This was posted 9 years 10 months 22 days ago, and might be an out-dated deal.

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10% GreenPower for No Additional Cost at Origin Energy

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If you're an Origin Energy customer, simply call them (13 24 61) and ask for 10% of your electricity to be Green and they will ensure it is with no additional charge. To be clear you are not getting 10% off, you are simply getting 10% of what you are already paying for as power from a renewable source (http://www.greenpower.gov.au/Homes/) instead of coal etc. which most companies will charge you additional for. Origin has other options starting from 25% GreenPower (for an extra $1 a week), but if you want to make a small difference without paying anything extra simply ask for the 10% GreenPower.

I came across this at the start of the year when I was reviewing who to use as my Electricity provider - the Origin consultant mentioned it when I asked about their GreenPower options and I confirmed it again when I spoke to them today, but you will not find any mention of it on their website (the link I've provided just shows you the GreenPower options you can pay for).

It is available for all Origin electricity customers.

Note, when you receive your next bill after adding it, it will say "Green Electricity" in the top right but it won't mention the percentage anywhere (I called and confirmed that 10% was being applied though).

Once again I'm not recommending for or against using Origin for your electricity (do your own research/comparisons) but if you are an Origin customer it's a free thing to do to make a small difference (ideally purchase a higher percentage of GreenPower but that's a discussion for a different forum).

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  • How would you know the electricity coming through the grid into your home has not really been generated from coal ???

    • This was the same arguement i had with Red Energy awhile ago when the offered Green energy at extra cost…
      No surprise that they couldnt understand that its all the same as it enters my house, so i get green energy without paying for it anyway.

      • +6

        You are correct that you'll get a mix of green and non-renewable energy, but if no-one pays for the green energy, the electricity providers will not provide more of it. So more people purchasing and choosing GreenPower means more investment in renewable energy sources which will mean that the ratio of green to non-renewable energy in the grid will increase. It takes a bit to get your head around how it works, just like understanding carbon credits can be a bit confusing.

      • +7

        This is a confusing time to have this discussion, as the grid has 10% and the offer is for 10%, so most seem to be making a mistaken connection. Think of it this way:

        Call Origin to opt in, and they will contribute the legislated portion portion of 10% of your bill to green power generation without charging you more.

        THAT is how this deal can make a difference, and is a 'bargain'.

        • +1

          You're absolutely right lmh86, a much better explanation than mine.

    • +4

      Good question, everyone just gets electricity from the grid which has been sourced from a variety of sources (renewable and non-renewable). GreenPower works by offsetting your household’s electricity consumption with renewable energy, which is added to Australia’s electricity grids. So when more people choose GreenPower, the demand for renewable energy in Australia increases, in turn generating a greater supply of energy from renewable sources. You can rest assured that the money you invest goes to renewable energy generation because GreenPower is audited by the government. More info is here: http://www.greenpower.gov.au/Homes/ and here http://www.greenpower.gov.au/About-Us/

      • -2

        This is true when you chose a GreenPower % above the % that is already from renewable sources. 10% GreenPower doesn't cut it for anything. 10% GreenPower is a marketing gimmick or misleading scam.

      • Yet isn't Origin muscling its way into the controversial coal seam gas mining in Australia?

        • Yes. But why can't you mine coal or gas while at the same time getting your customers to pay more for GreenPower. Get a cut from all sides. That's just good business isn't it?

        • The chemicals used in fracking for CSG permanently poison the ground water, that is why there is so much outcry, even from folks who would normally be in support of the coal mining industry. Moreover, farmers and people on the land may not be able to object to fracking and poisoning of the ground water.

          Top this off with the fact that as CSG has a mining life of less than 5 years, it is therefore royalty free, as in the mining company moves in for a short while, profits of poisoning the ground water and contributes nothing in the way of tax.

          No deal Origin.

        • +1

          Fracking is bad news, http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking/ - the movie is even more disturbing.

