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Our Energy Sources | Enova Community Energy

As Australia’s first community-owned energy company, Enova plays a special role in the community energy movement that’s decarbonisingdecentralising and democratising our energy system. 

 

Community energy is where community members participate in renewable energy projects. This can be through developing, owning, or directly benefitting from projects.

 

Community energy projects can focus on enabling a community to generate, store and/or share their own renewable energy.  

 

All community energy projects are unique, just like their communities. They differ in many ways such as their size, the technology used and how they're funded. What they have in common is an understanding that motivated communities can take action to reduce emissions and become more resilient.

 

Some real examples of community energy projects include: 

  • Energise Gloucester – a local community organisation aiming to develop and run its own locally controlled, environmentally responsible, and financially successful renewable energy programs. 
  • Haystacks Solar Garden - a cooperative set up to install a large solar array on farmland that will be operated as a solar garden. A solar garden allows people without a sunny roof to have access to the many benefits of rooftop solar by purchasing a solar plot.  
  • Coorabell Hall - solar panels installed on the roof of a community hall, with money from a community organisation set up to fund solar for communities.
  • Geni.Energy - an organisation working in partnership with Enova Energy to enable the development of community and household renewable energy generation in the Northwest region of New South Wales.  

Decarbonise 

  • Community energy aims to generate energy for local use.  
  • It provides communities with ways to move toward 100% renewable energy sources. 
  • It reduces or eliminates the community’s carbon emissions from energy generation and use. 
  • Positive community climate action.

Decentralise 

  • Community energy aims to share financial benefits fairly.  
  • It transfers ownership of energy generation, storage and sharing (or distribution) to local communities 
  • By doing this it strengthens local economies by keeping energy money in the community, creating local jobs, and ensuring access to renewable energy for all.
  • It embeds resilience into local places. 
  • It changes the current model which involves one-way flows of dirty energy into the community, while money flows out on energy bills. Instead of clean energy and money flows through and around the community. 

Democratise 

  • Community energy aims to reflect the motivations and aspirations of the local community and to maximise local ownership. 
  • It transfers power and control over energy generation and use to people in communities. 
  • Innovative and creative people-centered ownership and governance structures, like cooperatives and affordable shares, ensure decision making is given back to people in local communities.

Enova Community Energy itself was developed by a community of people - shareholders and customers - who got organised and formed a community-owned energy retailer that’s renewables-focused and aimed at enabling resilient communities.  

 

 

Enova was set up to help facilitate and support more communities everywhere to be able to generate their own renewable energy, and to work with those communities at the same time to reduce carbon emissions. 

 

We play a proud role in developing and supporting new community energy initiatives, as well as enabling many other community organisations to implement their community energy initiatives. 

 

5 Key Roles Enova Plays in Community Energy 

 

1. Widely sharing financial benefits 

As a social enterprise Enova will reinvest half its profits back into community projects, energy efficiency and educationThe other half will be shared amongst its 1,600 individual community shareholders.  

 

2. Enabling community energy organisations  

Enova supports community energy organisations like Border Community Energy, Geni.Energy and Energise Gloucester, to achieve their goals. 

 

3. Energy Retail Function 

Enova is able to support community energy initiatives by providing the energy retail function of a project, like the Haystacks Coop Solar Garden and Geni.Energy.

 

4. Innovation 

Enova invests in pilot initiatives alongside other partners, to trial and understand how community energy models can work to the greatest benefit of participants and shares its knowledge widely. 

 

5. Energy Education 

Enova’s not-for-profit arm Enova Community has a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions by providing education and coaching services to people and communities who wish to reduce their energy use. 

  • Here are some of our favourite blog posts about community energy: 

https://www.enovaenergy.com.au/renewable-energy/our-vision-for-community-owned-energy-for-all-australians 

https://www.enovaenergy.com.au/renewable-energy/building-community-resilience-the-key-to-bouncing-back-from-adversity

https://www.enovaenergy.com.au/solar-power/australias-first-solar-garden 

 

C4CE is the peak body for the growing community energy sector in Australia. Their mission is to support and facilitate the sector, by delivering advocacy and lobbying, knowledge sharing and the Community Energy Congress.

 

The Community Power Agency partners with communities, government and industry to develop projects and research designed to create a clean, affordable and accessible energy future for everyone.

 

Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby - COREM delivers renewable energy projects, with the rewards of cleaner and cheaper energy flowing directly to the community. 

A non-profit revolving fund enables all Australians to help tackle the climate emergency by donating to projects that reduce carbon emissions immediately.

 

Regional Australia has the best renewable energy resources in the world. The challenge is to ensure that everyday Australians will share in its benefits. The Local Power Plan aims to create the vision for a sunbelt of 10,000 locally-owned renewable power stations stretching from Esperance to Carpentaria, bringing new jobs, new opportunities and cheap, clean, local power to regional Australia. 

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