Activist of the Year Award supported by Enova Community Energy

Dr Hugh Mackay to present Activist of the Year Award and call for a more compassionate society at the Ngara Institute Annual Lecture

Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council will receive the Australian Activist of the Year Award at the Ngara Institute’s Annual Lecture to be delivered by Dr Hugh Mackay.

The Award will be presented by one of Australia’s national treasures, social researcher Dr Hugh Mackay, who will be the keynote speaker for the Ngara Institute’s Annual Lecture to be held in Mullumbimby on 20 July.

Dr Mackay has dedicated his life to uncovering what makes Australians tick. The best-selling author and renowned social researcher shine a light on who we are, how we live, the relationships we create, and the thread of our social fabric.

 

Dr Hugh Mackay’s Australia reimagined

Join Ngara Institute and Hugh MacKay to delve into the social and cultural shifts, both big and small, that have spread through society over the past few generations, creating increasing distrust, disillusionment and fragmentation.

Last year Dr Mackay published his “most outspoken” book ever on a topic he is passionate about: rebuilding social cohesion. The title says it all: Australia Reimagined: Towards A More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society.

According to Dr Mackay, when it comes to our ecological, social, cultural and economic future, misplaced optimism is as dangerous as blind faith. What is needed is the courage to face the way things are, and the wisdom and imagination - informed by the best available evidence - to work out how to make things better.

Australia's unprecedented run of economic growth has failed to deliver a more stable or harmonious society. Individualism is rampant. Income inequality is growing. Public education is under-resourced. The gender revolution is stalling. We no longer trust our major institutions or our political leaders. We are more socially fragmented, more anxious, more depressed, more overweight, more medicated, deeper in debt and increasingly addicted - whether to our digital devices, drugs, pornography or 'stuff'.

Dr Mackay says the recent negative, dishonest and ruthlessly competitive election campaign did not help. A strong civil society depends on people genuinely engaging with each other in mutually respectful ways. It depends also on close, inclusive and supportive communities finding their way to common ground.

Despite a sense of doom and gloom he feels is prevailing in society, Dr Mackay is endlessly optimistic about what the future holds.

"Whenever I spend time with younger people, the much-maligned millennials, I think they are much better equipped to deal with the changes in society. They understand the need to work more cooperatively, to be less competitive, less individualistic. They are the keys to a better future."

 

Activists of the Year award, supported by Enova Community Energy

The evening will open with the presentation of the Australian Activist of the Year Award to Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes of the Climate Council. This Award is given with the support of Enova Community Energy.

“As an organisation created to disrupt to status quo in the energy industry, Enova is very pleased to support Ngara Institute’s ongoing efforts to recognise Australia’s activists who are at the forefront of pushing for and creating the right kind of change,” said Alison Cook AO, Enova Community Energy Chair.

“Will Stephen and Lesley Hughes have made vitally important contributions to understanding and addressing climate change. The Activist of the Year award is a wonderful achievement.

“And to have the opportunity to hear one of Australia’s pre-eminent social researchers speak, here in Mullumbimby, is an absolute gift to the community. Dr Mackay’s work points us all in the direction of connecting and collaborating to solve the issues we face today – and they are values at the very core of why Enova was formed in the first place,” she said.

Will Steffen will give a short talk, followed by Mayor Simon Richardson launching the Byron Shire Human Rights Charter, a co-creation after Ngara Institute’s 2018 Annual Lecture by Gillian Triggs.

professor lesley hughes
 

Professor Lesley Hughes is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Her research has mainly focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems.

She is a former federal Climate Commissioner and former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report. She is also a Director for WWF Australia, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, the Director of the Biodiversity Node for the NSW Adaptation Hub and a member of the expert advisory committee for Future Earth Australia.

Professor Will Steffen is a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, Canberra. He was on the panel of experts supporting the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, has served as the Science Adviser to the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and was chair of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee.

His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate change and Earth System science, with an emphasis on sustainability, climate change and the Earth System. He is the author of numerous publications on climate science.

