Australians Want Businesses To Step Up On Renewable Energy

Poll results released yesterday indicate close to 79% of Australians agree companies should be using more renewables to power their operations.

The Ucomms poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific quizzed just over 1,600 voters in late September this year.

It’s not just a token effort on renewables the majority of Australians are wanting to see. When asked about the statement:

“Australian companies should set a goal to go 100% renewable energy as part of their responsibility to tackle climate change.”

.. 68.5% agreed.

There was no surprise more than 94% of Greens voters agreed, but what was interesting is 43.7% of Liberal/National Coalition voters did compared to 32.6% of Labor voters. One Nation supporters were also very keen on the idea – 97%; although the proportion of ONP voters participating in the poll was just 5.4%.

65.7% of all those polled also agreed they would be more likely to buy a product or service from a company that uses renewable energy than from one that doesn’t. The attractiveness of renewables extended into employment, with 67.8% agreeing they would prefer to work for a company that was using renewable energy, rather than one that wasn’t.

Perceptions On Renewable Energy Uptake Motivation

There was quite a difference in levels of awareness regarding why companies are using renewables.

  • Cleaner and to help address climate change – 55.8% agreed
  • Because it’s cheaper and helps companies to reduce their power bills – 44.3% agreed

Companies are always looking at ways to improve their bottom line – so renewables being cheaper is likely to be a primary motivator in many cases, with the emissions reduction a nice bonus that also reflects very well on their brands.

But of course there’s much more at stake than just green warm and fuzzies stoking sales.

“The biggest driver of climate change in Australia is coal, which is still burned to make a large amount of our electricity,” said Lindsay Soutar, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. “As some of Australia’s biggest users of electricity, businesses and corporations have an obligation to clean up their act and make the move to 100% renewable energy.”

… thankfully, some already are.

Solar For Small Businesses

Even for small companies, renewables are now very attractive from the financial viewpoint. Assuming suitable rooftop space and with the cost of solar panels, inverters and other components continuing to fall and installation efficiency increasing, if a business can afford to pay its electricity bills, it can afford commercial solar power.

Doing good for your bottom line and your brand while doing good for the planet – what’s not to like?

All the results of the Ucomms poll can be viewed here.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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