Electricity and Gas 23/09/2020

Green Ratings Explained

Many businesses are now making an effort to go “green” by adopting eco-friendly practices. If you are looking for an energy company that is conscious of its impact on the environment, we can help. This guide aims to compare the green ratings of Australia’s top energy providers so you can determine which retailer to choose. Here, Green Ratings are Explained

A Quick Summary about Australia Green Ratings

  • The Green Electricity Guide (GEG) ranks Australian electricity retailers based on its scoring index. The most recent list was released in 2018.
  • Powershop and Diamond Energy are the only electricity retailers in Australia that have received a 5-star green rating.
  • AGL was recognised as the Most Improved Retailer with a big leap up the rankings. However, AGL also remains the biggest carbon polluter in Australia with its old, inefficient, and unreliable coal power stations.

What is the Green Electricity Guide?

The Green Electricity Guide (GEG) is an independent, unbiased, ranking of the green performance of all retailers across the states/territory that sell electricity to Australian households. Produced by the Total Environment Centre (TEC) and Greenpeace, this guide has been released in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

The 2014 and 2015 versions of the GEG scored retailers out of 10 points for an overall green rating. However, in the latest 2018 version, the GEG added a star scoring of 1 to 5 stars while still maintaining the 1-10 point scoring. Let’s look closely at how the green scoring works.

How the GEG scoring works

The GEG ranks electricity retailers based on certain criteria, each of which is weighted according to its importance. The cumulative scores for each criterion are added to determine the overall score of each electricity retailer.

The GEG ranks electricity retailers based on:

  • the carbon emissions intensity of the power stations they own and operate
  • their policy positions and investments in renewable energy and fossil fuels
  • their support for the energy sector’s decarbonisation
  • their deals for solar consumers and GreenPower prices
  • their carbon offset products
  • their promotion of energy efficiency and demand response
  • their corporate transparency, responsibility, and sustainability reporting
  • their support for local renewable energy sources, battery power, and energy trading

What are the GEG star ratings?

The final score of each retailer determines its GEG star rating. Although the report uses the term “scores” and “stars” interchangeably, you can easily set them apart by checking if the rating is out of 5 or out of 10. Also, scores are always written in numbers, while stars are represented by a visual symbol.

Here’s how scoring translates to star rating:

Score (out of 10) Stars (out of 5)
   
9.1 to 10 5
8.1 to 9 4.5
7.1 to 8 4
6.1 to 7 3.5
5.1 to 6 3
4.1 to 5 2.5
3.1 to 4 2
2.1 to 3 1.5
1.1 to 2 1
1 or less 0.5

 

Best (and worst) ‘green’ electricity retailer

Even if you do not have time to go through the entire Green Electricity Guide, you can easily compare the green performance of different retailers as we have listed the scoring for some of the top companies here. Powershop and Diamond Energy are far and away from the best in this group while the majority of retailers poorly scored between 3 and 6, with three energy providers actually getting a score below 3.

Electricity retailer Green score
   
Powershop 9.7
Diamond Energy 9.1
Energy Locals 7.4
Enova Energy 7.4
AGL Energy 7.0
Origin Energy 6.8
Momentum Energy 6.8
EnergyAustralia 5.7
Lumo Energy 5.6
Powerdirect 5.5
Red Energy 5.4
Aurora Energy 5.2
Horizon Power 5.0
ActewAGL Retail 4.9
Jacana Energy 4.8
Ergon Energy 4.7
Dodo Power & Gas 4.4
Pacific Hydro Retail 4.4
Commander 4.1
Simply Energy 4.0
Mojo Power 3.8
Click Energy 3.8
QEnergy 3.5
Amaysim 3.3
Synergy 3.2
Alinta Energy Retail 3.1
GloBird Energy 3.0
People Energy 3.0
Sumo Power 2.8
CovaU 2.3
1st Energy 2.0

 

Note: The table above represents the results of the 2018 Green Electricity Guide. For updated information on green retailers that operate in your state, check out our detailed energy provider guide.

 

Need more help? Try these 7 Tips for Spotting the Best Energy Provider For Me.