The Ngara Institute’s Ralph Summy Annual Lecture honours one of Australia’s leading peace, social justice and human rights scholars, Professor Ralph Summy, formerly the head of the Australian Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the University of Queensland. His work advanced peace around the world recognised the struggles of Indigenous peoples, refugees and those impacted by wars.

 

Ngara Institute Annual Lecture Event Details

For an evening of intelligence, hope and insight join Ngara Institute at the Civic Memorial Hall, 55 Dalley St, Mullumbimby Saturday July 20 

from 5:30pm. Tickets on sale now.

More about the event:
5.30 p.m
Doors open for food and hot drinks
Heart-warming eats by Barrio Byron Bay
Hot drinks and sweet treats by Pure Melt

6pm – 7pm
Soulful tunes by Elena B Williams

7pm - 8:30pm
Guest speaker: Hugh MacKay
Activist of the Year 2019 Award: The Climate Council’s Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes

We hope to see you there!

 

Bringing essential mental health programs to regional and rural communities 

Agriculture remains the key economic foundation of many rural and regional communities. In New South Wales alone 56,000 people are employed in agriculture and more than 26,000 farms use 58 million hectares of land.  

Yet, crops have already seen a drop in yields and some regional towns have seen significant reductions in population as direct results of climate change. This often results in further losses in available community services and increased regional and rural unemployment.

According to research conducted by the Climate Council, regional and rural communities are vulnerable to a wide range of impacts from our changing climate. Coping with these risks will require a concerted effort from all parties.  

 

How climate change is impacting Australian agriculture 

Agricultural patterns are changing and at the same time, the whole of New South Wales has been living with drought over recent years. While farmers and the communities around them come to terms with what’s happening on their farms, the toll on mental health is increasing.  

Climate is the key determinant of what grows where, and the profitability of virtually any agricultural enterprise. Any changes to the climate that reduce water availability and/or lead to stressful high temperatures can, in turn, have serious negative impacts on farm production.  

The impacts of climate change are wide-ranging. Impacts on crop productivity are relatively straight forward. Other impacts, such as changes to the distribution and incidence of pests and diseases, interruptions to supply chains and transportation networks, altered seasonality and work schedules and pressure on the agricultural workforce are more complex.  

 

Farmers on the front line 

The impacts of climate change are not just being felt on the land they’re farming but on farmers’ mental health as wellEach day farmers across Australia are facing emotional and psychological pressures that are leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. They’re struggling in silence and are often unaware that support is available.  

While rural and regional communities in Australia are already disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, the impact of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and suicide are also more prevalent in these areas.   

The stresses of drought and changing weather patterns and their impact on farmer mental health are proven. Strong action to adapt may be happening, but the stress continues. It is no wonder farmers are feeling stressed and experiencing mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Farmers want to survive and adapt to climate change, and there are innovative adaptations emerging around the country, but the changes needed and the rapid impacts of climate change are tough to navigate.   

 

Bringing essential evidence-based tools and programs to regional and rural communities 

Black Dog Institute is a global leader in mental health research and is one of only two Medical Research Institutes in Australia to focus on mental health across the lifespan. Through its ongoing research and development of evidence-based resources, the Black Dog Institute is actively working to improve the lives of those at risk of depression, anxiety and suicide who are living in rural and remote Australia.  

The Institute has a strategic objective to use the latest technology and evidence-based tools to quickly turn its world-class research findings into clinical services, education and e-health products that improve the lives of people with mental illness.  

The Black Dog Institute is also a leader in e-mental health research, having built a considerable body of evidence investigating the development of interventions to lower depression, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing.  

The Black Dog Institute has shown that access to support services is greatly reduced in regional and rural communities and they are actively working to ensure that these communities are able to access the support they need. 

It is known that about two-thirds of people with a mental illness do not seek help. Despite increased investment and strong evidence showing that prevention and intervention saves lives, factors like geography, stigma and social circumstances make it hard for people to get help, so online and telephone services are being researched and trialed to overcome these barriers. 

