Climate change, sustainability, environmental protection - words that are on everyone's lips and have a lot to do with our everyday lives.
To change our energy system long-term and, in turn, protect our climate and conserve existing natural resources, our society and we as individual consumers need to change many aspects of our lives, including: expansion of renewable energies, switching to suppliers of green power or renewable gas, thermal rehabilitation of buildings to save energy, heating and cooling systems based on renewable energy, and traffic with low carbon emissions. The idea is to save energy but also to increase the use of renewable energy.
Photovoltaic systems use the sun’s energy, wind turbines convert energy from the wind into electricity and biomass heating systems can be operated using another renewable resource: wood. By using these systems, you not only help protect our climate, but in many cases, you also reduce your energy costs.
Physically, it’s not possible to tell from which source of energy the power you use at home comes. You can think of a power grid as a kind of vast lake. No matter if they are based on renewable or fossil energy sources, all power generating plants feed into this lake. Additionally, the lake also includes imports from abroad. As soon as the power reaches this lake, it’s impossible to trace back its source. If a household draws power from a socket, that is from this “lake”, it receives a mix of everything that flowed into this lake.
Even though we cannot trace the electricity to its source, to become more transparent, a system of electricity labelling was introduced. You can see the energy carriers underlying the power you use on your electricity bill and in the offers shown by our tariff calculator (in German) to help you decide.
Power from renewable sources is quite affordable. Many of the cheapest offers shown by our tariff calculator (in German) come from green power suppliers. But the prices are not low because of the power generation costs. Instead, the low prices are linked to the procurement strategies of the companies.
Another issue are costs incurred from the new construction or development of plants for generating energy from renewable sources. The Austrian government has set the goal of covering 100% of Austrian electricity consumption from renewable energies in 2030. To achieve this goal, many photovoltaic systems, wind power, biomass and hydropower plants need to be built or upgraded. Hence, large investments are necessary. For this purpose, Austria supports green power generated by wind power plants, biomass plants, photovoltaic systems and hydropower plants up until a certain capacity. These costs are not covered by the national budget, that is taxes, but by a markup on electricity bills, the so-called renewable energy support costs. In this way, all consumers of electricity, private households as well as industries, contribute to financing this important endeavour. Under certain conditions, households can be made exempt from paying renewable energy support costs.
Gas from renewable sources
Renewable gas, also called green gas, will play a vital role in implementing climate objectives. You can use gas for heating, preparing hot water, or for driving a car powered by gas. Since green gas can be stored quite well, it also contributes to the security of supply. It is available around the clock and doesn’t fluctuate. The existing gas grid can be termed the battery of energy transition.
Since 1 January 2020, our system has been able to issue guarantees of origin for biogas. Gas suppliers can then use them to uniformly label their supplies. Consequently, gas labelling can be added to bills and advertising materials voluntarily from 2021 on, providing more transparency to consumers.
Questions about green power and green gas
We are happy to answer your questions. By way of example, people are often interested in the following issues:
How can I know from which source of energy the power I use comes?
How do individual electricity consumers contribute to the financing of the renewables support system?
What is a guarantee of origin?
What is gas from renewable sources?
Do you wish to talk to someone who can answer your questions related to electricity and gas? Just call our energy hotline at 0800 21 20 20, or you can use one of the several other ways to contact us.