Webinar recordings – Designing for strong community participation

The first of four free webinars kicked off last week on Thursday, thanks to support from Sustainability Victoria and the Community Power Hubs. The first webinar was an introduction to designing community owned energy projects with strong community participation and the recording is available online.

The Coalition for Community Energy will be hosting recordings of the webinars on their website and YouTube channel.

The second webinar will take place this week on Thursday and will dive into the detail of how the economic arrangements can facilitate engagement of the sort you’re looking for in your project.

WEBINAR 2: Facilitating participation through economic arrangements.
Thursday 26 September 2019, 6:00–7:30 PM

WEBINAR 3: Facilitating participation through governance structures.
Thursday 3 October 2019, 6:00–7:30 PM

WEBINAR 4: Facilitating participation through community engagement practices.
Thursday 10 October 2019, 6:00–7:30 PM

Register here for upcoming webinars.

Newsletter – September 2019

Dear Community Energy Enthusiasts,

Green shoots, new growth, a bit of heat and fresh products – that’s what Spring is all about.

  • Green shoots are emerging in Queensland, with a community energy forum being held in Yeppoon on 28 September.
  • We have new growth as Enova expands in to Sydney – meaning they now service the whole of NSW.
  • A bit of heat is in the air with Friends of the Earth partnering with the Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) to ask the Victorian Andrews Government for more support for community energy.
  • And fresh products comes in the form of our very own Jarra Hicks presenting a FREE four part series of webinars for Sustainability Victoria.

Read on for more

from all of us at the (growing) Community Power Agency team!

Jarra, Nicky, Fran, Tom, Ella and Kristy!!

Friends of the Earth and C4CE call for a strong community energy sector in Victoria

Did you know that across the country, there are 105 community energy groups and 50 of these are based in Victoria? That’s why the Coalition 4 Community Energy (C4CE) and Friends of the Earth Melbourne have teamed up to ensure this sector can thrive.

While the federal Coalition buries its head in the sand on climate change, communities are leading on renewable energy at the local level. Since 2015, Victoria’s Andrews Government has shown leadership by encouraging community energy projects through a number of initiatives. But in the absence of a federal energy policy there are many community energy projects in development that do not have the financial or logistical support needed to reach maturity. If Victoria is going to be the leader in community energy, it’s vital the state government provides community energy groups the support they need to succeed.

Join the call by signing up to the petition asking the Andrews Labor government to deliver a plan that will secure Victoria’s place as a community energy leader here!

Are your community energy programs designed to maximise community participation?

Sustainability Victoria invites you to a series of FREE webinars in September and October on how to ensure quality participation in your community-owned energy projects, now and in the future.

Presented by Dr Jarra Hicks from the Community Power Agency, you’ll hear about best practice approaches to community participation based on the latest insights from Sustainability Victoria’s Community Power Hubs pilot program.

This four-webinar series is ideal for community energy groups wanting to ensure future projects are designed and structured to facilitate community participation, or those wanting to create better opportunities for community participation in existing projects.  

Find out more and register for free if you’d like to join us.  More details on each of the webinar sessions can be found in the attached invitation. 

Please forward to your networks and for any enquiries, please contact webinar@cpagency.org.au.

Community Energy Forum in Yeppoon – September 28th

Community Power Agency are partnering with our friends, Energetic Communities and 350 Central Queensland and Capricorn Coast Landcare to hold an introductory workshop on Community Owned Renewable Energy in Yeppoon later this month. The forum will be an opportunity for people of the Capricorn Coast to discuss what actions they can take locally right now to take control of their power supply and energy bills. CPA and Energetic Communities will cover:

  • Types of community energy projects
  • Funding models – Investment, Donation, Renters, Solar Gardens
  • Legal structures
  • Benefits of community energy
  • Community Engagement
  • Existing support networks
  • Case studies of successful projects
  • Potential sites in and around Yeppoon

Numbers are limited so please sign up here now!

Enova expanding to Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong!

Australia’s first community-owned electricity company, Enova Community Energy is about to take its community powered energy model to Sydney, Newcastle & Wollongong.

This means as of 1st October, Enova will be servicing the whole of NSW.

For people based in Sydney, Newcastle & Wollongong, Enova’s waitlist is now open. To celebrate, everyone who goes onto the waitlist to switch to Enova between now and 1 October will go into a draw to win $1,500 worth of ethical electricity from Enova, or a 3-day double pass to the Byron Bay Blues Festival 2020, or other great prizes.

If you’re already an Enova customer, please help them share the good news – and if your friends or family signs up, get them to quote your full name or Enova account number and you’ll receive $25 for each sign up off your next bill

This is a huge milestone for the way energy is done in this country, for Enova and is a great opportunity to support community-powered energy!

Scott Morrison’s betrayal of the Pacific was immoral – and completely unnecessary

Read Nicky Ison’s opinion piece outlining how Australia is in a unique and fortunate position whereby we can prosper economically while we reduce our contribution to climate change. Ignoring our Pacific Island neighbours is immoral but more than that it does nothing for our economy or our strategic position in the region.

Read the full story in the Guardian here.

Community energy going off in North East Victoria!

North East Victoria continues to be one of the hottest spots in Australia for community energy. Energy democracy was the rallying cry earlier this year when independent Helen Haines won the seat of Indi at the Federal election – helped by a strong community energy and climate action movement in the area.

This last week has seen a flurry of activity in the region. The Clean Energy Council awarded their Community Engagement Award to Mondo Power for their work with Totally Renewable Yackandandah in establishing a community micro grid that has already saved the community more than $160,000 in energy costs and will ultimately allow the town to source 100% of it’s electricity from renewables sources by 2022. The Victorian Government celebrated the launch of the Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap, a comprehensive guide to ensuring the communities in the region are able to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with the clean energy transition, while also ensuring public support remains high and community values are respected. Finally, Indigo Shire Council officially declared a climate emergency at an ordinary Council meeting.

This is all possible because of the work and commitment of the community energy and climate action groups in the area and their supporters. Community energy initiatives and meaningful action on climate change appears to be ramping up in this region and we think this is testament to the fact that collaboration is the approach taken by so many people, groups and businesses in the area.

Community energy first for QLD: Energetic Communities finalises project one

The first community energy project by a Queensland community energy group

Energetic Communities announced today their successful completion of their first project – an investor driven solar project on the roof of Food Connect. The project is closely based on the Repower Shoalhaven model, which we already know is highly replicable.

We look forward to more and more community energy projects coming out of Queensland, the sunshine state.