 

Switch to Enova and support the Black Dog Institute 

Enova Energy is proudly supporting the work of the Black Dog InstituteAnyone who switches to Enova can nominate to have $50 donated to the Black Dog Institute on their behalf or have the $50 credited to their first bill. Each $50 donation will support the Black Dog Institute to expand the reach of essential online tools and mental health programs so that farmers know support is there when they need it.  

It’s really important for farmers to talk to somebody rather than keep it all bottled up. It’s that contact that can save someone’s life,” James, NSW farmer.  

If you’re based in regional New South Wales and would like to support farmers while also taking action on climate change, make the switch to Enova and nominate for Enova to donate $50 to the Black Dog Institute on your behalf. Take action here.

If this raises any issues for you, you can call Lifeline on 131114.

References:  
http://www.agriculture.gov.au/
https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/
https://www.abc.net.au/
https://theconversation.com/
https://www.racgp.org.au/
https://www.abc.net.au/
https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Enova signs the National Position Statement Against Forest Bioenergy

Enova's purchasing decisions are ethically driven and focussed on sustainability. We are a proud leader in Australia's transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy future.  
 
Enova recognises the role native forest ecosystems play in carbon storage and sequestration and oppose the use of native forest biomass for electricity generation.  
 
In support of this position, Enova, along with 80 other organisations and five political parties have endorsed the National Position Statement Against Forest Bioenergy published by the Australian Forests & Climate Alliance. 

“The combustion of native forest biomass for energy production at the industrial scale poses serious threat to the climate, and to Australia’s unique forests and forest dependent species. 

It also hinders the capacity of nature to remove carbon from the atmosphere and the deployment of genuinely clean, renewable energy technologies. 

Burning native forest biomass is promoted by its advocates as carbon neutral and simply utilising waste efficiently. In reality, this is incorrect and misleading.” Australian Forests and Climate Alliance 

You can access the full position statement here. 

Enova continues to lobby for ethical renewable energy transition across the energy market. 

Learn more about Enova and the difference you can make

Repower Byron Shire's 500 Conversations

Running on volunteer power and supported by Enova Community - the not-for-profit arm of Enova Community Energy, Repower Byron Shire recently hit seven neighbourhood streets around Mullumbimby to encourage households to opt out of fossil fuels.

Community engagement

Repower engages the community to educate, inspire and motive action that results in real change. Volunteers spoke with 70 householders on a recent weekend to encourage residents to switch, reduce and produce. That is:

Street-by-street, Repower Byron Shire aims to transition the whole of the Byron Shire to 100 per cent renewable energy. Repower has commenced the first part of a 500 Conversations campaign, in which its volunteers aim to speak with 500 householders in the next 6 months to support the Shire's transition. This project has funded by the HAMER Sprout Family Trust, FRRR and the Byron Shire Council.

Not from Byron Shire? There are Repower movements throughout New South Wales - ask Google if your region or town has a local Repower group.

#flickfossilfuels and support Repower Byron Shire.

Get your Repower sign

If you’re an existing Enova customer, you qualify for a Repower street sign for your letterbox or a weather-proof sticker for your bin or car, and show your neighbours you have Re-powered to support renewables. Simply request the sign or sticker here with your postal address. http://www.repowerbyron.org/

Support Renewables

The quickest and easiest way to support renewable energy is to switch to an ethical electricity provider. If you're not already with Enova, use our bill comparison tool to upload your bill. As well as the planet, we'll let you know how much you can save!

No Solar Panels? No problem! You can still join the transition to a renewable energy future!

Whether you have solar panels or not, you can switch to Enova and support our mission to transform Australia’s renewable energy market. In fact, if you don’t have solar panels, you have a key role to play!

When you join Enova and you do not have solar panels on your rooftop, you provide a way for Enova to ensure that the renewable energy it is purchasing from local rooftops and large scale projects, can be recirculated back to power local homes and businesses.

And you ensure that Enova can continue to achieve its objectives: to do energy differently. Enova’s core mission? To enable towns, cities, suburbs and regions to power themselves using renewable energy.

