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Smart Energy Communities

Picture it now: your local MP announcing a regional energy hub for your area, funded to the tune of a $1million. A small team of staff (perhaps you or your colleagues, even), on hand to provide advice and support. Start up funding to help new community energy projects get off the ground. A network to link you in with others across the nation. Perhaps a shop front.

This is the vision outlined in Smart Energy Communities: a bold campaign to turbo-charge community renewables and other local energy initiatives across Australia. And this is what we want to win from states, territories and the Federal Government.

Keen to know more about how the Smart Energy Communities program would work, check out:

See below for more information about our current campaigns:

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Turnbull’s Dirty Energy Target

The Bad

You will have seen the Turnbull Government’s announcement that the Federal Coalition is backing away from a Clean Energy Target (CET) and will instead be stumping for a dispatchable energy (read, fossil fuel) target.

This policy proposal is not just a threat to Australia’s national interest, but has the potential to hobble domestic rooftop solar and community solar and wind projects.

The Good

While Turnbull stays in bed with the fossil fuel industry, one federal MP stepped up and showed real leadership. Cathy McGowan, Independent MP for Indi spoke at length about the importance of community energy as part of Australia’s energy future.  She went further than that, introducing amendments to the ARENA & CEFC act to ensure these agencies better support community energy in the future.

What you can do

We need to make sure Government MPs know they’re undermining community energy groups in their electorates and show them what real leadership looks like. There’s nothing that puts the fear into a local MP like negative media, you can put your local Members on notice using the draft media release below. Just edit the template to suit your circumstances, send it off to your local outlets and make sure you let us know if your story gets up!

You can download the template media release below.


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NSW Climate Fund Plan

Last year many of you were involved in the Smart Energy Communities campaign leading up to the Federal Election, when the Federal ALP committed $98.7m to the Smart Energy Communities program. We now have a huge opportunity to make sure community power gets the support and funding it needs to really take off in NSW.

The NSW Government will sign off on its plan to tackle climate change within weeks. The Climate Fund Plan will decided how $1.3b is spent. Community energy must get its share of the pie. We’re calling on the NSW Government to commit to funding the Smart Energy Community Program.

Use the form below to make sure the NSW Cabinet delivers for community power.

Last year community energy groups across NSW made submissions to the NSW Climate Fund, sending a clear message about the support communities wanted from government. We want to make sure the Government acts on these submissions and delivers for the communities remaking the energy sector all over NSW.

We’ve already had a significant win this year in Victoria with the creation of three pilot Community Power Hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley. We can make sure NSW is next but we need your help ASAP.


NSW Government Champions for Community Energy

We know there are members of the NSW Cabinet who are enthusiastic supporters of community energy. Now is the time to make sure they take this support to Cabinet. Here’s what a few senior Government MPs have to say on the subject:


“We share your passion for community energy… Community energy is really exciting… it shares the benefits of renewables on a local scale… building community support for renewable energy and democratising our energy system”

Rob Stokes MP, Education Minister

“If I can do only one thing – it is to have a genuine peer-to-peer energy scheme operating in this state. I say that because it just makes sense. I mean, duh. This is a way to get the second wave of community interest in PV solar and other renewables happening.”

Adam Marshall MP, Tourism Minister

“I’d like to congratulate the community energy sector on its tremendous development over the past few years, know that you have a friend in the NSW Government”

Ben Franklin MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy


Community energy has been building huge momentum in NSW as more and more people recognise that it “just makes sense”. Now it’s time for the NSW Government to take the next step and commit to unlocking the enormous potential of the community power sector.

Use the form below to get in touch with key decision makers in the NSW Cabinet to make sure we get the best deal possible for community power.

For more information about the Smart Energy Communities Campaign please contact Lachlan Rule on

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