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Enova Community works with community and not-for-profit organisations to facilitate access to renewable energy for a wide range of groups, including people on lower incomes and groups with limited funds.

Australia's First Solar Garden -
The NCCH Solar Garden

Solar Garden Receive a Discount
The North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) Solar Garden is an initiative of Enova Community Energy in partnership with NCCH, COREM and Splendour in the Grass. 
This ‘Solar Garden’ is a 35kW solar array situated on the roof of NCCH’s administrative building in Lismore. As an Enova customer, NCCH purchases the electricity produced by the array for use onsite. Funds generated from the sale of that solar energy are divided between 23 ‘Solar Gardeners’ - 19 NCCH tenants and four community groups: The Caldera Environment Center, Mullumbimby CWA, Marine Rescue Brunswick, and Federal Tennis Club.
The solar gardeners receive a monthly or quarterly credit on their Enova electricity bill. As with home solar arrays, the discount amount depends on the weather and NCCH’s electricity use. To incentivise energy use while the sun is shining, NCCH receives a discount on the electricity they use from the array.
Over its 20-year life span, the project will save approximately $160,000 for the solar gardeners and NCCH. 
While other solar garden models require solar gardeners to invest, the NCCH Solar Garden is fully funded thanks to Enova’s Renewable Development Initiative, Splendour in the Grass’ Green Offset’ program of, COREM and NCCH.

“The expected impact for a tenant is $420 saving a year.”

Sandi Middleton
Manager Enova Community Energy

“I kept hearing the power was going to go up so I stopped using the power completely. Now I am using my oven all the time. I feel so liberated.”

Tenant, St George Community Housing

“Very quick and smooth, next minute the solar panels were up.”

Tenant, North Coast Community Housing

“Let’s see if we can we provide solar to the people in our community that would most benefit from it!”

Tony Pfeifer
Board Director, Enova Community Energy

Community housing

In 2018, Enova Community partnered with North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) and the Office of Environment and Heritage on a low-income solar housing project. More than 80 tenants across the Northern Rivers benefited from solar panels on 27 homes that NCCH owns and manages. 

Enova’s Energy Coaches also conducted home energy audits for participating low income residents, including teaching them how to reduce electricity consumption and save money.

In total 64kWh of solar were installed on 27 houses and combined with the energy saving measures initiated through the educational audits, tenants' bills are expected to reduce by around $420 a year.


Flood Assistance

LightnUp Inc. is a not-for-profit community organisation situated in the heart of Lismore. It runs the Lismore Lantern Parade, an annual community arts festival attracting over 300,000 people on or around the winter solstice: the longest night of the year.

After having their premises devastated by 3-metre flood waters in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, LightnUp Inc had to rely heavily on the generosity and kindness of the local community as it cleaned up its workshop and rebuilt lanterns in time for this year’s parade.

To help them thrive in their new location, Enova Community assisted them to access an interest free loan through CORENA to install energy efficient lighting and solar panels on their new building.

Solar for community organisations

Solar for community organisations

RED Inc. was established 30 years ago and is a much loved disability services provider in the Northern Rivers. We’ve supported RED Inc. using the assistance of philanthropic co-funding and crowd funding to buy solar panels. This was Enova Community’s first social benefit project.

Enova Community has also partnered with COREM (Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby) to support other local community organisations to place solar panels on their rooftops, with an ongoing arrangement to contribute $1000 for Community groups supported by COREM’s revolving solar fund from the Enova Regional Development Initiative (RDI) Fund. Other groups that have been supported via this initiative to bring solar to the community, include Jasper Corner, the Federal Community Hall and the Mullumbimby Commons.