When it comes to electricity, you have options.
Changes driven by technology, environmental factors and consumer behaviour are giving Aussies more choice than ever with their electricity supply.
Today, you may be able to choose between non-renewable sources like coal and gas, renewable energy sources like solar, hydro and wind, or a mixture of both.
We’ll explain how each method works, and how it relates to your household bill!
While there’s no one-size-all best electricity option, there are sources of electricity that may appeal to you over others.
Keep in mind, regardless of whether you choose non-renewable or renewable energy, all electricity produced ends up in the grid. The cool part is choosing renewable energy, adds cleaner electricity into the grid on your behalf and increases the proportion of renewable energy produced and consumed.
If you can afford the upfront costs, solar has the potential to save you money long-term, plus you may be eligible for a solar rebate and a solar feed-in tariff. Currently, Greenpower costs a premium and is probably the most expensive. At present, most traditional electricity plans utilise coal-powered electricity and tend to be cheaper than electricity sourced from renewable generation.
The GreenPower initiative (only available in selected Australian states) allows households and businesses to buy electricity from 100% renewable energy sources, like Hydropower and Windpower.
According to GreenPower, there are more than 160,000 GreenPower customers across Australia.3 You can purchase GreenPower through most energy providers.
Learn more about your renewable energy options.
Outwardly, you’re paying for four main components as part of your total electricity price:
Within your bill you’re paying for the above via for two components:
N.B. This breakdown doesn’t include additional one-off charges like turning on your supply when you move in or other ongoing administration costs.
Do energy bills confuse you? Learn how to read bills.
Do you want to reduce your usage and save money? There are many things you can do including, investing in energy-efficient appliances, switching appliances off at the power point and switching providers with better plans. Learn all about this and more from our how to save electricity page.
Each option has its pros and cons. It generally depends on what appliances you have and how much energy you use. To learn more, you can read our electricity vs gas page and discover which may be the better option for you.
The future is looking green.
A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found that new renewable power generation projects are now undercutting existing coal-fired plants.4 This means renewable energy is not only a cleaner source but quickly becoming a cheaper one too.
IRENA also suggests that renewables can make up 60% or more of many countries’ (including Australia’s) total energy consumption (TFEC) by 2050.5