GreenPower and Renewable Energy: Consumer Protection, Trade Practices and Energy Market Regulation in Australia
- Thomson Reuters
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 2019, 36 (2), pp. 113 - 126
- Issue Date:
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Green power schemes, operating outside of government mandatory renewable energy schemes, provide a means by which electricity consumers are assured that by paying an additional premium on top of ordinary electricity prices the energy supplier will source an equivalent amount of electricity generated from renewable sources. The schemes do not provide renewable energy per se to consumers but give the consumer confidence the energy supplier will source an equivalent amount of energy from renewable sources. This article examines green power in Australia and its accreditation scheme. It examines the origin and growth of GreenPower in Australia. Rules relating to eligibility for accreditation under the GreenPower scheme are then examined. It is argued that a significant benefit of this scheme is the way it incorporates wider environmental and sustainability concepts because of its requirements for environmental impact assessment for projects seeking accreditation. The process of accreditation, ongoing verification and monitoring of this voluntary scheme has had considerable success in ensuring consumer confidence has been maintained. Provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) provide a backup legislative sanction should the mechanisms of the GreenPower scheme fail, but these powers have rarely been used, attesting to the success of the GreenPower scheme.
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