By the community for the community

Enova CEO Felicity Stening said the push of the Northern Rivers community was central to the formation of Enova Community Energy three years ago.
“People who live in the Northern Rivers region care about rising carbon emissions; they’re worried about the climate crisis and they want to do something about it.”

“Enova was borne from that demand for a new kind of energy enterprise. Because we were formed by the community for the community, we really do need households and businesses to come on board to ensure we can make our vision come to life. We can’t do this without you!

“Solar and non-solar customers both play an integral part of an effective localised energy market. Whilst we love our solar customers who generate clean renewable energy, we love our non-solar customers wishing to purchase surplus generation just as much,” said Felicity.

Enova now retails electricity throughout regional New South Wales, with the intention of expanding to Sydney, Newcastle and interstate. Whether you have solar panels or not Enova is your opportunity to support new local renewable energy generation.

Help Enova achieve its goals – disruption of the energy market!

When you join Enova as a non-solar customer, your energy money is going to an electricity company that is committed to the renewable energy transition and to ensuring energy money circulates in local communities.

Our non-solar customers ensure there’s ongoing demand for clean energy. A healthy mix of solar and non-solar customers will help Enova achieve its vision of disrupting the energy market, empowering local communities, and reducing our reliance on centrally-generated and fossil fuel sourced power.

“We are here unapologetically to disrupt the energy market – the first energy retailer of its type in Australia. And it’s working,” said Ms Stening.

Need more incentive to join Enova? Under its unique model, Enova Community Energy will return 50 per cent of profits (after tax and reinvestment) back to the community.

Keeping money circulating in local towns, making them more resilient and sustainable, is all part of Enova’s ‘localisation’ strategy along with the local generation, storage and distribution of renewable energy.

Enova’s vision is for everyone to be able to access renewable energy, regardless of income or housing status, by advocating for energy efficiency, energy audits and engaging in partnerships and projects.

If you don’t have solar panels and but you want to use renewable energy to power your home, Enova also offers options for 100% renewable GreenPower as a voluntary add-on on to all our offers.

Want to know more?

To find out what difference Enova can make for you, upload your bill for a comparison or make the switch online in just 5 minutes. You're also welcome to discuss your options with our friendly, Australian-based customer service team on (02) 5622 1700. We would love to have you on board!

 

Enova supports Liberation Larder to turn food waste into meals for people in need

It is estimated that more than 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill in Australia at a cost of $20 billion per year. An estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste and millions of people go hungry even though there is enough food to feed everyone. But wasted food isn't just a social or humanitarian concern—it's an environmental one.

When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It is estimated that in Australia only 10% of food waste is composted, which leaves an enormous amount of food heading straight to landfill where it rots and produces greenhouse gas.

It turns out reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming. According to Project Drawdown’s team of researchers, cutting down on food waste could have nearly the same impact on reducing emissions over the next three decades as onshore wind turbines.

Liberation Larder, a much-loved charity organisation in Byron Bay has been playing a transformational role in food rescue and repurposing for ten years in the Byron Shire. In 2018 alone it provided more than 22,000 meals to people in need from rescued and donated food.

With the Byron Shire being strongly hospitality focused, it’s the perfect area to run such a successful food rescue organisation. Liberation Larder receives donated food from many of Byron Shire’s local restaurants and food production companies - preventing thousands of kilograms of otherwise fresh and healthy food from being thrown away and at the same time addressing hunger.

Liberation Larder makes sure this food reaches people who need it, either as meals or fresh food parcels.

According to the New South Wales Government program Love Food Hate Waste, one of the seven key things a restaurant or hotel can do to reduce their food waste is to ensure that all fresh food waste is donated to charities.

Enova Energy is proudly supporting the work of Liberation Larder. Anyone who switches to Enova can nominate to have $50 donated to Liberation Larder on their behalf, or have the $50 credited to their first bill. Each $50 donation will support Liberation Larder to provide ten healthy meals provided to people in need, from food that has been diverted away from landfill.

