Bill Hero has adopted the star ratings scheme published by Greenpeace in the 2022 Green Electricity Guide, to provide a 'Green rating' dimension to the plans compared by Bill Hero.
How is the Green rating calculated?
Greenpeace has published a full report outlining the methodology, and providing details on how each provider's score was calculated, plus a spreadsheet of the detailed results.
There are 6 ranking criteria used in this most recent version of the Guide:
- Providing clean, renewable energy
- Ending coal use by 2030
- Halting fossil fuel expansion
- Support for new renewable energy
- Transparency of marketing
- Pollution and environmental harm
Greenpeace also awarded a bonus 'community provider' score to some retailers.
The highest weighted criteria used in the Green Electricity Guide is the average level of emissions intensity for the electricity sold by that retailer:
Emissions intensity is a measure of the amount of CO2 per output of electricity (given in MWh units). This tells how dirty or clean the power is that a provider generates and/or sells to consumers. The annual average emissions intensity of the National Electricity Market for 2021 was 0.69t CO2/MWh. Renewable electricity produces an emissions intensity of 0t CO2/MWh.
The Green Electricity Guide acknowledges that there is no robust direct measure of average emissions intensity of electricity sold by retailers, and that the technical reality is that once electricity is generated, there is no way of distinguishing coal-generated from renewable-generated electricity as it travels through transmission wires to consumers homes.
The Guide estimates the emission intensity for each retailer “by subtracting the proportion of renewable energy generated or contracted from the grid average of emissions intensity.” The Guide claims that “In the absence of concrete emissions intensity data, [this] is a comprehensive way to attempt to better measure the climate impact of a provider.”
Each retailer was assessed and scored on these ranking criteria to determine a final score out of 10, measured to two decimal places. This score was rounded to a single decimal place, and converted into a star rating out of 5, including half stars, with 10 possible rating levels:
- Score range 9 - 10 = 5 stars;
- Score range 8 - 8.9 = 4 ½ stars;
- Score range 7 - 7.9 = 4 stars;
- Score range 6 - 6.9 = 3 ½ stars;
- Score range 5 - 5.9 = 3 stars;
- Score range 4 - 4.9 = 2 ½ stars;
- Score range 3 - 3.9 = 2 stars;
- Score range 2 - 2.9 = 1 ½ stars;
- Score range 1 - 1.9 = 1 star;
- Score range 0 - 0.9 = 0 stars.
Which retailers have been rated?
According to the the Green Electricity Guide FAQ, "We have ranked all the electricity providers serving the National Electricity Market (NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT, TAS, SA) and WA and the NT where there was enough available data to conduct a fair assessment."
A small number of retailers are not included or ranked in the Guide. According to the Methodology Overview section of the full report for the Guide, "this is due to a number of factors, including insufficient data made available to the public, or the retailer being a relatively new entrant that has not been operating long enough to be meaningfully assessed."
How does Bill Hero display the Green Electricity Guide ratings?
We display the relevant retailer star rating assigned by the Green Electricity Guide on the card for every plan ranked by Bill Hero. You'll see one to five green stars on each card that indicate the Green rating for that retailer, as determined by the Green Electricity Guide.
The Green Electricity Guide rating relates to the retailer, not to their plans, so when a retailer has multiple plans on offer, the same star rating will appear on each of those plans.
Unrated retailers will still appear in your Bill Hero results, so long as you have not selected to filter your results by Green rating. Rather than displaying stars on the cards for these retailers, you'll see the word 'unrated'.
Filtering results by Green rating
You can filter your results set to display only plans from those retailers who have a Green rating at or above your chosen level.
By default, your results will load with the Green rating filter set to 'Show all'. This means that every plan relevant for you in the market will be displayed and ranked, regardless of the Green rating for the retailer. You'll still see the relevant star rating on each and every card.
You can change the Green rating filter to any of these settings:
- 2 star and above
- 3 star and above
- 4 star and above
- 5 star only
If you filter your results by Green rating, then the plans from any unrated retailers, plus the plans from retailers rated below your chosen setting will be filtered out of your results. The remaining plans from those retailers rated at or higher than your chosen setting, will be displayed in price-ranked order.
The special Your Bill card will always be displayed, regardless of your selected Green filter setting. The 'Your Bill' card represents the price you were actually charged in the current bill being analysed. The Green rating for your current retailer will be displayed on the 'Your Bill' card.
The Green-filtered set of plans displayed will be ranked by price, so this provides a mechanism to identify the best priced plan for you that also meets or exceeds your chosen minimum Green rating.
Does Green rating relate to GreenPower?
Green rating and GreenPower are entirely separate things. Any retailer can offer GreenPower products, and offering GreenPower product says nothing about the average emissions intensity of the energy each retailer sells. The very lowest rated retailers in the Green Electricity Guide can, and do, offer accredited GreenPower products.
Green rating is an assessment performed by Greenpeace and Total Environment Centre, and published as the Green Electricity Guide, to identify and rate all retailers by 'Greenness' according to the methodology developed by Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre.
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