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Enova Energy is being established for community and environmental benefit.
Enova Community Ltd is providing has provided a unique opportunity for participation in building Australia’s first community owned renewable energy retailing and installation business.
Our aim is to build an energy conscious community in the Northern Rivers that shares common goals of:
- maximising energy efficiency
- meeting our own energy needs
- fostering the take up of new clean technologies and grid-enabled community benefits and
- reducing the regions’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We aspire to a commercially and socially vibrant model that can be copied by like-minded communities across Australia.
What’s in it for Electricity Consumers?
Once we are up and running we aim to provide:
- Competitive pricing
- Generous Solar Feed in Tariff ( FIT)
- 100% Green Power and other attractive energy plans
- Skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly local service
- Tariff assessments, education and advice on ways to reduce energy bills
- Trustworthy advice, installation and maintenance for solar and battery storage
- Benefits to the local community and the environment through your energy purchases
As a locally-based community owned energy company Enova Energy intends to:
- partner with groups and agencies throughout the community to shape finance and deliver programs to assist vulnerable households, lower socio-economic groups, and community organisations
- employ locally
- invest in energy education, helping potential customers understand the options available to reduce energy costs
- assist customers struggling with high cost grid energy to make the transition to low cost renewable, and will
- develop options to make solar take-up attractive to landlords and renters.
A message from Enova’s founding team
After years of disillusionment with government inaction on addressing climate change and brought to a head by the fight against fracking, we decided it was time to take action to create a positive renewable energy solution for people in the Northern Rivers.
The goals we set for Enova have been the same since we first had the idea: to keep profits and jobs in the community, to reduce our region’s carbon footprint, to create a model that benefits all socio-economic groups, to establish an energy model that can be recreated by communities across the country, and eventually to produce enough renewable energy locally to meet all of our customers’ energy needs.
In 2016, we will be accepting our first customers and making Australian history as the country’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer. This is a model that brings exciting possibilities to the energy sector, particularly in the way we generate and distribute solar and other renewable energy. In the past, community-based renewable energy projects struggled to find a retailer who would purchase excess energy – the large companies just haven’t been interested. Enova will not only buy this power, we will also work with communities to help bring their renewable energy projects to life.
The structure of Enova – with its energy retail arm Enova Energy Pty Ltd channelling 50% of profits to its not-for-profit arm Enova Community – is also a first for this sector. Enova Community will help bring solar to all households regardless of income so everyone can join the shift to renewable energy. The win-win outcomes for community and environment that we’ve had since the outset have brought widespread support for Enova over the past two years.
The idea was sparked in discussions with the North Coast Energy Forum over a few years, and progressed during the Community Energy Conference in Canberra in July 2014. We won a NSW Office of Environment and Heritage grant to carry out a feasibility study, which showed a strong business case to continue. This led to us being awarded an Energy Retail Licence in 2015 conditional on us raising $3 million capital to cover prudential guarantees, fixed operating costs and cash flow requirements.
Thanks to overwhelming community support for Enova and tireless work from our team, we successfully raised close to $4 million capital from 1100 shareholders between August and December 2015 through the Enova Community Energy Ltd Prospectus. The majority of our shareholders live in Northern Rivers, but the capital raising sparked national interest and we have shareholders from every state and territory in Australia.
Since the start of this year, we’ve been working intensely to prepare for our first customers. We’ve set up our office, connected our IT, telecommunications and computing systems, and we’ve prepared all of our processes from pricing to supply to billing, to comply with many levels of government regulation. We’ve fine-tuned our business strategy along with the energy plans and solar services that we offer. And as we continue to grow, we’ve been recruiting staff and training our volunteers.
There is much to do to launch a community-owned energy retailer, and with the groundwork now done with Enova, we will be inviting communities across Australia to replicate our model and turn talk about renewable energy into action.
It is our vision that as communities and companies show initiative, our political leaders will gain confidence and have the courage to change policies to favour renewable energy in our country. Together we can create a renewable energy revolution that tackles the urgent challenge of climate change.
Enova’s founding team [Alison Crook AO, Steve Harris, Patrick Halliday and Melissa Mac Court]