If you’re based in the Byron Shire and would like to reduce hunger in our community while also taking action on climate change, switch your electricity provider to Enova and nominate for Enova to donate $50 to Liberation Larder on your behalf. Take action here.


References:
www.worldwildlife.org/
www.washingtonpost.com/
ineedachef.com.au/
www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/
www.ozharvest.org/
www.foodwise.com.au/

Enova Community Energy celebrates three years!

Enova Community Energy has just celebrated three years in operation as Australia’s first community-owned electricity company on Friday, 31 May and continues to make history with ground-breaking initiatives.

On Tuesday, NBN News visited the office to meet with CEO, Felicity Stening to see why householders and businesses across rural NSW are switching away from traditional electricity providers to this social enterprise.

 

Unlike many other energy retailers, Enova sources most of its power from renewable local sources such as rooftop solar. As well as championing renewables, Enova is inspiring and helping communities to become energy self-sufficient (through projects such as microgrids), which in turn helps keep millions of dollars in local economies.

Enova will also return 50% of its profits (after tax and reinvestment) to community projects that help all residents, regardless of income, to get affordable renewable energy, along with education on energy efficiency to save money. Some of the projects Enova have completed include facilitating solar panels for low income homes in conjunction with North Coast Community Housing, along with home energy audits to help people reduce their energy consumption.

If you're interested in switching to Enova, speak to one of our energy consultants on 02 5622 1700 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can use our new bill comparison tool to upload your recent bill and see how it compares with Enova's energy plans.

 

 

Bright new partnership for rural expo

Enova pavillion1 social 800 CV4 002

In what event director Bruce Wright has labelled as an "exciting development for the event", the 2019 Norco Primex Field Days will be powered by local company Enova Energy.

"Primex has a very strong focus on innovation and education and, while our footprint is now international, we remain fierce supporters of local industry," Mr Wright said.

"That all fits in perfectly with Enova Energy as the official energy suppliers for Norco Primex 2019."

Mr Wright said Enova's story is an inspirational one, and he is "delighted" they have come on board.

The NSW Northern Rivers-based Enova Community Energy launched in June 2016, as Australia's first community-owned energy retailer.

Enova Energy CEO Felicity Stening said Enova has a strong emphasis on locally generated renewable energy.

"At Enova, we are creating a generation of people who want to belong to a new electricity model, a model that is enabling communities to power themselves through renewable energy that is locally generated, stored and distributed," Ms Stening said.

Ms Stening said since Enova launched the public response has been "truly amazing".

"Enova is growing, but so is the public understanding and knowledge around clean, green electricity," she said.

"Our partnership with Primex is a strong indication of what we are about. Primex is an expo that embraces community. The innovation and invention of its exhibitors result in solutions to local and national issues."

Ms Stening said like Enova, Primex also deals with its customers at a local level - face to face.

"We are looking forward to being a part of Primex 2019 and to be able to speak to many of the expected 25,000 visitors over the three days," she said.

Mr Wright said Primex had been part of the Northern Rivers landscape for 35 years, however it was 'invigorating' to be associated with exciting new enterprises such as Enova.

Norco Primex will be held at Casino from next Thursday, May 16-18.

Original Article Published in the Northern Star

2040 portrays a different future – and it’s good!

10 x 2040 Double passes to be won

 

 

Time is running out

As the Ross Ice Shelf - the largest ice shelf in the world - melts ten times faster than predicted, the degree of the climate crisis we are facing becomes ever more apparent.

We are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes. Research tells us we have 12 years to limit the impact of climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For every day people, the enormity of the challenge ahead of us can be overwhelming.

“What can I do?” we ask ourselves. The scope of the change needed seems impossible to conceptualise.

Imagining a better future

These were the exact sentiments of documentary film maker Damon Gameau when he set out on his mission to find the best solutions to the problems we are facing and imagine a better future.

And in his new film 2040, he has not only found the solutions, he’s also conceptualised the outcomes for the world as though we put them into place now. The end result is a cleaner, greener, socially inclusive, healthier planet!

In 2040, Damon Gameau (who also produced That Sugar Film) embarks upon a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.

