Renewable Energy Companies Australia: 2022 Green Electricity Guide
Using the latest data from the Green Electricity Report, we rank the greenest and most renewable energy companies in Australia. Do you want to switch to an energy provider that has proven it wants to do its part to reduce pollution? Below, we summarize which companies make the top (and bottom) of the most renewable energy companies in Australia for 2022.
Renewable Energy Companies Australia 2022
The Green Electricity Guide is mostly used to grade the greenest and most renewable Australian energy companies. The Green Electricity Guide is divided into the greenest renewable energy companies in Australia, the worst pollution offenders, and those that are in the middle. Are you looking for the top 10 renewable energy companies in Australia? You can find all the picks for 2022 greenest energy retailers below
Click the link below to jump to a specific Australian renewable energy company, or continue reading to find out more about the top-rated renewable energy companies in Australia.
- Enova Energy
- Diamond Energy
- Momentum Energy
- Aurora Energy
- Indigo Power
- Energy Locals
- Nectr Energy
- Amber Electric
The 10 Greenest & Renewable Energy Companies in Australia
Below you can find our winners for the top 10 Australian renewable energy companies for 2022.
These are the ten energy providers with the highest green electricity scores out of 10, and who have demonstrated commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, giving back to the communities they serve, and transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
1. Enova Energy
Enova Energy is the big winner for the 2022 Green Electricity Guide, scoring 100% across the board with all criteria.
SCORE: 10+/10 (with bonus community engagement score)
The Green Electricity Guide notes, in particular, that Enova Energy gives back half its profits to the community (giving it a bonus community initiative score) and sources electricity from Diamond Energy and via customers distributed solar panels. This, and the fact that Enova Energy is not involved in fossil fuel extraction, are reasons why the Green Electricity Guide puts them in the top spot.
2. Diamond Energy
Diamond Energy has maintained its position as the second-greenest energy company in Australia since the previous Green Electricity Guide.
Like Enova Energy, Diamond Energy scores 100% across the board (though they don’t have the same community focus as Enova, hence the 2nd place score) particularly in the fact that it is a 100% renewable energy generator which deals mostly in solar as well as a green energy retailer. Diamond Energy was also the first company to offer a solar feed-in tariff for battery storage. In addition, Diamond Energy is more than 80% owned by employees and company directors.
3. Momentum Energy
Momentum Energy, like Aurora Energy, is owned by Hydro Tasmania which generates mostly hydroelectric energy.
While Momentum Energy is owned by Hydro Tasmania, one of the largest hydropower stations in Australia, the same generator still owns two large gas power stations. However, Momentum Energy does offer active support for residential solar PV and invests in renewable energy.
4. Aurora Energy
Historic Tasmanian energy retailer, Aurora Energy, is owned by the Tasmania Government which also runs the predominantly-renewable Hydro Tasmania generator.
Despite getting most of its energy generated through hydropower, Aurora Energy still gets some of its electricity generation from gas thanks to Hydro Tasmania’s two gas power stations. However, Aurora Energy does not operate, nor contract any coal power stations.
5. Indigo Power
A white-label energy company that trades via their partner, Energy Locals, Indigo Power is a community-owned energy retailer that supports local renewable projects.
SCORE: 7.88/10 (with bonus community engagement score)
Despite their strong stance against fossil fuels and their push for community-based renewable energy, particularly among rural and regional Australia, Indigo Power still buys from the coal-dominated open market. However, Indigo Power has made the commitment to end its use of coal by 2030.
6. Energy Locals
Energy Locals invests heavily in community-based renewable energy initiatives, and actively supports solar solutions to help communities reduce dependency on the grid.
SCORE: 7.69/10 (with bonus community engagement score)
Energy Locals not only retails its own energy but also partners with different initiatives to help communities invest in renewable energy. Despite their support for renewables, and promise to end coal use by 2030, Energy Locals still engages with the coal-dominated open market and lacks marketing transparency.
7. Nectr Energy
Nectr Energy offers end-to-end solar solutions as well as 100% renewable energy plans in Australia, all while backed by a major solar company, Hanwha Group.
Nectr Energy is an active supporter of solar and other renewable investments through its parent company, Hanwha Group. However, despite Nectr Energy’s strong commitment to solar energy and the 100% renewable electricity plans available, they still buy from and engage with the energy spot market which is dominated by coal.
A member-based, not-for-profit, energy cooperative, CoPower invests heavily in the community through its partnership with Energy Locals.
SCORE: 7.18/10 (with bonus community engagement score)
CoPower (AKA Cooperative Power) trades via their partner, Energy Locals. While CoPower encourages renewable energy investments amongst its members with its not-for-profit model, it does not engage with energy-efficient demand-response measures and doesn’t have transparent marketing, which would give the company a higher score.
9. Amber Electric
While Amber Electric does still engage with the coal-dominant electricity spot market, its unique wholesale business model encourages customers to transition to renewable energy.
Amber Electric is a wholesale residential electricity retailer, which means they charge customers at the same wholesale rates with which they purchase electricity from the grid. Amber Electric helps customers use more energy during times when renewables such as wind and hydro are powering the grid and wholesale rates are low, and warns customers to power-down nonessential energy usage when wholesale rates are high and renewable generation is low.
Once the greenest electricity company in Australia, Powershop Australia is now #10 thanks to its new parent company, Shell.
