For Australia's major energy retailers to support renewable energy policies and programs and our renewable energy future
Most people would agree that thier energy provider is generally not thier favourite corporate citizen. After all these companies are the ones that send the montly power bills through - and sure enough recently those bills have been more often than not going up.
But at the same time, millions of people have tried to do the right thing, carefully choosing which company to get thier greenpower from, or who to ask to install thier solar panels.
In recent years it's become increasingly hard to tell what energy retailer are actually supporting renewable energy however, and a couple of Australia's biggest retailers have become major lobbyists opposing all renewable energy programs.
This opposition was demonstrated more clearly than ever before in 2012, when a review of the Renewable Energy Target showed clearly who supported renewable energy and who didn't. A look at the submissions showed a range of energy retailers lining up to say Australias renewable energy target should be thrown out altogether. No surprise, for instance, to see the Australian Coal Association in that camp.
But what was a surprise was that energy retailer Origin Energy, who not so long ago had been arguing for a strong renewables target, was now arguing that the target be cut. Another large retailer, Energy Australia (formerly TRU Energy), chimed in beside them.
Both companies have invested heavily in fossil fuels, with Origin throwing its lot heavily in behind the mining and export of natural gas and coal seam gas. It appears that for Origin greater uptake and investment is getting in the of its renewable energy investments.
Origin AGM 2012
In late 2012 100% Renewable community members and Origin customers wanted to let Origin know that their attempts to undermine the target were way out of step with the views of ordinary Australians. On the 12th of November 2012 Origin shareholders attended the Origin Annual General Meeting, handing out 'What's the Origin of Origin's Energy' flyers, and asking a number of questions of the Managing Director and other board members.
Other checks on retailers
A number of public interest organisations have also scrutinised Origin and other retailers record on renewable energy and have also launched various projects to let Australians know the renewable energy position of the people who are selling them electricity. To find out more see:
- Australian Conservation Foundation's 'Renewable Target Practice'
- Total Environment Centre's Energy Retailer Disclosure Study
- Our joint effort with the Australian Conservation Foundation, the People's RET Review
100% Renewable will continue to keep a close eye on Origin and will make sure the community have full and transparent access to which retailers are and aren't getting behind our renewable energy future.