Green energy customers paying carbon tax

August 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

He said that people on a Greenchoice 100 plan – whereby all the electricity they used was “displaced by green sources”, according to the ActewAGL website – should not have to pay the carbon tax.

“On the bill is a graph … that shows my energy usage on the left hand side and on the right hand side is average daily emissions in tonnes. If you are 100 per cent renewable, basically your average emissions is zero for each day,” he said.

The scheme he took part in, which effectively allows the utility to buy 10kw a day of renewable energy regardless of how much he used, meant he had negative emissions in some quarters.

“The graph is entitled ‘Your electricity uses and green house gas emissions’. If that is correct, then surely I shouldn’t be paying the carbon price on my bill. The bill is saying I am not producing carbon emissions, and yet ActewAGL is admitting I am paying the carbon price,” he said.

“Either they are charging the carbon price when they shouldn’t or this graph is misleading. I don’t know which one it is, but there are inconsistencies between the two. They both can’t be correct as far as I can tell.”

Ms Razzaq said that ActewAGL bought energy from the national grid, or pool, and paid a carbon price on this. Greenchoice was a separate scheme.

“When a customer purchases Greenchoice, they pay for the retail rate of electricity that comes from the grid. Then they pay for what we call a large generation certificate, which is a certificate that comes from Greenpower accredited renewable energy generators, such as wind and solar farms,” she said.

“They are two different schemes, so the price of that certificate that we purchase, hasn’t been impacted by the carbon price. So that Greenchoice premium, as we call it, has not been affected by the [carbon price], that is a separate transaction, and the customers still have to pay for that component.”

The utility’s website says Greenchoice customers are not exempt from the carbon tax “because customer’s standard electricity rates are impacted by the carbon price”.

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