AGL will offer customers a carbon neutral option on all its electricity plans, marking a major step forward in supporting the energy sector’s transition to clean energy.
Effective from 1 July 2020, the company’s Carbon Neutral electricity product is certified by the Federal Government’s Climate Active Program, and will provide customers with a greener option on all AGL plans.
This marks a major step in AGL’s goal to provide customers with choices to support the clean energy transition.
AGL CEO, Brett Redman, said that by the end of the 2020-21 financial year, a carbon neutral option would be available on all AGL products – electricity, gas or telecommunications.
Mr Redman said this would give AGL customers the “choice for the cleaner and more sustainable options many are seeking when it comes to their essential services”.
Offering all AGL customers choice is part of AGL’s updated Climate Statement, which confirms AGL’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 and recognises three major forces driving Australia’s energy transition: customer demand, how communities act, and how technology evolves.
The Climate Statement will shape AGL’s portfolio management, supply and technology investment, and customer offerings.
AGL’s Climate Statement outlines five commitments:
- Offer customers the option of carbon neutral prices across all its products, matching accelerating customer demand to support decarbonisation of the energy system with a growing range of carbon neutral options
- Support the evolution of Australia’s voluntary carbon markets by exploring ways through which AGL can participate in mechanisms to generate and supply carbon credits
- Continue investing in new sources of electricity supply, including both direct investment and offtake agreements, such as those AGL has with projects like Barker Inlet Power Station and Coopers Gap Wind Farm
- Responsibly transition its energy portfolio. This involves continuing to run its coal-fired power stations, and support its staff and communities during the transition
- Be transparent, openly tracking its progress through its annual report and hold itself accountable through remuneration structures
“As Australia’s largest and oldest integrated electricity generator and retailer, we play a vital role in Australia’s energy market and the wider transition,” Mr Redman said.
“Not only do our coal and gas fired generators ensure Australia’s lights remain on, they provide the financial strength for AGL to progress the transition.
“I am proud of the role our employees at all of our generation sites play, particularly as demonstrated during the recent crisis.”
Mr Redman said the COVID-19 pandemic had reinforced for AGL that it needs to continue to embrace change, innovate and move with speed in order to evolve as an organisation, drive transformation in the industry and provide the community with essential services.
“Many of our customers share our interest in shaping a more sustainable future. So, it’s important to provide them with options and that’s what our new carbon neutral product does – regardless of whether they are a family, a small business or a large commercial or industrial customer,” he said.
“To support this new product into the future AGL has embedded changes in our policies, supply chain and systems to ensure a carbon neutral option is offered every time a customer chooses an AGL electricity, gas or telecommunications product.
“We accept the science of climate change; the more difficult aspect that needs to be addressed is how we manage the transition in a way that reduces emissions and supports our customers and the community.
“I believe that Australia and Australians have the capability and the capacity to achieve transition in our energy market in a way that drive us forward, unlocks the potential of new technology and creates new industries and opportunities.”
The commitment to build new generation continues AGL’s strong track record of investments in renewables, peaking and storage, which includes recent major projects across Australia including:
- The $295 million AGL Barker Inlet Power Station in South Australia, which became the first major dispatchable power station into the NEM by a private company since 2012, when it opened in December 2019
- The $450 million Silverton Wind Farm in New South Wales, which reached full output in May 2020
- The $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm in Queensland, which is expected to reach full generation later in 2020
- Two major battery deals involving a grid-scale battery with Vena at Wandoan in Queensland and an innovative large-scale battery deal with Maoneng in NSW
To maintain transparency and accountability to these commitments, AGL reports under the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and is moving to include carbon transition metrics in AGL’s Long-term Incentive Plan for its key management personnel from the 2021 financial year.
“AGL is a leader in the business community by including carbon transition metrics in our remuneration structure because we understand that as Australia’s largest carbon emitter, our management team has a role to play in the transition and we want to hold ourselves accountable to this,” Mr Redman said.
The metrics include the emissions intensity of AGL’s controlled generation fleet, the proportion of generation from renewable sources, and the share of total customer sales coming from green energy and other lower carbon products and services.
Climate Active Director, Daniel Sheedy, said he appreciated that AGL was committed to accomplishing energy transition in a way that supported the community’s needs and offered customers choice.
“On top of their pathway for gradual decarbonisation of their generation portfolio by 2050, they have just launched the option of Carbon Neutral for their customers. Congratulations AGL on your commitment, we are proud you’ve made the choice to be part of the Climate Active network,” Mr Sheedy said.