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.
Australia’s first community owned renewable energy retailer, Enova Community Energy, is partnering with one of the country’s first equity crowdfunding platforms, Crowd88, to fund its expansion across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
Equity crowdfunding only became possible in Australia this year but has existed in the UK since 2011. Enova’s focus on community-led energy ownership has seen the company successfully establish itself since it launched two years ago. The current equity crowdfunding which ends on October 4 aims to generate between $600,000 and $3 million with a minimum investment of just $100 for 100 shares possible. Enova has already achieved its initial target customer numbers of 5000, including 300 local businesses, and is generating $5.2 million in annual revenue.
“Enova is a social enterprise. We are tracking towards a 100% renewable model where local homes and businesses produce, consume and share Australia’s abundant solar resource, supported by other sources of renewables and batteries,” Enova Chair Alison Crook AO said.
“Our profits will be shared between our investors and our non-profit arm that installs renewables in low income housing, delivers energy efficient services and energy education, and co-designs innovative local renewable energy generation projects including enabling renters to participate in the solar revolution. Our customers choose to be part of our renewable revolution and can be suppliers and end users – there’s no separation. This capital raising will allow us to meet the growing demand for renewable energy at a consumer and investor level.”
Crowd88 is facilitating Enova’s crowd-sourced funding raise (https://www.crowd88.com/en/company/enova-energy/tab/enova-offer/). Crowd88 holds crowdfunding licenses in both Australia and New Zealand.
“Equity crowdfunding is a new source of capital raising for companies in Australia which provides both retail and wholesale investors the opportunity to invest in trailblazing companies like Enova,” Crowd88 CEO Craig Skien said.
“We are thrilled to have Enova conducting their equity crowdfunding raise on Crowd88, and to be bringing this opportunity to all Australians.”
According to a 2018 Climate Council report, between 2016-2017, solar installations by businesses in Australia increased by over 60%. Australia currently leads the world in rooftop solar with 172,000 solar households as of 2017.
Enova Managing Director, Tony Pfeiffer, says the appetite for renewables across Australia continues to grow rapidly and provides a strong business case for investors looking share in and support Enova’s expansion plans to meet this demand.
“Right around the world people are taking back their energy sources and we know that Australian consumers and investors want to be part of Enova’s community-driven clean energy transition,” says Pfeiffer.
“A future powered by renewable energy, shared within communities and generated locally to minimise waste and costs is possible for every Australian. We’re currently developing a solar garden which will enable renters and other householders who can’t have solar panels on their homes to purchase them in a community-owned set-up.”
“Making clean energy more available in the way we do at Enova ultimately makes renewable energy more affordable which is part of why we are growing so rapidly in the current energy market in Australia. We’re disruptors and proud of it.”
CORPORATIONS REGULATIONS 2001 – RISK WARNING ABOUT CROWD-SOURCED FUNDING
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Enova’s energy sources vary. As a community-owned company, Enova Energy, we want to support community-generated renewable industry where possible.
As of September 2017, we introduced new renewable energy options to all our plans so all our customers have access to affordable renewable energy.
Our current sources include:
1. 100% renewable energy sourced from Enova’s community >read more.
2. Affordable, government accredited 100% GreenPower > read more.
We will continue to source renewable energy from the Enova community, both within the Northern Rivers and beyond. We will endeavour to enter into supply contracts which are both supportive of the local industry and affordable for our customers.
Over time we want to give customers the choice of which renewable energy project they wish to support. We will be able to connect the generation project to the customers who want to support it. We do not mean we will run power lines direct to your home from the generator but that we will purchase the electricity from the generator at an agreed price and pass this through to the customers who want to support it.
The GreenPower program was launched in 1997 after considerable consultation with the energy industry and various non-government organisations including the Australian Consumers Association (now Choice), Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The aims of the Program are to:
By purchasing GreenPower, households and businesses commit their retailers to purchasing the equivalent amount of electricity from accredited renewable energy generators, which generate electricity from sources like wind, solar, water and bioenergy. Since the program started, approximately $1.5billion in additional financial support has been invested back to these generators through GreenPower purchases.
As part of all Enova Energy plans, we offer you the option you to choose to add on GreenPower 100 for and additional 8c per kWh excluding GST. Full Price Fact Sheets avail here
Over time as more and more people buy GreenPower more renewable generators will be built and come on line. It is important to understand that GreenPower is “additional” to or outside of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), so when you buy GreenPower you are not simply helping the retailers to meet their RET obligations; all GreenPower sales volumes are over and above the RET.
