Enova Community Energy today announced plans for a community-based electricity retailing partnership – the first of what it hopes will be many such announcements across Australia that will allow towns, suburbs and regions to take control of their own energy supplies.
As part of a commitment to taking local action on climate change, Enova is dedicated to developing innovative models which enable Australian communities to take the electricity supply into their own hands and make the transition to renewable energy.
Enova is set to partner with Border Trust, the Community Foundation for the twin cities of Albury (NSW) and Wodonga (VIC), to create Border Community Energy (BCE), which will provide community-based renewable electricity retailer services to the Albury-Wodonga region under its own BCE brand.
Albury and Wodonga will be the first cities to partner with Enova under this style of arrangement. A portion of the profit generated locally will be reinvested by Border Trust via their established grants program to support grass root community and not-for-profit, charitable initiatives.
BCE expects to commence retailing in Albury by the second quarter of 2019. It is planned that this will be extended to include Wodonga residents under a Victorian licence by the end of 2019.
“We are inspired by the revolutionary model Enova has already created within NSW. Through their hard work they have proved local ideas and initiatives can have state-wide impacts,” said Border Community Energy spokesperson, Michael Houlihan.
Enova’s community owned energy model and its vision of communities generating, storing and sharing their own renewable energy is already proving successful in Northern NSW where the company has its headquarters.
Enova Community Energy Chairperson, Alison Crook, said the company is a social enterprise and a product of community dissatisfaction with the current fossil fuel dependent energy industry which is tied to a centralised, non-local energy supply.
“Half of our net proceeds go back into community renewable energy projects, education and energy efficiency services, plus we are developing innovative projects like microgrids and solar gardens,” Ms Crook said.
“Enova is assisting communities to generate and manage their own renewable power and in turn lower their costs. Thus, community-owned energy solutions such as in Albury-Wodonga are being established, where money stays circulating in local economies to benefit people, jobs and businesses,” Ms Crook said.
“Our goal is not only to help local communities take back their own power, but to quickly help them reduce the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.
”Enova has been in operation over two years and is currently set to expand to more regions across NSW, Victoria and Queensland. A current shareholder offer will allow this goal to come to fruition.
Until 17 November Australian residents have the opportunity to become an Enova shareholder, and help drive the growth of locally owned renewable energy in more communities.
Important Notice: In deciding whether to apply for shares always consider the Crowd-Sourced Funding Offer Document:Download including the general risk warning.
An Enova customer who earned $900 in credit from the solar his household generates is donating this money to pay the electricity bill of a struggling householder needing a helping hand.
Michael Qualmann has been passionate about solar since before it’s mass introduction to New South Wales via generous feed-in tariffs offered by the State Government several years ago.
Michael works in the industry and has been training and supervising Enova’s volunteer Enova Energy Coach’s – helping people to understand their energy usage and how to put the right solar system in place for their home.
Michael has benefited so greatly from having solar that he now has NO energy bills – his household generates all the electricity it needs, and then, the surplus he feeds back to Enova earns Michael money. He has, since Enova’s inception 3 years ago, not paid a single bill, and has amassed a significant $900 credit on his account.
“I feel privileged and sad at the same time,” says Michael. “It’s bittersweet knowing that while I am able to generate all of my energy free from the sun, many households struggle with their energy bills. My credit at Enova is getting bigger – and I decided that it’s time to donate this $900 to a household that’s really struggling,” says Michael.
“While there are still some sceptics who question the economic viability of solar – the cost of installing a system, versus the real financial benefit to households, the proof exists that it’s an affordable solution that makes a real difference to energy bills. Michael is a good case study,” says Enova Energy MD Tony Pfeiffer.
“When the right system is installed, and used to its best advantage, taking into account the household’s use of electricity, then there can be big payoffs,” he says.
“It’s a sad reality that many Australian households experience energy bill stress. Over the past several years the big industry players and the Federal Government have done virtually nothing to help those households that are really in dire straits – sometimes forgoing groceries in order to pay their bills.
And it’s frustrating that they all keep side-lining Solar. It offers a real solution – Australia is one of the sunniest countries in the world – it simply makes sense to harness the power of this natural resource, and Enova is working on a number of initiatives including working with North Coast Community Housing to install panels for lower-income earners and those on benefits who live in these homes. We know we can reduce the cost of energy for them. We are also developing a solar garden which enables people to access solar even when they are renting or can’t afford a system of their ow. We have assisted many households to access concessions they didn’t know they were entitled to, and we have helped numerous community groups to install solar panels, so they can reduce their electricity bills.
At Enova we are passionate about making renewable energy accessible for everyone.
“Michael’s generosity is very admirable,” says Tony Pfeiffer. “But then, this is a community which rallies together, and which, in many instances just gets on with making positive change while the politicians just talk about it, and Enova is immensely proud to be part of it.
“We know that one household this year will have the pressure taken off their household budget, and we’re aiming to help more.”
“The energy industry as a whole, supported by Government, needs to become more forward thinking in its support of solar – it has great benefits – not just in terms of being kinder on the environment than traditional fossil fuel generation, but that it can be harnessed cheaply and efficiently.”
If you’re interested in paying your FIT forward to another Enova customer in genuine need, please email email@example.com