Structured as a visual letter to his four-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.

Drawing on the best minds from around the world to focus on the changes that could be made if we implement the newest science and technology in energy, transport, agriculture and sustainability, 2040 maps out a pathway for change that can lead us to a more ecologically sustainable and equitable future. 

Making it happen

“What a fabulous documentary. It's so inspiring and the possibilities are real and wonderful,” said CEO Enova Energy Felicity Stening. “The film re-imagines the earth's and humanity's future if we could implement solutions with technology that is available to us right now. Enova was founded on that same premise – doing things differently in order to create positive change.”

Enova is already working on bringing microgrids alive and into communities in Australia with its first local project in the works and intentions to make microgrids real and available to Australian communities. The technology is here now and we all need to participate to make it happen.

2040 giveaway - enter here

To celebrate the opening of 2040 and its aspirational view of how we can generate positive change, we want to give you the chance to see the film!

We have 10 Double Passes to give away to see 2040 at a screening cinema of your choice.

To enter – click here – and get inspired about the better future we can hold in our sights by taking positive action. As imagined in 2040, let's keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

Entries close at midnight on Sunday, 19 May 2019. Winners will be announced on Monday, 20 May 2019.

2040 Release date: 23 May 2019

Rating: G

Official website: www.whatsyour2040.com

 

Renewable Community Energy Expanding




Renewable Community Energy Model Expanding Through New Partnership Plans

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.

To learn more about Enova go to About Us or to become a shareholder go to here.

Important Notice: In deciding whether to apply for shares always consider the Crowd-Sourced Funding Offer Document:Download including the general risk warning.

Equity crowdfunding brings power to the people

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.”

https://www.crowd88.com/en/

CORPORATIONS REGULATIONS 2001 – RISK WARNING ABOUT CROWD-SOURCED FUNDING

  1. Crowd-sourced funding is risky. Issuers using this facility include new or rapidly growing ventures. Investment in these types of ventures is speculative and carries high risks.
  2. You may lose your entire investment, and you should be in a position to bear this risk without undue hardship.
  3. Even if the company is successful, the value of your investment and any return on the investment could be reduced if the company issues more shares.
  4. Your investment is unlikely to be liquid. This means you are unlikely to be able to sell your shares quickly or at all if you need the money or decide that this investment is not right for you.
  5. Even though you have remedies for misleading statements in the offer document or misconduct by the company, you may have difficulty recovering your money.
  6. There are rules for handling your money. However, if your money is handled inappropriately or the person operating the platform on which this offer is published becomes insolvent, you may have difficulty recovering your money.
  7. Ask questions, read all information given carefully, and seek independent financial advice before committing yourself to any investment.

Power To The People Enova Energy’s Electricity Rewards!

Update: This competition has expired.

Local electricity company Enova Energy is marking its second birthday by saying a big ‘thank you’ to all the people who have been part of the journey so far. To reward its supporters, Enova is announcing a chance for both new and current customers to win one of five energy credits worth $1,000 each.  

In 2015, Northern Rivers locals raised more than $4m to start Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy company with a goal to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable to everyone.

“We have achieved many milestones since our inception,” says managing director, Tony Pfeiffer. “Now it’s time to give more back to the community that has helped us along the way and mobilise the broader community. We’re giving away five, $1,000 bundles of energy credit during June and early August. Both new and existing customers have the chance to win. All you need to do is join Enova or if you are already a customer, encourage a friend to join. In fact, you could do both and increase your chances,” says Tony

“One thousand dollars could power an average household for about a year. So this is one of the ways Enova is giving back to the community who supports Enova and who therefore help us to create a more efficient, cleaner, cheaper energy future for all Australians,” says Tony

“The energy industry is on the brink of change, and we know that as Enova continues to grow we can have a greater positive impact in the community.”

There are many other reasons to jump on board with Enova:

 

Enova – a positive disruptive force in the energy industry

Enova is the only energy organisation set up with the aim of lowering regional energy bills and guaranteeing to return 50% of any profits from a region are returned to its regional community. (Read more here on local community and renewable energy projects.)

