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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1659 ..

GreenChoice power and atmospheric carbon levels

MS DUNDAS (4.43): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognising that the community is greatly concerned about global warming, and that electricity consumption is one of the major household contributions to atmospheric carbon levels;

(2) recognising that current purchasers of GreenChoice power and those opting out of GreenChoice have difficulty quantifying the difference that their choice is making to atmospheric carbon levels;

(3) calls on the Treasurer to request ActewAGL to include information on carbon emissions generated by each customer on all electricity bills, and to provide information on average customer carbon emissions.

A nationwide survey of community attitudes to global warming conducted in January of this year found that 85 per cent of Australians believe that global warming was caused by humans generating greenhouse gases. Global warming now ranks as one of the greatest environmental concerns of the broader public.

Climate change is also a problem that we can all do something to address, because we all have some control over the amount of greenhouse gases we generate in our everyday lives.

This motion calls on the government to request that ActewAGL provide information to consumers to help them assess the impacts of their electricity consumption on the environment. As we all should be aware, electricity generation is one of the main sources of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

Electricity bills already provide households with graphs comparing energy consumption for the current bill period with the corresponding bill period in the previous year. But this does not tell purchasers of GreenChoice power how many tonnes of carbon emissions they have saved through making a choice to use renewable energy.

Neither does the existing bill format tell a household whether their greenhouse gas emissions are above or below the average, so there is no stimulus to consider new energy conservation measures unless a financial imperative exists, nor is there any stimulus to seek out green power. I propose that a new graph be added to electricity bills to show each household how much carbon dioxide has been produced to generate the power they have consumed.

A lot of people feel powerless to stop the progress of global warming, but if we could see how much or how little carbon dioxide was released as a result of our electricity use, then we could see a clearer link between our actions and the current state of the environment.

The motion also calls for information to be provided to show the average level of carbon emissions generated by each household from electricity consumption so we can compare our own household emissions with the average for the territory.

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