For some of us, one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint comes from the way financial institutions like our super funds and the banks we choose to deal with use our savings to fund the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
If this is a dilemma to which you have not given much prior thought you may be interested in viewing the brief summary animation that is available at gofossilfree.org.au (best viewed in Internet Explorer 9 or later).
If reducing your carbon footprint is an important consideration for you, then you may be interested to know that our exclusive super provider, UniSuper, have introduced investment products that are actively managed to minimise support or expansion of the fossil fuel sector. You can read more about these products via the followings summaries available on the UniSuper website.
Solar photovoltaic panels do generate much more energy than goes into producing them. They are presently, however, a very expensive way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency improvements are shown as being the least expensive way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the 'cost' of emission reductions through commercial energy efficiency investments is -$25/ tonneCO2e; that is, instead of costing money, investing in emission reductions through energy efficiency actually makes money.
CSU may still support photovoltaics, but more significant benefits for the environment might be gained through other investments.
Similar to the case with solar photovoltaic panels, it appears that CSU can save more water through investing in other water saving measures than water tanks for existing buildings. New buildings however, in nearly all cases, are being built with rain harvesting tanks for irrigation and/or flushing of toilets.