Since Enova began, it has been disrupting the energy industry, setting the benchmark for Feed-in Tariffs when the NSW Government Solar Bonus Scheme finished at the end of 2016, and forcing the bigger energy companies to match.

Enova is also pioneering a regional sustainable energy supply and distribution model that will eventually mean that communities can control their own electricity supply. Embracing the principles of the ‘mate’ economy, this model means that local people will supply any excess solar they generate to their neighbours, customers, and mates. This not only keeps prices down, it puts money back into the local economy.

 

Enova is an important voice in a time of change

Recently, Enova was selected to provide evidence to the NSW Legislative Council’s Select Committee on Electricity Supply, Demand and Prices in NSW.  “As a small Northern Rivers-based start-up, and to have the State Government invite us to share our ideas on how to effect change in the wider industry, is a testament to just how far we have come,” says Tony.

 

Power to the people – be part of the change

“This really is power to the people. Enova was set up to instigate change and now we can influence at a critical level, where policy can be drafted, and the energy industry can be moved forward from its current uncompetitive and outdated model towards an energy market that’s fairer for consumers. Regional-based energy supply models like Enova’s are becoming more popular overseas as countries embrace renewable energy to reduce their carbon emissions. It is our intention to grow and take this model to other Australian communities.”

By joining Enova, people have a real opportunity to be part of this change.  The bigger Enova gets, the stronger our influence is, and our voice is.”

 

Power to the people – win when you join or refer a friend

For a limited time, Enova Energy is offering $5000 in electricity credits for new energy customers through a series of (5) five prize draws. Existing customers can also participate by referring a friend who becomes a customer. As a new customer, and to be eligible to win one of five $1000 electricity bill credits, join Enova online or phone us on 02 5622 1700. Current customers are automatically entered into the draw when their friends become customers using your customer account number as the referral promotion code. Be quick for your chance to win. The competition runs from 1 June and closes on the 10th of August 2018.

 

For more information and terms and conditions click here.

Promotion is authorised under: NSW permit LTPS/18/24132

Enova Helping Our Most Vulnerable




Enova Energy Coaches Help Our Most Vulnerable to Save

Enova Community Energy, in partnership with North Coast Community Housing and the NSW Government have helped tenants all over the Northern Rivers to receive free solar panels and home energy audits as part of a new solar housing project.

Sandi Middleton, Manager of Enova Community, said that Byron Bay-based Enova Community Energy has partnered with North Coast Community Housing (NCHH) and NSW Government to install solar systems and provide tenants access to free Enova Energy Coach audits and advice to 28 housing properties.

From left to right: Tony Pfeiffer- MD Enova Community Energy, Anne-Marie Poirrier – Office of Environment and Heritage, John McKenna – CEO North Coast Community Housing, Robyn Hordern – Chair North Coast Community Housing, Hon Thomas George MP

 

“The installation of these solar PV systems and associated energy saving measures are expected to cut tenant’s bills by around $420 a year,” Ms Middleton said.

“The project’s benefits go beyond bill savings; the energy efficiency audits that our volunteer Energy Coaches have completed will improve household comfort and generate local business and employment opportunities,” Ms Middleton said.

NCCH Property Manager Fiona McConnell added that the project is a genuine collaborative effort to help tenants deal with the rising cost of electricity.

“Our tenants have been really happy not only with the installation process and savings, but also with the conversations that have started,” Ms. McConnell said.

“One of our tenants told us that their children saw the panels go on and asked about solar, renewable energy and the environment – which has made them more aware of the issue and motivated to learn more,” Ms. McConnell said.

Enova Community is now looking for more volunteer Energy Coaches to help with providing energy audits for our Repower Byron Shire project in collaboration with COREM and Zero Emissions Byron. The training will be held in Byron Bay on 1st and 2nd of June. If you would like to apply to be an Enova Energy Coach please email [email protected]

“Being an Energy Coach is a really rewarding experience and we hope that many more in our community will come to the training and help our most vulnerable save money as well as support the environment,” Ms. Middleton said.

