Did you know that Australia is one of the highest greenhouse gas producers in the world? Each of us is responsible for producing 28 tonnes of CO2 per year. We rely so heavily on fossil fuels like coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel available – to generate our electricty that each household is responsible for about 8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions just through energy use. These emissions are actually increasing every year and if we don’t get them under control now, we’ll have little hope of managing climate change.
Ok, here’s the good news. There is a way to stop your energy use from contributing to global warming. And that’s to use renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro power to generate the electricty you use. It’s quite likely we’ll start to see backyard wind turbines and rooftop solar panels becoming more popular in the same way that water tanks are becoming valued additions to suburban backyards across Australia. There will soon be more and more ways to make use of renewable energy in your own home – energy that doesn’t rely on greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels.
But the easiest way for you to immediately make use of renewable energy is to switch to Green Power. Also called green electricty or natural power this is electricty produced from renewable sources. In Australia we have a government run scheme where suppliers who meet strict criteria can register as Green Power providers.
There are three types of Green Power you can buy – accredited, non-accredited and offset products (which are not actually green power suppliers but reduce emissions in other ways such as by planting trees). I recommend you go with a government accredited supplier of Green Power and look at carbon offsets for the other problem areas like transport and household waste.
You can choose to buy all of your electricty as Green Power or just a percentage of it and there are options that will cost you no more than what you are currently paying. Choosing 100% Green Power will cost you a few dollars extra each week, but for that amount you can rest easy knowing that your household energy use is having ZERO impact on global warming. A cynic might say that what you are buying is freedom from guilt, but the reality is that if we don’t pay now we will all pay much more later.
Green Power costs slightly more, because at the moment it costs more to produce – but like all things that cost will come down as more people make use of it. We also have to consider the fact that although coal power is intitially cheaper to buy the true cost of it is much higher when you take into account things like air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions & acid rain – all things which you and I will ultimately pay for through our taxes (not to mention through damage to your health). I recommend you choose the highest level of Green Power that you can afford.
One thing that does cause some confusion is whether you will actually recieve green power direct to your house. The answer is no, but in reality it doesn’t actually matter becuase all electricity generated from all sources is mixed together into the national electricty grid – it’s impossible to tell the different types of electricity apart. You can be sure though that for every KWh of green electricity you pay for an equivalent amount will be added to the grid on your behalf. That’s one less KWh supplied by coal power and a guaranteed reduction in CO2 emissions.
Online Free Bets site BigBonusBets switched to Green Power at the same time as I changed my light globes to energy saving CFL’s. The result was that my first Green Power bill was significantly lower than my previous bill despite the fact that I am now paying a few cents extra per KWh. Bottom line: if you do nothing else to stop global warming, do this.