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1,700 new smug bastards

By johnboy - 2 March 2007 50

The ABC warns that ActewAGL have signed up an extra 1,700 people to their “Green Choice” electricity scheme. This brings the total to 9,000 Canberrans choosing to pay more for exactly the same electricity simply to get a warm inner glow.

It gets better because the West Nowra landfill, South Australia’s starfish hill windfarm and the dinky Mt Stromlo mini hydro are the sources of this “green power”. So not only does the smug “Green Choice” customer pull the same juice out of the grid as us, but ActewAGL aren’t even pushing any particularly green power into their grid. (According to their website the mini hydro can supply at best 600 homes).

Best of all is that the “Green Choice” only supplies the first 15 kilowatt hours of renewable energy, so power guzzlers get their warm inner glow and vague feeling of superiority and then run their lives off the main grid anyway.

A nice little earner for ActewAGL though. If I could turn a dollar from self-congratulating Canberrans I’d be in there in a flash.

Is there any reason Snowy Hydro power doesn’t count as green?

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
1,700 new smug bastards
Ari 11:55 am 02 Mar 07

Seepi’s comment reminded me that I need to replace my fridge’s door seal.

Can anyone recommend a suitable tradesperson?

Maelinar 11:51 am 02 Mar 07

Fools and Money, parted.

seepi 11:49 am 02 Mar 07

Sammy do you have electric hot water, heating/cooling and cooking?
Also old fridges can chew up electricity – especially if they leak thru the door seal.

Sammy 11:37 am 02 Mar 07

ActewAGL would never have built the ‘green’ power generation sources, if they couldn’t charge extra for them. Life is all about incentives.

Ralph 11:37 am 02 Mar 07

Agree JB. Ideally my first best option is to do nothing, but failing that a carbon tax is most efficient.

Regulations forcing people to buy fluoro lightbulbs are just inane.

Ralph 11:35 am 02 Mar 07

One positive though is that it is a private market (well sorta), so people can freely choose to pay more for a piece of psychic utility (double pun).

johnboy 11:33 am 02 Mar 07

use less? (if it matters to you)

Taxing carbon is the only real fix, not fleecing (once again) the well meaning.

PigDog 11:29 am 02 Mar 07

So Johnboy, how do I get greener energy?
(with out having to do it myself i.e installing solar power on my roof- I don’t care that much)

Al 11:25 am 02 Mar 07

JB: on Snowy power, it is not generally considered in green electricity schemes because it is “old green”, although there are a couple of schemes that promote Snowy hydro juice, but these are not supported by organisations like ACF.
Why? The idea of these schemes is to support construction of new CO2 neutral generation, in line with the Mandatory Renewable Energy targets (even though at just 2% they are pathetically low – China’s for instance is I think something like 12%).
You create or defer new generation, such as through the solar HWS on my roof, you get Renewable Energy Certificates in return. So “Green Electricity” schemes are buying those RECs. Your premium helps pay for them.
http://www.greenpower.gov.au/pages/
http://www.ata.org.au/?page_id=149
As to the whole idea of having to pay MORE to do the right thing – well that really rubs. But the idea is to dry up supply – if all the RECs are bought up, more renewable generation must be constructed somewhere.

Sammy 11:20 am 02 Mar 07

Oh, and i’m on the Greenchoice 5 plan, which gives me 5kWh’s per day of smugness.

Sammy 11:18 am 02 Mar 07

According to ActewAGL, a three bedroom house uses 10-30kWh of electricity per day.

I have a three bedroom house, and only 2 people live in it.

I would consider myself an ‘average’ energy user, in so far as I never leave lights on in rooms in which i’m not present, and I turn appliances off when not in use.

I average 3000 kWh per quarter (93 days) which makes me a 32 kWh per day user. I’d love to know how a three bedroom house gets down closer to the 10 kWh per day level?

barking toad 11:16 am 02 Mar 07

Hydro power can’t be allowed as ‘green’ because there’s dams involved and they make baby jesus cry and they rape Gaia.

simonsky 11:16 am 02 Mar 07

As opposed to the smugness you see when people pass off their opinion as resembing fact

seepi 10:56 am 02 Mar 07

I see it as a way of ‘voting with your feet’ and indicating to the powers that be that there is support for green options, even if they are a bit pricier.

Ralph 10:55 am 02 Mar 07

What’s that old proverb about fools and money?

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