For further info: 02 56221700

NEG Response




The change you’re having when you’re not having a change.

If the over-riding goal of the Government’s proposed NEG is to provide a clear plan for the future of energy supply in this country, then our advice is to bring along a compass and a cut lunch. It could be a long journey.

What is the NEG?

The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is a plan by the Turnbull Government to formulate a “national” energy policy to put Australia on the path to build its future energy network. The NEG arose from the Finkel Review in 2017 which aimed to address problems with the energy market in Australia.  The NEG attempts to address the same issues of energy security (making sure there is enough energy), reliability (no blackouts) and affordability, while ensuring we can meet our global emissions reductions targets.

Unfortunately, the Energy Security Board (ESB) charged with the NEG’s development has to balance the strong calls for Australia to embrace a future of renewable energy with pressures to protect our aging infrastructure (coal fired plants, poles and wires) and fossil fuel industries.

The ESB recently called for submissions to its draft policy framework. In our response, Enova Community Energy set out key issues we believe still need to be addressed for the NEG to be effective.

Key concerns are that the NEG as drafted:

Under the current proposal, direct costs for compliance will be little different for small or large retailers, increasing the challenges faced by small retailers in the current national energy system.  Retailing involves a significant fixed cost base so large numbers of customers are required to minimise per customer costs.  Small retailers already have a higher per customer cost. An additional administrative burden will be cumbersome, and for small players, unrealistic.

Significantly, under the proposals, the dual obligations for an emissions reduction requirement and a reliability requirement will reduce the ability of small retailers to source suitable contract products at competitive rates, which would necessarily impact pricing to customers.
By disadvantaging small retailers, the NEG undermines marketplace competition. This is not in the best interest of consumers.  Enova demonstrated this when it led the way after the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme ended in December 2016, offering the most generous Feed-in Tariff (FIT) of all the retailers in a bid to encourage households to retain interest in solar. The large retailers, in a very short time, increased their FITs.

It is small retailers like Enova, who provide people more choice in a market dominated by three large retailers who also control generation.   Further, Enova has a unique business model: our company constitution guarantees we will reinvest 50% of profits, after tax and re-investment, into community-based renewable energy projects and social initiatives, through our not-for-profit arm Enova Community.

Small retailers like ourselves actively seek innovative ways to generate and use local renewable energy to make it accessible and affordable for everyone. For example, Enova will soon launch a local solar garden to provide renters or people who can’t have solar on their homes the option to have solar.  We are also working with North Coast Community Housing to put solar PV on social housing, to reduce energy bills for low income households.

Worse than a “ do-nothing” option

As it stands, the NEG will extend the lifespan of coal-fired power plants, at the expense of renewable energy generation. The days of coal-fired plants should be put behind us as Australia embraces a renewable energy future as many other countries are doing. Money spent keeping aging infrastructure alive could be invested instead in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.

In Australia, with our climate, solar energy is an obvious choice. As proposed, emission requirements will be set on retailers’ net energy sourced from the wholesale market. This does not give retailers credit for rooftop solar exports, which are purchased from the retailer’s customer base. It fails to acknowledge the retailers’ role in encouraging solar PV and storage. It also fails to recognise the role and benefits of DER in the future energy system. This lacks foresight as we develop a future of self-sufficient regions based on renewable energy sources.

We can only work with others to attempt to achieve a NEG that recognises the need for Australia to keep pace with the rest of the world and focus on transition to renewables, leaving 20th centuries technologies where they belong, in the past.

>>You can read the full Enova Energy Submission here<< 

Alison Crooke AO 
Enova Community Energy Ltd Chair

For more information: 02 5622 1700

Paying (F)it Forward!




Generous Enova Customer Donates $900 FIT Credit to One Deserving Local Householder

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.

Enova energy coach trainer and supervisor, Michael Qualmann

 

Generous offer to struggling household

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.

Solar – cheap and efficient

“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.

The Government needs to do more

“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 protected]

For more information: 02 5622 1700