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Our vision for Community-Owned Energy for all Australians

05/11/2019
Cassandra Sheppard

The old, 20th-century energy model is broken. It’s too expensive and it’s time to change. It involves one-way flows of dirty energy into the community, while money flows out on energy bills. But times are changing as communities around the country are realising they can take their power back.

A new model is now a reality, using decentralised, distributed electricity generation and storage, assisted by digital technology. At a local level, it’s a system that progressively creates more energy security, cleaner energy and is less and less expensive.

 

An electricity company that’s community-owned and a social enterprise

Enova Community Energy was established to bring this vision to reality. Enova is Australia’s first community-owned energy retailer, formed as a social enterprise to create a cleaner renewable energy future, by building sustainable and resilient communities, where local renewable energy is accessible by all.

According to Enova Community Energy Chair, Alison Crook, “We established Enova in order to give people a way of doing something practical about climate change and to reduce climate emissions.

We set up with the twin objectives to enable more communities everywhere to be able to generate their own renewable energy, and to make use of it, and to work with those communities at the same time to reduce carbon emissions. Clearly the benefits flow in a number of ways.”

 

What’s wrong with the old energy model

Australia's Old Energy Model pic

The old system is made up of big power plants (more than 80 per cent of which still use fossil fuels), owned by large, often multi-national, companies that account for more than 70 per of electricity customers. The polluting energy generated travels on big lines over thousands of kilometres, to individual households and businesses and loses up to 10 per cent along the way.

 

“Then the money flows back the other way, out of local communities and into the profits of the large often foreign-owned companies. Tens of millions, or often hundreds of millions of dollars leave local areas annually. No money circulating. No local jobs created. And no control over prices,” said Alison.

 

How does the new model work? The positive difference!

Enova New Energy Model pic

The new vision is that communities around the country are not only powered by rooftop solar (more than 50 per cent of Enova’s electricity comes from our customers’ rooftop solar) but also by their own large-scale and small-scale community-owned renewable energy generation and storage.

We progressively move to a system where households can share energy, and streets can share batteries and renewable energy. Instead of being just consumers of energy, households also become energy producers who then partner with their community retailer to distribute energy.

This is the new energy system and Enova Community Energy is that community retailer. We’re the first in Australia established to do just that – partner with communities to transform energy. We help communities find ways to generate, store and share their own power.

We also do this by reinvesting 50 per cent of profits (after tax and reinvestment) back into our non-profit arm for local community renewable energy projects. We are creating and establishing microgrids, solar gardens and other projects that support local renewable energy generation, storage and sharing to make locally generated renewable energy accessible to all.

 

Facilitating local community-owned renewable energy

Solar gardens allow renters and households that can’t have solar panels to benefit from solar generation by owning panels in a solar array established at a different rooftop location. Microgrids enable streets or industrial estates to share locally generated energy.

Alison Crook said, “I think there is a genuine opportunity and a real feeling these days, that we have to make things work at the local level. There’s strength in community, strength in local, and there’s an opportunity to show a whole new way of doing things.
“And that’s not just restricted to energy. It’s about food, it’s about the way we operate, it’s about all of the systems that make our lives work, we can take control and drive them again. Let’s do it ourselves and it’ll be better for all of us.”

 

Enova’s big picture vision is local

In Enova’s new energy vision, towns and suburbs will operate effectively as mini-power plants, generating, storing and sharing their own energy. As more power is self-generated and stored there is less need to draw on energy supplied from remote power plants via the network’s long-distance transmission and distribution lines, although we still make use of the grid locally and have a back-up when needed.

Bigger energy users, such as Councils, hospitals and airports, meet their own energy needs with medium-scale renewable energy plants plus storage, located close to where most of the energy is to be used. They have invested themselves or worked with their community retailer to facilitate community investment.

Energy is generated locally and is as far as possible locally owned. It moves as short a distance as possible. Energy and money involved circulate locally and benefits are shared.

“There’s a wonderful saying that the secret of change is not to focus on fighting the old, but on building the new, and I think that’s what we’re about. It’s saying fossil fuel is dangerous in terms of climate change, we have to stop our reliance on it, we don’t need to rely on it, so let’s get on with building the new, and as fast as possible,” said Alison.

 

We have the power to make change happen. Will you join us now?

