ACCC must look closer at Synergy carbon price double-dipping
Wednesday July 2012
Greens WA Consumer Protection Spokeswoman Alison Xamon says the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission must take a closer look at Synergy’s marketing of green power before ruling it is acceptable for the electricity retailer to pass on the carbon price to its green power customers.
"Synergy has for many years told customers that by paying a premium for their green power products such as NaturalPower® and EasyGreen®, they are buying renewable electricity," Ms Xamon, herself a green power customer, said.
"It is therefore simply profiteering for Synergy to now say it cannot distinguish between the green power and conventional fossil-fired ‘black power’ that they are selling customers.
"Synergy is profiting from its green power customers by selling them renewable electricity that does not attract a carbon price while at the same time charging those customers for the cost of the carbon price.
"This cannot be fair or right and my concerns have not been assuaged by the ACCC’s response to date."
For further information contact Alison on 0437 700 555
Note to editors:
Examples of Synergy’s marketing of its green power products:
FAQ on Synergy’s website, downloaded 2/7/2012:
“Q: Why does EasyGreen cost more than regular power?
“A: EasyGreen costs more than non-renewable power because currently the cost of purchasing accredited power is higher than energy produced from traditional means such as coal or gas. By paying a premium, you are taking positive action to reduce your carbon footprint. You select the premium amount that suits you, at set levels between $10 and $80.”
“Q: Why is choosing NaturalPower good for the environment?
“A: Preventing greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere, helps protect our environment. Greenhouse gas traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming. These rising temperatures can trigger droughts, fires and higher sea levels. The good news is, when you sign-up to NaturalPower more of the power we provide comes from renewable sources, which produce little or no greenhouse gases.”
‘Green Energy’ brochure (pdf of which was available until recently on Synergy’s website)
"Because Green Energy is more expensive to produce, it costs slightly more to supply. But with Synergy NaturalPower® and EasyGreen®, you can make a green energy choice that suits your budget."
"By switching to Green Energy, you’ll be helping WA’s renewable energy industry grow, as well as reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and our impact on the environment."
‘Synergy Life’ magazine, summer 2007, downloaded from Synergy website 2/7/2012:
“And because NaturalPower is sourced from the wind and the sun, no greenhouse gases will be created by the energy you purchase.”
Synergy 2007-2008 Annual Report, downloaded from Synergy website 4/7/2012
"NaturalPower is electricity generated by renewable sources."
Synergy 2006-2007 Annual Report, downloaded from Synergy website 4/7/2012
"NaturalPower is renewable energy sourced from the sun and the wind, which generates no greenhouse gas emissions. Customers who choose to purchase NaturalPower are preventing the emission of greenhouse gases that would otherwise be produced to meet their energy needs and are therefore contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment."
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
Member for the East Metropolitan Region
Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051
Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931
Phone: (08) 9272 1718
Fax: (08) 9272 1719
Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering