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ActewAGL comes with the guilts on Green Power

By johnboy - 14 March 2007 72

The Canberra Times reports that ActewAGL’s John Mackay has noticed that many intelligent people don’t see a need to pay more for green power (when the solution to greenhouse emissions is a system that charges more for high carbon power). Having failed with reason he resorts to emotion to try and get the conscientious to pay through the nose while the rest party on (rather similar to his water restriction regime).

“I’m a bit disappointed because I think Canberrans are very, very environmentally conscious, reasonably affluent and [despite] the fact that it costs a little bit more, I would have thought more of them would have taken it up.

“For a relatively modest amount of money you can make a big difference to greenhouse gases.”

Bugger all difference more like.

And to think, just 11 days ago they were telling us just how thrilled they were with the take up.

We’d also love to know if the statistic showing Canberra being the highest per capita greenhouse emitter accounts for having to heat our domiciles through winter.

UPDATED: Ari sent in the following as a story on the same subject:

ActewAGL boss John Mackay has been snivelling in today’s Crimes that Canberrans in general aren’t such idiots that they’ll pay more than they have to for a service.

Apparently only a “paltry” 7 per cent of households have chosen to pay more for exactly the same electricity as everyone else (via the GreenChoice rort).

“I’m a bit disappointed because I think Canberrans are very, very environmentally conscious, reasonably affluent and [despite] the fact that it costs a little bit more, I would have thought more of them would have taken it up.”

What is of concern, however, is that the rest of the country has a take-up rate of less than 1.5 per cent, proving that Canberra has 5.5 per cent more feel-good fools than the rest of Australia. To anyone living in the Inner North, this comes as no surprise.

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72 Responses to
ActewAGL comes with the guilts on Green Power
queen_vic_toria_II 1:19 pm 14 Mar 07

Dusty, the feds have a rebate for anyone who installs photovoltaic panels. I have them at home. Call the MBA in Lyneham as they have the contract in the ACT to provide the rebate.

Much better than spending money and not knowing where it is going.

Al 1:04 pm 14 Mar 07

Yes you can get a household generator connected to the grid, and the electricity you generate gets reduced off your bill. This is a better solution than using batteries, as they have a lot of embodied energy, and there is a lot of loss in both the charging and discharging cycles. And your house can be happily generating away during the day when it is sunny (almost always here) and noone is home consuming power…

The AGO has subsidised “grid-connected” PV since about 1999 – a display I was involved with received the first such subsidy. Unfortunately Howard has been reducing it steadily ever since, and the maximum you can get is now down to $4000, plus the money you get back through trading your RECs has been vastly eroded due to Howard not increasing the Mandatory Renewables target.

But on the other hand we have him (via Ziggy’s report) proposing propping up nuclear power to the tune of at least $3 billion. At $4000 per household PV array, that would be 675,000 houses with one. Up the subsidy to something more reasonable – say $6000 – is still 500,000 houses – a lot of clean power for the money.

Widdershins 12:48 pm 14 Mar 07

mentions ‘controls’ via an independent audit.

johnboy 12:43 pm 14 Mar 07

If only they’d let any sort of power get paid back into the grid.

childhood obesity solved in a stroke as bogan parents get the fatties on the exercise bike to pay for another slab of woodstock and cola. All that sugar in their diets finally put to good use.

It’s be like Conan on the treadmill and we’d have a generation of barbarian warriors unleashed on the world as soon as they manage to escape their homes.

You know it makes sense.

barking toad 12:40 pm 14 Mar 07

Don’t tell ’em that VY/V8.

I want their money to plant trees so they feel good and get some wood for the fire

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 12:38 pm 14 Mar 07

Hey Dusty – did that price include any electrical storage (ie batteries) or was it simply to get solar cells plumbed in to your house with any excess going back to the grid?

dusty 12:22 pm 14 Mar 07

Yes caf, you’re almost correct actually, I was quoted recently on the installation of photovoltaic panels on my home at $14,000 for installation and supply. And that was the minimum price.
Needless to say, I have abandoned that idea until some effective subsidies/ incentives are introduced.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 12:20 pm 14 Mar 07

Waste of $$, we don’t, and won’t, sign up for green energy. We have no assurance that the energy we would get is any different to anyone elses, and there don’t seem to be any controls to ensure that the $$ spent on green energy actually end up there.

Spend a few bucks and buy a couple of new trees for your garden. It’s probably a better environmental investment.

Spitfire3 11:51 am 14 Mar 07

Can someone explain to me clearly what the problem is with ActewAGL’s GreenChoice products?

caf 10:58 am 14 Mar 07

LG, nothing happened to it – you can do that today if you want (and have the spare $5k – $10k you’ll need to set such a system up).

Ralph 10:42 am 14 Mar 07

And for a few more $$$ you can sponsor a Chinese/Indian to help offset their carbon footprint too. Send us money now, Gaia is dying.

roccon 10:40 am 14 Mar 07

The ActewAGL GreenChoice thing is a ripoff in my opinion. Paying extra for power that is generated out of minihydro fitted to the sewerage works or the water treatment plant is nuts.

If the extra money we paid for Greenchoice went into new green generation facilities instead I could see the point.

barking toad 10:32 am 14 Mar 07

Pretty damning statistics those. The ones that show we have a higher percentage of tree hugging hippies than with more money than sense than the rest of the country.

A bit like the feel good business of paying someone to offset your cat’s farts that are making Gaia cry.

But, for all those who feel a need to off-set their evil carbon footprint so they can feel smugly superior, send me money and I will plant something for you.

LG 10:27 am 14 Mar 07

This might be a strange question… but is anyone checking if energy companies are reinvesting the extra $ they reap into purchasing / producing / investing into more renewable energy?

Another question, will energy companies tell subscribers that they’ve used their alloted renewable energy and can’t take any more subscribers? Eg. Energy company ‘provides’ 5% of its energy from renewable sources, if subscribers ‘buy’ over that 5%, what happens? do they just get charged their ‘dirty’ amount?

Like carbon credits, these schemes allow those that can afford it feel guilt free, yet make no substantial changes to their lifestyle (and subsequently reduce greenhouse gases).

Side note, what ever happened to that idea of allowing people to install solarpanels and sell the unused electricity back into the grid? Great idea as far as I can tell!

FC 10:21 am 14 Mar 07

I got the GreenChoice electricity and I haven’t noticed a change in my prices. Probably cos I get the “bundling” discount which is more of a discount than the GreenChoice increase anyway.
I actually forgot that I had it until reading this story.
When I signed up at my new house they really guilted me into it.
But I am a sucker for these types of things anyways….

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