New ARENA Survey Shows Australians Prefer Businesses That Use Renewables

A new report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) found most Australians are willing to reward big businesses if they use renewable energy, even though some companies believe that their clients do not expect them to use clean energy.

The Business of Renewables report was made public by ARENA and the Clean Energy Council ahead of the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Energy Matters also reported that there were over 90 big public and private Australian companies that were surveyed in the study. The study aims to determine why Australian businesses are lagging behind their global competitors when it comes to initiating change and switching to renewable energy.

The report also mentioned the other survey results such as the following:

  • Forty-six percent of the biggest Australian companies that participated in the survey are actively acquiring renewable energy
  • However, even those companies that are presently using renewable energy are only using 10 percent or less of their overall energy use
  • Four out of five Australians think that companies should use renewable energy
  • Three-quarters of the respondents said that they would purchase a service or product manufactured with renewable energy

Some Australian companies, including Telstra, are paving the way for renewable energy. In fact, Telstra recently disclosed a deal to construct a 70MW solar farm, and Sun Metals, a zinc refining company is setting up a 116MW solar farm in Queensland.

Another notable result of the survey is that there are misconceptions and confusion regarding the amount, as well as benefits, of renewable energy. The majority of the businesses that do not use renewable energy have no plans of doing so, while those who are presently utilising renewables plan to use more.

According to Ivor Frischknecht, ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Australian companies could get valuable benefits from using renewable energy. He said, “The benefit for big business is substantial. Consumers are more likely to reward companies that take the plunge with greater loyalty and higher tolerance of price fluctuations that may come with renewable energy procurement. Using renewables helps create a positive impression of a business.”

Download the full report here.