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Friday, September 25, 2020

DELWP fails consumer choice on electricity plans and greenhouse gas emissions

The Victorian Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning provide a website to compare gas and electricity plans. But a problem with this website is it prioritises solely on price. Some people like myself would like the option to compare plans on social and evironmental utility - on the level of greenhouse gas emissions.

Compare electricity in Victoria? DELWP need to do better with this website on comparing energy offers. It fails to empower Victorian consumers in how to maximise reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in their electricity bill plans.

The Problem

If you select the Green Power feature filter on the left, the site shows all the plans that include some level of Green Power.

However there is no way to prioritise them from 100% to 10%, You have to click on each flower symbol in each plan to show the greenpower percentage. This is inefficient and relies on the consumer to do all the hard work. It also seems to rank them from 10% to 100% according to price.

This ignores the possibility that some people may want to find the plan delivering maximum social good (minimum greenhouse gas emissions) and compare similar green power plans on price.

Therefore, the algorithm fails consumers. It fails to empower them to take a higher level of action with regard to grid energy green plans.


So what would I do?

What is a solution that could be reasonably implemented through some recoding of the website algorithms?

I argue the site should prominently feature as a sort routine an option at the top to enable more people to actively choose 100% greenpower plans.

Below the option: "Offers sorted by discounted price " Should be the option: "Offers sorted by Green Power (greenhouse gas emissions reduction)"

This should sort plans from 100% Greenpower to 10% Greenpower, and at each step drop (100% to 10%) should have a secondary sort on price.

So I have done the simple logic work of the algorithm for DELWP free of charge.

I have put in Feedback that has gone nowhere. If you also visit the site, can you make a similar feedback request?

We need to be pushing more green consumer choice with energy generation and emissions reduction and this DELWP website currently fails to empower consumers.

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