New South Wales starts consultation on labelling of electricity to show greenhouse gas emissions

The Sustainable Energy Development Authority of New South Wales (SEDA) has launched a consultation on how best to pass on information to electricity customers informing of them of the level of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their electricity use.

SEDA, an agency created by the New South Wales (NSW) Government in order to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, intends that the new scheme will enable customers to make an informed choice about their electricity provider based on environmental issues, and so increase competition between generators.

The benefits of increased competition also include a wider range of services, lower prices, and lower costs to businesses, and has so far saved consumers in New South Wales over AU$1.5 billion (US$0.76 billion), points out Mark Fogarty, Executive Director of SEDA. “Full retail competition will mean consumers will have greater choice of products and providers, for which more information is essential,” he said. “Including information about retailer environmental performance on bills is one way to help consumers to make an informed choice and to promote effective competition.”

The emissions information could be provided with each electricity bill, in promotional material, or on the internet, and should include both emissions and the fuel mix, and it is suggested that the scheme should either be compulsory, or be part of an industry code of practice.

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