on the grid and less emissions from electricity use for you (Scope 2 emissions).
Carbon offsets, or carbon neutral electricity plans, allow you to offset your emissions by paying for projects that reduce emissions or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere somewhere in the world. When purchasing carbon neutral electricity, you support carbon offset projects such as reforestation, soil improvement, landfill gas capture and more. However, these projects generally don’t come from Australian renewable energy projects.
Changing our energy sources to clean renewable energy is the only way we can reliably reach net zero emissions. Offsets don’t change how we produce electricity. The coal and gas power plants can keep running, creating emissions that later must be removed from the atmosphere.
To reduce the emissions from electricity use, it is best practice to buy renewable electricity via solar rooftop systems or through GreenPower. Carbon offsets are an important tool to deal with residual emissions in areas where there is no zero-emission alternative available.
While carbon offsets have a role to play in the fight to keep our planet cool, when it comes to electricity the best choice is buying renewable electricity through GreenPower.