Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Open letter to Origin Energy on the Renewable Energy Target

Dear @originenergy, as a customer I have just contributed to put this ad on air in support of the RET in opposition to the submissions your company and of AGL Energy and Energy Australia.

I have been a good customer of Origin energy for several years buying 100% greenpower, and the purchase of my solar PV system through your solar division. In the past you have been an innovative market leader with your green electricity plans.

However, I am particularly distressed with your submission to the current Federal Government Renewable Energy Target review.

The review of the Renewable Energy Target was the proper job for the Climate Change Authority as contained in its legislative authority. This Government has chosen to ignore this legislative detail with their intention to abolish this authority through repeal of the legislation. This has still not been done and there is some doubt whether this legislative change will be made in the Senate. The government has instead chosen to setup their own review with handpicked people, like Dick Warburton, with strong biases against climate change and the importance of transitioning to renewable energy as part of Australia's commitment to reducing carbon emissions to mitigate global climate change under the UNFCCC process.

I disagree with your submission (PDF) that the LRET and SRET should be rolled back into one scheme and remove deeming. I also disagree with resetting the target to a "true 20%". This would effectively mean cutting the target from 41,000GWh (plus uncapped rooftop solar), to 23,000GWh (including rooftop solar).

Giles Parkinson from Reneweconomy also discussed and analysed your submission.

The Howard Government instituted the RET to start Australia's transition to renewable energy.

The Climate Institute has estimated the cost of the RET to the average household of around $1 a week. “Stop-start energy policy in Australia has led to more expensive and less efficient energy sector investments. This is exactly why we have bodies such as the Climate Change Authority, who have the independence and expertise to analyse and test the propositions put forward by vested interests.” said Connor.

Are you still listening?

I am one of the 40 per cent of Australians who think the Renewable Energy Target should be higher. It is time that companies such as Origin Energy took account of consumer opinion.

The trends in energy efficiency and consumers choosing to reduce power are clear and are only going to be accentuated with climate change driving the need to transition away from greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those generated by stationary electricity generation.

I expect you, as a leading business which I currently support, to actively reassess your business model in line with these trends and make the appropriate investment changes in clean energy generation. It's time companies like Origin Energy stepped up and looked to the future in providing a product that no longer pollutes and causes climate change.

Your company needs to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

My thanks to the Climate Institute for the graphs that simply explain what reducing or abolishing the RET will do.

John Englart (Origin Energy customer)

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