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Repower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street

14/09/2017
Murray Eivers

Enova Community, Zero Emissions Byron and COREM, with support from Byron Shire Council, will team up to form Repower Byron Shire, an initiative that will encourage us to change the way we power our lives to achieve 100% renewable energy in the Byron Shire.

What is Repower Byron Shire?

Repower Byron Shire was launched at Nina Bishop’s House, 60 Brushbox Drive on Sunday 17th September as part of the Sustainable House Day festivities.

Repower Byron Shire is a community led movement to support and inspire us all to transition to a renewable energy future.

It’s about switching on people power, by using the Lock the Gate street by street model, to decrease the cost of electricity and increase local generation, while reducing carbon emissions. The choice is ours to have locally made renewable energy that ensures our air and water is clean and healthy for our families and generations that follow.

 

How will it work?

Each street in the Shire will be encouraged to make the transition to renewables.

The 3 easy steps to the campaign are:

  • ETHICAL USE – learn how to choose ethical electricity that rewards retailers that are climate champions over those retailers that are fossil fuel addicted.
  • REDUCE – learn how to cut your bills and reduce your carbon footprint
  • PRODUCE – learn how solar PV can be an investment to earn income while taking climate action

When the entire street has converted and been audited, they will receive a special banner, showing the rest of the community that they’ve achieved the goal.

Street by street, suburb by suburb, the campaign aims to achieve 100% renewables in the Byron Shire.

“Similar to the ‘Lock the Gate’ campaign, this is a way for people to take action and really make a difference not only to their own power consumption and reduce their bills, but do something positive for the environment,” says Enova Community Energy Manager Sandi Middleton.

 

The Pilot Programme sponsored by Byron Shire Council

“A pilot program involving two streets, one in Mullumbimby and another in central Byron begins in late September. These locals have already embraced the concept and street champions have been identified.  Once we have had a chance to see how the program can run practically on a small scale, it will be launched into the wider community,” says Councilor Jeanette Martin. “And then the race will be on to see which streets can be the first to achieve the 100% renewable energy goal.”

Zero Emissions Byron says this initiative is a significant component of the organisations push towards reaching its mission of ‘Net Zero Emissions within the Byron Shire region by 2025’.

Community Renewable Energy Projects NSW

Dave Rawlins (COREM), Kamala Rose (COREM), Sandi Middleton (Enova Community), Tiffany Harrison (Zero Emissions Byron), Ella Goninan (COREM)

“We want to create a sense of competition, but also camaraderie, because achieving this will certainly provide impetus for other communities to embrace this kind of change. Town by town around the nation people can make the transition to renewables, easily and without fuss. While the Government and big business are still talking about transitioning to renewables, we’ll be already there!” says Tiffany Harrison from ZEB.

Similarly, COREM’s involvement reflects its mission to achieve 100% renewable energy in Mullumbimby by 2020.

“This is a perfect way for individual households to make a choice to go for renewable energy and just get on with it,” says Dave Rawlins from COREM.

Enova Community Energy has also made no secret of its desire to help the whole of Australia transition to renewables as soon as possible.

“Ours is a community that embraces change and action, and together we can do this,” says Enova Community Manager Sandi Middleton.

For those locals (for e.g. renters or people living in apartments) who can’t have solar panels and generate their own energy, Enova is launching new energy plans that will enable customers to purchase only locally-generated renewable energy.

“Basically, what this means is that people with solar who feed excess back to Enova and get paid a generous 16c FIT for doing so, will have the satisfaction of knowing that their solar is then being made available, via Enova, to their neighbours who don’t have their own,” says Sandi. “We are currently buying 40% of the electricity we sell from local renewable sources and would love to raise this to 100% one day.”

 

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Repower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street | Enova Community EnergyRepower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street | Enova Community EnergyRepower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street | Enova Community EnergyRepower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street | Enova Community EnergyRepower Byron – Encouraging us to make powerful changes, street by street | Enova Community Energy