While Powershop Australia is currently owned by Meridian, a major renewable energy company, they are soon going to be acquired by Shell. Shell is a major fossil fuel giant and global polluter and though Powershop will continue to get its renewable electricity from Meridian, its new parent company reduces Powershop’s overall Green Electricity score.
The Least Green Energy Providers in Australia
So, now that we covered the 10 greenest energy providers in Australia, let’s take a look at the least green.
These are the energy retailers in Australia which scored the lowest on the 2022 Green Electricity Guide and includes the biggest polluters who still rely heavily on coal and gas for most of their energy generation.
Origin Energy is one of the largest energy retailers in Australia, and the 4th biggest climate polluter in the country. While Origin Energy does offer transparent support for renewable energy, which includes end-to-end home solar solutions, they also support gas fracking and plan to continue their use of coal until at least 2032.
EnergyAustralia may own some renewable assets, but they also operate large coal and gas power stations across the country. EnergyAustralia is the country’s second-largest climate polluter and not only continue to mine coal, but also plan to continue to burn it until 2040.
Powerdirect is owned by AGL, the biggest climate polluter in Australia. Despite owning and investing in renewable energy assets, 83% of their energy generated comes from burning coal which they plan to continue up until 2048.
ActewAGL is jointly owned by the ACT Government through Icon Water Ltd and AGL. AGL is the largest of Australia’s climate polluters, and they plan to continue to invest in coal power until 2048.
AGL is not only Australia’s largest energy generator and retailer, but they are also the biggest climate polluter in the country accounting for around 8% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Despite their ownership and investment in renewable energy, over 80% of AGL’s energy generation comes from coal power stations. Despite being the biggest polluter, AGL continues to mine coal and plans to continue to generate coal-powered energy until 2048.
What is the Green Electricity Guide?
The Green Electricity Guide is released by GreenPeace every few years and ranks the greenest energy providers in a country.
Looking at different criteria, the Green Electricity Guide rates and categorizes current energy companies based on their past, present, and future renewable energy initiatives.
How Does the 2022 Green Electricity Guide Rate Energy Companies?
The Green Electricity Guide scores energy companies in Australia across a number of criteria.
Each energy retailer is given a final score out of 10, which is then converted into 0 to 5 stars for the final report.
There are six main criteria for scoring energy companies, these criteria are:
- Providing clean, green, and renewable energy (35% weight)
- Promise to end coal use by 2030 (20% weight)
- Stopping the expansion of fossil fuels (20% weight)
- Renewable energy support (15% weight)
- Marketing transparency (5% weight)
- Localised pollution or environmental damage (5% weight)
- Bonus community score (+10%)
These criteria were developed for the previous Green Electricity Guide, and each is weighted to get the final score for each retailer.
How Australian Renewable Energy Companies are Grouped
The Green Electricity Guide groups its green (and not so green) energy providers into different categories, based on their strengths and weaknesses. Below, we outline these groups and which energy providers are put into each:
The Greenest Energy Providers: Enova Energy and Diamond Energy
The greenest energy providers in Australia are the ones that are making the most significant changes to the renewable energy market. Both Enova Energy and Diamond Energy either generate more renewable electricity than their customers use or contract the equivalent.
The Great Innovators: Energy Locals, Indigo, CoPower, and Amber Electric
Innovative energy providers are ones that use innovative models, technology, or initiatives to empower local communities to take ownership over their energy generation and usage. This can include things such as community P2P energy sales, community battery storage, or small-scale renewable energy generation. These providers had the highest Bonus Community scores in the ranking.
Hydro Energy Companies: Momentum Energy, Aurora, Red Energy, and Lumo Energy
Hydro companies are energy providers that are wholly owned by a major hydropower station in Australia. For Red Energy and Lumo Energy, this is Snowy Hydro, while Momentum Energy and Aurora Energy are owned by Hydro Tasmania.
The Aspirant Greenest: Nectar, Mojo Power, and Radian
These aspiring green energy companies have big plans to either match or contract out 100% of their customers’ energy usage with renewable electricity generation by the end of 2022. These aspiring renewable energy companies in Australia are up-and-coming and set to make the 5-star rating a competitive place for the next guide.
Good With Bad Parents: Powershop and Tango Energy
While Tango Energy and Powershop are doing a lot to drive renewable energy generation in Australia, their parent companies are heavily involved in non-renewable energy generation which ultimately gives these retailers a lower score. Even if customers think their money is going to renewable energy initiatives, they might still be putting their business to companies that deal in fossil fuels.
The Green Up-and-Comers: 3.5 - 3 Stars
Energy providers are considered green up-and-comers if they are showing improvement in the renewable energy sector, but still have a ways to go. One reason for this is these companies prefer to heavily promote carbon offset, rather than contract their electricity directly from renewable generation methods.
The Do-Nothings: 2.5 - 1.5 Stars
These are companies that focus on profits and market share rather than renewable energy generation or carbon offset. They rely too heavily on the spot market, which is still coal-dominated, and aren’t making efforts to transition to renewable energy.
The Big Climate Polluters: The Big Three
AGL, Origin Energy, and EnergyAustralia are both the three biggest energy companies, with not only the biggest market shares but are also some of the biggest climate polluters in Australia. Most of this is due to their coal-burning power stations and limited green initiatives.
Keep in mind that even though AGL, Origin Energy, and Energy Australia are the largest climate polluters in Australia, they all offer Green Power plans. If these three companies are only available to you and you want to support renewable energy, asking for Green Power options with your contract will commit these companies to source more energy from renewable sources.