Focused on the future: How Rest switched to buying GreenPower
A low fee superannuation fund, Rest exists for its members. Focused on their financial future, Rest supports actions that build a better, fairer and more sustainable world – from investing in clean energy, to advocating for a fairer super system.
We spoke to Mary-Ann Thomson , Rest’s facility manager, about its switch to buying GreenPower for its 2 offices in Kent Street, Sydney. You might find what Mary-Ann had to say useful.
What were the biggest hurdles in securing GreenPower and how did you overcome them?
With the current energy market being so volatile, understanding the pricing options and sourcing suppliers were the biggest hurdles in securing GreenPower. This was also because, given our size and shape, we don’t have a high electricity demand.
We attended a CitySwitch webinar and one of their speakers spoke about the many ways of buying renewable energy in a complex market.
Following the advice provided, we engaged a broker. The broker simplified the process for us and helped evaluate the options available to us.
What would you do differently?
We would engage key internal stakeholders, including procurement teams, slightly earlier in the process, to assist with the evaluation of GreenPower options.
Were there any unexpected benefits of switching?
The positive employee response.
What was the timeline or key points along the journey?
In March 2022, our senior manager of sustainability requested we investigate options to switch to GreenPower for the Sydney offices.
As part of Rest’s net zero roadmap by 2050, we developed a sustainability action plan for reducing operational emissions. This is so we’re operating as we expect others to operate in our investment portfolio. A priority action in the plan is for the organisation to be 100% renewable for our operations.
To understand how we could convert to 100% renewable energy, we contacted CitySwitch about what options were available. CitySwitch told us about a webinar on the benefits of working with a broker to purchase GreenPower. I attended the webinar and received a range of information, including contacts for energy brokers.
This process gave us confidence to progress with the procurement of GreenPower and we engaged an energy broker. They analysed our existing bills, approached our current provider on our behalf, and provided us with the most competitive supplier.
We then talked with our procurement team to help us with the transition of suppliers. Our broker met with internal stakeholders to help explain the complexity of the energy market.
Our broker also helped finalise the exit from our original contract and ensured a smooth transition to our new renewable energy supplier.
We completed the process in April 2023 - just over a year after we started. Having key stakeholders on extended leave during the year delayed our switch.
How did you position the extra cost internally?
The costs were comparable at the time. Our broker recommended we review our plan after 6 months as the rates were not fixed. This is the case with most retailers.
What is your advice to others wanting to pitch their CEO/manager to switch to GreenPower?
First, collate your current energy bills for the year. This will help you understand your current energy use and requirements.
Use all the resources available through CitySwitch networks to help you to understand the market. For example, check out this guide .
Speak to an energy broker. They’re able to help you understand the options and pricing in an ever-changing energy market.
We'd love to help you switch to renewable energy. Call or email one of our program managers .