Carbon neutral, carbon offsets, GreenPower - all terms we’ve heard a lot of lately. But what do they mean, how are they different and which is best?
What is carbon neutral?
Being carbon neutral means that you, your household, the operations of a business or even a national economy emit the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere that is offset by some other means.
Consider this - everything a company does, from powering their offices to producing a product to transport and distribution, produces CO2 and therefore makes up their carbon footprint. Conversely, things like having solar panels on the roof of the factory or utilising electric vehicles reduces that carbon footprint.
Carbon neutrality then means that their CO2 output has a net neutral impact on the environment. But unless a business relies entirely on renewable energy and their staff bike or walk everywhere, it’s highly unlikely that the carbon footprint will be zero.
That’s where carbon offsets come in.
In order to claim to be carbon neutral, most organisations will need to invest in carbon offsets. Essentially this is to contribute to projects that reduce global carbon emissions, such as wetland restoration, farmland management, and planting trees.
When a company invests in carbon offsets they buy carbon credits. One carbon credit is equivalent to one metric tonne of CO2. To be carbon neutral a business would need to buy carbon credits in the amount to cover their carbon footprint.
What is carbon neutral electricity?
No matter which power company you’re with, the electricity you buy all comes from the same central pool - the National Electricity Market (NEM) - which is made up of a mix of fossil fuels (~70-80%) and renewable sources. It’s not possible to choose whether you get the renewable energy or the electricity that came from burning coal.
So when you buy carbon neutral electricity, your power company will offset the carbon associated with your electricity use with carbon offsets.
The problem with carbon neutral energy is that, while better than nothing, not all carbon credits are made equal.
Companies can buy carbon credits from legitimate schemes in Australia that are working to quantifiably and permanently reduce carbon emissions. However they can also buy cheap offshore carbon credits for a fraction of the cost that don’t directly help Australia achieve their renewable targets or that prop up projects such as retrofitting diesel power plants.
What is GreenPower?
When you choose a GreenPower accredited energy plan, like our Evergreen plan, your electricity usage will be offset with Australian renewable energy generation.
The actual electricity you use will still come from the National Electricity Market, however the equivalent amount of renewable energy generation will be added to the electricity grid on your behalf.
So you can be confident your electricity usage is offset with legitimate Australian renewable energy, helping to reduce not only your own carbon footprint but the whole country's greenhouse gas emissions.
GreenPower doesn’t have to cost the earth
At Mojo Power, it’s our mission to make renewable energy accessible to more Australian homes and businesses. That’s why, with us, going green doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Evergreen is our GreenPower accredited energy plan at rates that beat many retailer’s fossil fuel dominated plans.
When you switch to Evergreen, you can choose 25%, 50% or 100% GreenPower and we’ll match the equivalent amount of renewable energy from GreenPower generators, like solar farms, on your behalf.
That’s more renewable energy going into Australia’s electricity grid and less greenhouse gas emissions associated with your home or business’ energy use.