    • +1

      10% of the electrons are coloured green - watch out for them

    • +5

      No, it's not a scam, it just takes a bit to understand. Yes, about 10% of electricity in Australia is currently generated from renewable sources. That is due to individuals and businesses paying for part of their electricity to come from renewable sources - some people might ask for 10% of their electricity to be green, others might ask for 100%. This clean energy does not feed directly into your power supply, but is added to the electricity grid on your behalf through Large-scale generation Certificates (LGCs) that are purchased from the power station by your electricity supplier. When a retailer sells you GreenPower, the sale is registered in their database. At the beginning of the following year, they must purchase the amount of electricity from renewable energy generators (in the form of LGCs) to match their sales. State government audits of GreenPower providers are conducted each year to ensure the number of LGCs match customers’ GreenPower purchases. The more GreenPower that is sold, the more renewable electricity will be generated to match the demand. So the more GreenPower you purchase the greater the push for increasing renewable energy supplies in Australia.

      So the fact that we are at 10% renewable energy is due to what people have purchased so far, and if everyone stopped purchasing GreenPower there would not be any more than 10% renewable energy in the grid (and it would reduce as infrastructure needed maintenance etc). But continuing to support GreenPower (even with just 10%) will ensure that this percentage continues to grow.

      • Er not quite. As you say, the LGCs (and small scale certificates) are purchased by the retailers - but you neglected to say they are federal govt requirements.

        If you buy 100% GreenPower, that doesn't make 110% of your electricity renewable offset. 10% is offset already, and you pay for an extra 90%.

        Similarly, if you buy 10% GreenPower, 10% is offset already, and you are getting an extra 0%.

      • and if everyone stopped purchasing GreenPower there would not be any more than 10% renewable energy

        that statement doesn't make sense, because your offer now says it's free.

        • It's not free because you are paying for that 10% already in the standard rates. It's just that if you don't opt for more than the standard 10% you pay no more - because you are already paying for that 10%.

          Remember there is no such thing as free green electrons.

        • +4

          For the offer to make a difference, customers need to take it up. If no one takes it up, Origin doesn't have to purchase any renewable energy, but if everyone asks for 10% GreenPower, it will cost the customer nothing, but Origin will have to purchase that 10% of your electricity from renewable sources. Just because 8-10% of electricity in the grid is currently from renewable sources, it doesn't mean Origin is providing any of that - if you assume that no Origin customer is purchasing GreenPower and then they all swap to 10% (or greater) GreenPower, that % in the grid will increase - if they don't, it won't.

        • "If no one takes it up, Origin doesn't have to purchase any renewable energy"

          If you think that is true, you have no idea how the Federal Govt schemes work. For a crash course, read http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/renew...

          These are mandatory requirements on all retailers.

  • +1

    I've been with Origin for years now and today received a letter from Tru Energy offering me a 12% discount (ongoing) and $100 gift card for switching…

    Time to research some savings….

    • +1

      jv, can u keep us updated with the awesome savings stuff with energy? i want to save some money too on energy

    • Since Dodo increaded their rates they are not as competitive as previously.
      I was playing on www.goswitch.com.au comparing rates between origin standard rate, dodo and red energy.
      although dodo is cheapest by $50 per year for me, i will probably go with Red energy for both gas and electricity as i will save approx $1000 a year (using 42kw per day)compared to origins plan i am on.
      i also run a 2kW solar system as well here.

  • They can probably afford to offer it for free now because of the additional profit they are making from the extra fees they charge for smart meters…

  • +1

    The question was asked why this is considered a bargain given that the mix in the grid is already 10% renewable and 90% other. The answer is that the 10% is based on what people are CURRENTLY paying for GreenPower. If you are not currently paying for GreenPower and then switch to 10% GreenPower, then that will put MORE GreenPower in the grid, increasing that percentage in the grid. The key feature that makes it a "bargain" worth submitting to Ozbargain is that Origin are covering the cost of that 10%, you are not paying anything for it, but it is making a difference.

    • So if (hypothetically) 100% of generation were already renewable, and you opted for 100% renewable, would that put more renewable in the grid? Of course not.

      Ditto if 10% of generation is already renewable and you opt for 10% renewable, does that put more renewable in the grid?

      I fear not.

      • +1

        The only way you could get to 100% renewable energy in the grid is if not just you, but everyone, opts for 100% renewable.

        So yes, opting for 10% renewable energy (if you were previously on 0%) will increase the renewable energy percentage in the grid.

        As an example, say the grid requires 1000 electrons, if I use 200 electrons and choose to have 50% of my electrons as green, that will mean my electron provider will need to ensure that 100 of the electrons in the grid are painted green on my behalf, resulting in 100/1000 = 10% of the grid being green coloured electrons . This is where we are currently at. Now if nothing changes i.e. total demand stays at 1000 electrons, and that customer is the only green customer and keeps using 200 electrons per year and pays for 50% green coloured electrons then the grid will stay as 10% green coloured electrons. If he decides it's too much and stops painting his electrons green, then the ratio goes back down to 0%. If however he does stay green and 4 additional customers who use 400 electrons in total all decide to ask their provider to ensure that 10% of their electrons are coloured green, the provider has to pay to paint an additional 40 electrons green and the overall ratio will go to 14%.

        At some point hopefully the infrastructure will all be renewable energy sources and so there won't be a need for a 'GreenPower' scheme - you'll just buy electricity and it will be green, but we are far from that - hence why we have the GreenPower scheme which results in more investment in renewable energy sources. Sorry, that's the best I can explain it, people will have to just do their own research and make up their own minds :-)

        • -2

          Wow the electrons really are painted green - that's amazing. I will watch out for them.

      • +2

        You're doing percentages wrong. IF the grid was 100% green and you were already a customer, by definition of 100% you must have already opted in for 100% green yourself. If you were a new customer to a 100% green grid and elected to have 0% green (provided legislation had not changed by that stage), the grid would then have 99.9…% green.

  • -3

    Electricity is already 100% recycled electrons. Doesn't that make it green enough?

    Green power also costs more to produce, and in turn costs the consumer more. That seems to be against the spirit of this site. Aren't electricity prices high enough without fuelling someone's political agenda. At the end of the day, what have you actually done in practical terms about the "problem" — absolutely nothing except use up a bit more toner on your printed bill which says you are using green power. We could go nuclear/hydro/whatever tomorrow and be 100% green, but we would still be exporting just as much coal to China/India etc. Really doesn't achieve anything does it?

    • +2

      It's about the long term costs. If you're happy about saving a few cents now and aren't worried about the potential economic and social costs down the track, keep pressuring the power companies to produce the cheapest possible energy (which, by the way, is fossil fuel).

  • +2

    I don't see what the problem is here. Origin are offering something for free which other companies make you pay for. That "something" is the FUNDING for the renewable energy!

    BTW, it's worth mentioning that "renewable" doesn't necessarily equal "green" (an overused and undefined word) anyway. I'd sooner use fossil fuel than "bioenergy" which is either getting a bit of power from waste products in industries which are already causing damage (such as from a paper mill) or making use of valuable land and water resources to produce a very inefficient form of fuel. We have much bigger problems on this planet than just global warming!

    • +1

      Agreed, supporting renewable technology is the best way to ensure it becomes cheaper.

      A good example of this is the massive uptake of solar arrays, because people can see the direct benefit to their hip pocket each quarter, they are happy with a 5 year payback period.

      This is a freebie if you are already with Origin, dunno why you would neg unless this locks you into a 2yr contract.

      • +2

        Another good example is free-range eggs. Consumer demand can lead to change, where in Europe a free-range egg now costs 2 extra cents to battery farm, and in Australia the price difference has lead to widespread consumer choice in the direction of free-range… Same could be said for green energy and a similar snowball effect.

      • Adding the 10% GreenPower doesn't lock you into anything - it's like a 'bolt on' to whatever existing contract you have - so a no brainer if you're already with Origin and have not opted for any GreenPower yet.

  • 10% GreenPower generally costs about 0.6 cents/kWh (6 cents x 10%).

    Origin's default rates can be up to 3 or 4 cents more expensive per kWh compared to cheaper providers in Victoria. In other words, you can switch to a different supplier and get 50% GreenPower for less than what you would pay with Origin.

    • Like I said at the start: "I'm not recommending for or against using Origin for your electricity (do your own research/comparisons) but if you are an Origin customer it's a free thing to do to make a small difference."

      I did my research and based on my usage and a 10000 Sparks offer which gave me $150 credit and 10% off, it was the cheapest option compared to the rest (even Dodo etc). So I don't think it's worth neg'ing the deal but that's your call.

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