It is important to support GreenPower to ensure more is done in the way of renewable energy generation. The RET is legislated and will happen regardless of what individuals do, as the retailers have to invest in renewable electricity to meet the mandated target. As individuals if we want to support renewable energy, we should want our efforts to be additional to the RET. The program also ensures there is no double counting of RECs from renewable generators. The retailer can either surrender the REC (LGC) to the regulator to help them meet their RET obligations or surrender eligible RECs as GreenPower. They cannot do both. The GreenPower Program also has publicly available independent auditing of retailers’ GreenPower sales and surrenders each year. So you can have confidence when you buy GreenPower that you are getting what you paid for; you know your money is being invested back into the renewable energy sector, and that it is over and above the RET.
No. The GreenPower program is particular about what meets its standards. The GreenPower accreditation process has several criteria when assessing if a generator is suitable to be able use the GreenPower brand and that is eligible to be sold as GreenPower. For example, only renewable energy that comes from a generator built after 1997 is acceptable because the program is about building new renewable generation, so electricity from an old hydro scheme like the Snowy Mountains cannot be accredited, nor would renewable energy generated from burning wood waste from native or old growth forests.
By purchasing GreenPower you can be sure you are displacing your electricity usage with certified renewable energy that has zero net emissions. As well as reducing your impact on the environment, by becoming part of the GreenPower community, customers like you are helping to support Australia’s renewable energy sector. That’s because the bulk of the premiums you pay for GreenPower go directly back to the GreenPower certified electricity generators. Since the program started in 1997, GreenPower customers have been responsible for investing approximately $1.5billion back into Australia’s renewable energy industry, this also helps to create jobs and support the businesses that supply services to these generators. Currently around 90% of the electricity used in Australia is generated from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal. This makes the electricity sector the biggest single contributor to Australia’s greenhouse emissions. However, by purchasing GreenPower businesses and households have reduced the emissions caused by electricity generation in Australia by 18 million tonnes. That’s the equivalent of taking around 5 million cars off the road for a full year! Importantly, this renewable energy is additional to the amount of renewable energy already in the grid as mandated by government requirements – such as the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET).
Enova is a local organisation, doing its best to solve a global problem. You might say that it’s our mantra to ‘act locally and impact globally’ and with this in mind, we’re building a business model that be emulated by other communities. That’s why we call it power to the people. It’s our vision that other regions will be able to do what we’re doing, and make renewable energy accessible for everyone.
Enova is based in the Northern Rivers, and this beautiful part of New South Wales will always be an important part of our heritage because around 800 other Northern River’s locals have a shareholding in Enova too, and it’s thanks to their financial commitment to the idea of a community-owned energy retailer, that we exist.
This community has long been passionate about renewable energy, careful stewardship of our natural resources, and ethical business practice that includes giving back to the community.
These are all things that Enova stands for.
We are also committed to providing local jobs, and contributing as much as possible to the local economy, by doing business with other locally-based companies.
As well as supplying electricity, we’re investing in, and enabling, solar power generation for the community.
We are keen to foster and develop local knowledge and skills, and we intend to create a Centre of Excellence through which we can facilitate knowledge sharing and research from around the world, to help us here. It’s about using global resources, and putting them into action locally.
Our unique business structure enables us to do this. Enova Energy will contribute 50% of it’s profits to Enova Community, which is the not-for-profit arm of our business, involved in Renewable Development Initiatives.
As part of our community-minded vision, we’re developing this business model so that can be emulated all over the country, enabling small communities to create change, without waiting for political leaders to get on board, and without needing the financial backing of big business.
Our business model is a first for the energy industry, and it really does give power to the people, because it enables small committed local groups to make a real difference to a global problem.
As part of our long term vision, we’ll be supplying energy to the whole of New South Wales too and sharing what we’ve learned about building energy aware communities and a future that’s based on renewable energy sources.
One of Enova Energy’s aims is to support local renewable energy generation. We are achieving this through Enova’s Renewable Energy Initiative (RDI) which will be used to help kick-start the development of new community renewable energy projects, both large and small, with priority for Northern Rivers-based projects.
Enova will then purchase power from community renewable generation projects to help make them more financially viable, and create a pathway to transition more customers onto community generated clean energy supply.
Through choosing Enova’s RDI option, customers can contribute to the initiative by forgoing their pay on time discount. Business can also contribute $5/week. In effect customers are foregoing a discount to help get local renewable energy off the ground in this region.
“We are particularly impressed with the number of people who have chosen to support our RDI, this is what power by the people for the people really looks like” said Steve Harris, CEO.
Enova will soon be calling for expressions of interest for the supply of renewable energy to meet our customers’ needs. This program is another first for Enova and the region. Not only is Enova Australia’s first community-owned electricity retailer but we’re also providing a creative way to initiate community renewable energy projects in partnership with local governments, community groups and like-minded supporters. In addition, Enova may decide to further support local communities by making its finance arm available to help communities in capital raising and associated financial management.
For more information, email us on email@example.com or call us on 02 5622 1700.