In reality there is no such thing as ‘green’ electricity if you get your electricity out of the national grid (refer my earlier blog post ‘Where does my power come from?’). Power taken from the national grid is produced from a variety of generation sources, some of which emit carbon into the atmosphere. In practice, irrespective of whom you buy your power from, the source of the power you use will not change.
More and more consumers are becoming more aware of the link between electricity consumption, carbon emissions and climate change. However, the whole ‘climate change’ industry is dominated by complex jargon and confusing terminology. We are tying to cut through all of that confusion and offer our customers practical options to reduce their effect on climate change.
There are three broad actions that everyone can take in relation to consumption of resources generally, and also specifically with electricity:
1. Reduce consumption, where possible.
2. Consume renewable, non-polluting resources.
3. Offset carbon emissions.
Powershop offers the information, tools and products for customers to adopt any or all of these actions that suit their lifestyle and budget.
Powershop provides simple and understandable information that allows customers to understand exactly how much power they are using each day, and immediately see the benefit of changing the way in which they use power or investments they have made to reduce consumption (eg. insulation, heat pumps).
Your unit balance shows you how much power you have left, how much you are using each day and how long your balance will last you. You can enter your meter reading whenever you like to track your usage and make sure your balance is accurate. We also have other charts and information that allow you to monitor your consumption over time.
Power from Renewable sources
Meridian Energy generates electricity using only renewable resources and has two CarboNZerocertTM products available for purchase within Powershop.
The certification process requires that the emissions associated with the generation and retail of the amount of electricity sold are measured, subject to management plans and offset according to the carboNZero standard. This does not mean the emissions associated with your power consumption have been offset because it is not possible to track electricity flows through the grid, and because there is no linkage between who you buy your power from and where the power you use is actually produced.
You can buy these products to show your support for Meridian as a generator that generates using only renewable resources, rather than to offset emissions.
Meridian also run ‘specials’ from time-to-time, notably when their lakes are full of water.
For more information on Meridian’s products see our Products & Pricing page.
Offsetting Carbon Emissions
If you really want to help fight climate change you can ‘offset’ the emissions associated with the production or consumption of your power using carbon offsets.
A ‘carbon offset’ is produced by projects that either absorb carbon from the atmosphere (eg. forests) or offset emissions from another source (eg. a windfarm that reduces the amount of production from a coal fired power station). There is a plethora of international standards for carbon offsets with a range of different criteria associated with them. A key feature of all offsets though, is that they must be ‘additional’ – that the project or initiative producing the offset would not have occurred anyway without the revenue from sale of the carbon credits.
Powershop currently has two suppliers who provide carbon offsets with their electricity products.
PowerKiwi Limited supplies power under the brand name ‘The Green Power Company’
All purchases of The Green Power Company product are accompanied by a offsets verified to the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard‘.
Airshed supplies two different power products, one intended primarily for residential consumers, and another targeted at businesses who participate in a certification programme such as Landcare’s CarboNZero programme. Both Airshed products have offsets verified to ‘Gold Standard‘ that meet other sustainability criteria in addition to offsetting carbon. This Gold Standard is supported by environmental organisations such as Green Peace and WWF.
For more information on ‘The Green Power Company’ and Airshed products, see our Products and Pricing page.