Huge win on CSG. Now let’s finish the job.
6:14 PM (53 minutes ago)
Huge news. Today AGL announced they’re withdrawing from massive coal seam gas projects across NSW.
The company has sold back a gas exploration license to the NSW Government covering 6500km of NSW, including prime farm land and Sydney water catchments. Many parts of Sydney, the Illawarra, Camden and the Hunter Valley are now safe from AGL’s dangerous CSG expansion.
This announcement, along with a massive $600 million write-down in AGL’s gas assets, shows they’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to coal seam gas.1 This proves that not only is CSG bad for our communities, it’s also bad for AGL’s business.
This decision is in no small part thanks to our partners at Lock The Gate, Land Water Future and Stop CSG Illawarra who have worked tirelessly with the support of local communities in NSW for this. It is a huge win. Sadly AGL are still pushing ahead with their beleaguered CSG project in Gloucester.
However, with $275 million of their asset write-downs coming from the Gloucester project alone, today’s announcement shows just how risky an investment CSG is for them.2 They’re in a very vulnerable position — in just a few months AGL will need to decide whether to get out of Gloucester for good.
Today, AGL CEO Andrew Vesey said that the Gloucester project’s impact on AGL’s retail brand is “always something we have to be attentive to”.2 Put simply, if AGL’s retail brand is hurt because of their fracking in Gloucester that will influence their decision on whether to back out of the project. That’s where you come in.
The same goes for the two other biggest energy providers, EnergyAustralia and Origin — both of whom also invest in coal seam gas around the country.
AGL’s retail brand has already taken a major hammering thanks to the thousands of GetUp members who’ve switched their power away from AGL in protest, to a power provider who’s committed to never invest in coal seam gas. If hundreds more switch and let AGL know they’ve lost yet more customers because of their fracking in Gloucester, it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Leading investment analyst Credit Suisse found that if GetUp switches 30,000 AGL customers, it’ll take $100 million off their bottom line.3 Through GetUp’s Better Power campaign, 12,000 people have already switched to our partner Powershop, ranked Australia’s Greenest Electricity Retailer last year by Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre.
GetUp’s partnered with Powershop because they’ve committed to never invest in dirty coal or coal seam gas, and are backed by a 100% renewable energy company, Meridian. They strongly supported the 41,000 GWH Renewable Energy Target, unlike AGL, who called for it to be scrapped altogether.4 Powershop are also one of the cheapest retailers in Victoria, and since their launch earlier this year in New South Wales, their prices here have been very competitive too.5 It only takes about five minutes to switch online.
Switch your power today to drive home the message: Fracking is not only bad news for our land and water — it’s bad news for their bottom line.
If you are a customer of AGL (or EnergyAustralia or Origin – the two other companies that together with AGL make up the “Dirty Three”), you can make the switch through GetUp’s Better Power campaign now. It’s a simple process that takes a few minutes, with Powershop doing all the hard work for you — contacting your power company on your behalf and transferring your electricity account. You can also get a price comparison from Powershop first before you decide whether to switch.
In addition to shifting customer value into a company that only invests in renewables, if you switch your power, GetUp will receive a fixed payment that goes into funding our renewables and anti-CSG campaigns. That means you’re supporting renewables in two ways – by divesting from a coal seam gas-investing company and by financially supporting our fight against coal and coal seam gas.
Powershop will also offset your power so it is 100% carbon neutral at no extra cost to you. Once you’ve switched, you’ll get the chance to tell AGL (or EnergyAustralia or Origin) why they’ve lost you as a customer, further driving home the message that they have no social licence to frack. The more customers they lose, the less reason they have to continue their investment in fracking.
Make the switch now and help stop CSG in its tracks: http://www.getup.org.au/better-power
Together, we can help drive Australia’s transition to clean energy. Keep fighting.
Lily, for the GetUp team
P.S. If you’re an AGL shareholder, you have an unique opportunity to influence the company at this year’s Annual General Meeting. Already seventy GetUp members have taken powerful shareholder action, but we need thirty more to be counted! Click here to find out more and take action to help clean up AGL.
P.P.S. For more information on Powershop and the Better Power campaign click here.
1. ‘AGL Energy to take $603m write-down on gas business; to sell some assets’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 July 2015.
2. ‘AGL takes $600m in writedowns’, The Australian, 6 July 2015.
3. Credit Suisse analysis, July 2014; Credit Suisse Research and Analytics, AGL Energy – I can see clearly now, 19 March 2015; Citi Research, 18 February 2015.
4. ‘AGL Energy calls for renewable energy target to be scrapped’, Renew Economy, 24 October 2014.
5. The Victorian government’s Essential Services Commission issued a report on electricity prices in the state in October 2014 which said: “taking into account all available discounts, the lowest overall prices were most commonly available from Powershop.” Victorian government’s Essential Services Commission Energy Retailers’ Comparative Performance Report – Pricing, October 2014.