Three years ago I decided to sign up to Synergy's NaturalPower program and elected to source "100%" of my power from "renewable sources". Maybe you did too?
I did so because I firmly believed that the pollution being emitted as a result of my power consumption was bad for the planet and I wanted to contribute to increased investment in the renewable energy sector here in Western Australia.
Thousands of Western Australians have made a similar commitment. But now we find that we are being penalised by Synergy for years of making the right choice for a renewable energy future.
You may have heard that Synergy has decided to pass on the carbon tax to people who are paying a premium for either the EasyGreen, NaturalPower or EarthFriendly products.
A key purpose of the carbon tax is to make renewable energy an affordable choice for homes by making polluting energy production more expensive.
The Synergy website claims: "As it is not possible to distinguish between the type of energy supplied to our customers (renewable or non-renewable), these costs will be passed on to all Synergy customers, including those that purchase green energy products."
However, the same website also claims that NaturalPower "allows you to choose a percentage of your electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources" going on to say that "100% of your electricity will be Green".
While I'm no maths genius, I know that I'm capable of distinguishing what a 100% renewable energy supply is. Why can't they? Does this mean that some of us already pay a premium for a renewable energy service that Synergy can't even guarantee is actually directed to renewables? That 100% might actually mean 86% or 15% or 0%?
To my mind, either:
1. Synergy has previously misled all Western Australians by conning some of us into paying an expensive premium for a product that has been misrepresented, or
2. They are currently making money off my consumer choice with the carbon tax implementation as an excuse.
The fact is Synergy doesn't pay carbon tax for individuals like me; it pays a carbon tax for their emissions across their entire enterprise. The premium we pay for NaturalPower increases the investment in, and thereby the proportion of electricity generated by, renewables. The more renewable energy we have, the less polluting energy we have and the less carbon tax Synergy will pay in the long run.
They should be incentivising our investment in this future not penalising us, as it's their future too!
They're failing to do this though.
I urge you to sign this petition and implore both Synergy and the Public Utilities Office, Department of Finance to review their decision and remove the carbon tax charge being applied to Synergy customers paying premiums for EasyGreen, NaturalPower and EarthFriendly products, relative to the proportion of their bill that they are paying for renewable energy.