The 2022 Greenpeace Green Electricity Guide aims to make it easier for consumers to pick a better, greener electricity retailer, so Australia can shift away from fossil fuels faster.
We share the same vision of a renewable future for Australia and we're listed in the Guide’s recommended providers.
However, the Guide downplays a critically important fact that we want to raise awareness of.
"Imagine that every electricity retailer bought the same amount of renewable power as they sell to their customers, but none of their customers shifted their energy demand to times when renewables are generating. We would have excess, unused solar power in the middle of the day and we'd still be stuck with coal and gas generators that need to ramp up to meet the peak evening demand" - Dan Adams, Amber co-founder.
The Guide rewards retailers which have contracts with renewable generators. These contracts are positive, but they don’t solve the fundamental problem of helping people actually use renewable energy when it’s available (the fastest way to get Australia to 100% renewables).
The fact that existing electricity retailers’ overlook the importance of loadshifting is the whole reason why Amber launched our totally new way of buying electricity in 2018.
Amber is the first Aussie electricity retailer (and the only one in the Guide) focused on rewarding our customers for shifting more of their energy usage to highly renewable times, knowing how important this is to the renewable energy transition.
We incentivise this “loadshifting” with our wholesale electricity model. Wholesale prices drop when renewable energy is plentiful, and our app empowers people with visibility of these prices and the percentage of renewables in the grid.
In this way we also give customers the tools and incentives to reduce their demand at times when wholesale prices spike, which is when coal and gas generators are charging exorbitant prices and making a large share of their annual profits. Shifting energy use away from these times is one of the most powerful things Aussies can do to accelerate the closure of coal and gas fired power stations.
So if you’re wondering how to make the right choice for the climate, supporting renewables is really quite simple: WHEN you use power matters.
Increase your use of power at the times when the grid is greener - that is, when renewables are generating - and decrease your use of power when coal and gas dominate in the grid, and you can play an essential role in Australia’s renewable energy transition.
If you have any feedback or questions, please get in touch by emailing our team on email@example.com.
P.S. If you want to go deeper on the role of load shifting in the renewable transition, check out this article from the International Energy Agency, “The Clean Energy Transition Requires Action on Electricity Demand” or this one from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, “Supporting the Energy Transition With Demand Response.