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Victoria

In 2016 Victoria became the first state in Australia to trial Community Energy Hubs when the Andrews Government announced a $1 million pilot program involving three hubs across regional Victoria. These hubs, in Ballarat, Bendigo and the La Trobe Valley, have been funded for an initial two years.

We’re very excited about the prospect of seeing Community Energy Hubs up and operating across the state, but we reckon the Victorian Government can be more ambitious. With the Victorian Renewable Energy Target newly legislated, it is clear there is significant momentum behind the energy transition in Victoria, we need to make sure it works for everyone, not just large energy developers.

We will be working with our allies in Victoria to press for an expanded roll-out of community energy hubs, bringing seven more online over the next three years (here’s what it would look like). If you would like to see community energy given the support it really needs to take off, you can contact the Victorian Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio MP, and Shadow Energy Minister, David Southwick, at the details below.

 

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP – Victorian Energy Minister

Level 17, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne, 3002
(03) 9637 9504
lily.d’ambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au

David Southwick MP – Shadow Victorian Energy Minister

1/193 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield North, 3161
(03) 9527 3866
david.southwick@parliament.vic.gov.au

 

Dear X,

My name is X, I live in X. I am writing to you today to urge you to support the Smart Energy Communities Program.

The Victorian Government is a strong supporter of renewable energy. With the recent passage of the Victorian Renewable Energy Target and the Victorian Climate Change Act, Victoria is leading the nation in responding to climate change and the energy transition.

Victoria has also taken the lead in its funding of community energy, becoming the first state to commit to a network of renewable energy hubs. There are now over thirty community energy groups operating in Victoria; giving local people and communities a chance to benefit from a renewable energy future. It is time to embrace the growing potential of community owned renewable energy statewide and expand the existing three hubs to ten across the state.

This growth is just the beginning. Community power has enormous potential to reduce energy bills, build strong communities, encourage energy efficiency, provide network stability and reduce carbon emissions. For community power to flourish, however, it needs a policy framework in place to provide the advice, funding, support and, crucially, the certainty investors and communities are calling out for. An expanded Smart Energy Communities Program provides this framework.

Hundreds of thousands of people all over Victoria are locked out of benefiting from solar energy. The split-incentives that stop renters and apartment dwellers being able to benefit from solar installation or energy efficiency upgrades mean some of the most vulnerable people in the state are being left behind. With rising wholesale prices, it is more important than ever that these households have access to meaningful ways to reduce their energy bills. Initiatives supported by community energy hubs can provide this access.

Community power also has an important role to play in ensuring the benefits of Victoria’s renewable energy development are shared with the broader community in areas outside those covered by the initial pilot hubs.

I would urge you to give community energy the backing it needs, and take an expanded network of community energy hubs to the next election. With continued support, community power can play an important part in meeting the Victorian Government’s social, economic and environmental responsibilities.

For more information about the Smart Energy Communities Program and the great reasons the Victorian Government should continue to back community energy, please visit cpgency.org.au/campaigns/victoria.

Yours sincerely, X

 

In the meantime, if you would like to read more about the current Victorian pilot, visit:

energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/community-energy

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