To support a positive change in the way energy is delivered in Australia, switch your energy to Enova Community Energy. To celebrate our recent expansion, we have some special offers for NSW residents and businesses below.

 

Early Bird Offer for customers in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Central Coast & surrounding areas

To celebrate Enova’s expansion, we have an early bird offer for new customers!*

Please enter the promo code below if you sign up online, or quote it if you choose to give us a call:

  • "EARLYBIRD100"- $100 credit will be applied to your first bill.
  • "BLACKDOG100" - $100 to be donated to The Black Dog Institute on your behalf.

It only takes 5 minutes to switch online and we handle everything for you! Sign up here.

If you have any questions, contact our friendly customer service team on 02 5622 1700 / info@enovaenergy.com.au

 

Existing Offer for Essential Energy Network Customers – Regional & Rural NSW

We also have an existing offer for new customers in regional NSW**

Please enter one of the promo codes below if you sign up online, or quote it if you choose to give us a call:

  • "ENOVA50" - $50 credit will be applied to your first bill
  • "BLACKDOG50" -  $50 to be donated to The Black Dog Institute on your behalf
  • "LARDER50"- $50 to be donated to Liberation Larder on your behalf

It only takes 5 minutes to switch online and we handle everything for you! Sign up here.

If you have any questions, contact our friendly customer service team on 02 5622 1700 / info@enovaenergy.com.au

 

* Early Bird Offer T&Cs:

  • Early bird offers only available to new Enova customers signing up to an Enova Energy energy plan under the EARLYBIRD100 or BLACKDOG100 promo code. Only available in Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy networks.
  • Only available for sign-ups from 16th October 2019 to before midnight 30th November 2019.
  • Not available to existing Enova customers.
  • Not available with other promotional discounts.

 

**Regional & Rural NSW Offer T&Cs:

  • Offer only available to new Enova customers signing up to an Enova Energy energy plan under the ENOVA50, BLACKDOG50 or LARDER50 promo code
  • Only available in Essential Energy networks.
  • Not available to existing Enova customers.
  • Not available with other promotional discounts.

 

11 responses

  1. I would like to see different tariffs for customers who are non-profit community organisations, such as the Country Women's Association. The energy fee and the solar feed in tariff could be between the residential and the business charge.

  2. I a an Enova customer in Byron Bay where we have solar panels on the roof that supply and generate an input tariff. Can I become an Enova customer in Sydney on a property that has no solar panels as an input

  3. I am already a dedicated supporter of Enova and its philosophy. The concept seems to be self-evident. I also have enough solar panels on my roof to cover my own useage (but no storage, so I’m not power-independent).

    1. Thanks for your support and comment Malcolm. Great to hear your're benefiting from your solar panels. Our strategic plan will involve community battery initiatives in the future.....

  4. I note you have batteries shown in your New Energy Model picture.
    May I suggest that you look a an Australian company making Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries. This is Australian technology which appears to be in advance of lithium iron.
    The company making these batteries is VSUN Energy Pty Ltd which is a subsidiary of Australian Vanadium Limited.

    1. Thanks for the information Wayne, this will be passed on to our relevant team members. 🙂

  5. I have been a shareholder and customer of Enova since the beginning and am completely on board with the philosophy. However, I am distraught at the lack of competitiveness of the solar feed in tariffs offered. Would be much happier with a higher single use rate and higher feed in tariff. It is criminal that it reverts to 9c per KWh after the first 6 KW/per day. There is no incentive to increase and upgrade my solar panels. Dirty power companies such as Origin offer far better Solar feed in tariffs. Additionally, the Enova power bills require a pHD to analyse.
    These issues need to be fixed as a priority.

  6. I highly recommend Enova to consider Australian PowerLedger for facilitating and coordinating distributed energy sharing, fractionalised asset ownership, payment settlement and carbon credits. They are world leaders in the field with successful operations on several continents with large energy partners and several regulatory and industry trials to progress the shared renewable energy vision here in Australia.

  7. Hallo there I think I am much to new to make match of a comment I did read thru it all and like the idea off community supply control and maintain > I have installed A 5KW solar element on my rooftop with 5KWh Delta Inverter and the best it can do is 3.4 kwh And I don't know wether that is good or otherwise I would like to see My Electricity Co or some authority To let me know your unit Needs Attention And son please let me know were I go form here >mfa

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