With concerns over the use of fossil fuels growing, many businesses are switching their energy supplies to green power sources. Mark Pollard of Make It Cheaper gives some pointers on how your business can go about making the switch.

Green power is a term for electricity generated from renewable energy sources rather than through the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Australia’s electricity-related emissions are high due to the fact that we rely on non-renewable sources for 88% of our electricity generation, with coal being the most greenhouse-intensive fuel.

Green power provides an opportunity to mitigate greenhouse gases associated with electricity generation and promote natural energetic processes such as hydropower, solar energy and wind energy. Collectively these technologies make up the remaining 12% of electricity generation.

  • Hydropower – The largest source of renewable energy, contributing 60% of all renewable generation. The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme is the country’s largest hydropower generator contributing to almost half of the country’s total hydro output.
  • Solar energy – Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world and is a largely untapped resource. However, solar power cannot be relied upon for consistent power generation – storage technologies are still a while off being a viable commercial solution.
  • Wind power – A proven and mature technology with low operating costs. Both wind and solar are known as intermittent energy sources because of daily and seasonal variations.

The manufacturing industry is the largest user of domestic energy, accounting for 26% of total consumption. Households follow shortly after, accounting for 25% of total domestic energy use. According to research, large businesses were more likely to improve the energy and water efficiency of their business, with 75% reporting they aimed to improve energy efficiency.

Switching to green power involves a trade-off:

  • Help the environment and hurt your business – Although green power does incur an additional charge to your standard electricity bill, households and businesses that purchase green power can ensure that their electricity has come from accredited renewable energy generators and have met stringent environmental standards.
  • Being green is a catalyst for innovation – Both business and the environment can win. Instead of being a cost of doing business, being green brings new market opportunities and wealth creation.

Green power costs more than standard electricity because it entails building completely new infrastructure for the electricity grid. However, as with any new technology, development and improvement will see the costs reduce as the infrastructure and demand for it grows.

An estimate of the cost of green power is around 5-8 cents per KWh more than your current electricity rate, if you elect to purchase 100% green power. But every little bit counts towards an investment for future generations. A smaller contribution of between 10% and 25% green power will cost as little as between 80 cents to $1 a week, equating to less than the cost of a cup of coffee over a month.

Major manufacturing and business sectors are always looking at improving environmental performance to cut waste, improve economic competitiveness and gain other important benefits. The service offered by Make It Cheaper is designed to make your life easier and greener if you so wish.

Make It Cheaper is one of Australia’s largest business energy brokers, specialising in offering bespoke energy saving solutions to business, commercial, industrial and residential customers. If you want to set up your next contract based purely on price we can do that for you; but it is important to realise that we are equally willing and able to discuss any more environmental options with you too. Make It Cheaper can provide advice and assistance with regard to the green power plans that it has on offer (though it should be noted that not all retailers allow customers to add green power to their energy plans). We can also provide you with referrals to our energy efficiency partners if you want to go even greener.

AMTIL has teamed up with saving experts Make It Cheaper in a service partnership aimed at helping members to reduce their power bills in one easy phone call. To have a consultative chat with an energy expert, call Make It Cheaper directly on the AMTIL Members Hotline, 02 8880 5523, or simply email a recent bill with contact details to amtil@makeitcheaper.com.au.