This post is inspired by the community owned energy retailer Enova, from the Northern Rivers area of NSW. Their mission is to empower community, support renewable energy and the transformation of our energy system while providing returns to shareholders and the local economy. They state that it would possible to return $80 million to the local area through profits and operating expenses from a potential revenue of $300 million. Now that’s quite a significant boost to anyone’s local economy.
Let’s look at our part of Gippsland (Baw Baw, Latrobe and Wellington shires)- we have about 66,000 homes and the average Victorian home spends $2,800 per year on gas and electricity. That’s $185 million spent per year with a significant portion of the profit leaving the local area. Is there an appetite to draw some of that back home? Could we put that money to better use- building more local capacity in renewable power or storage systems like massive battery banks and pumped hydro? Building local infrastructure, employing local people in jobs that make a positive difference as opposed to those that worsen health or destroy the environment, maintaining and building our skills and providing hope for our children and grandchildren all seem like worthwhile goals to me.
The Congress for Community Energy gets underway today with a series of workshops over the next 4 days. It is sure to be inspiring and will be the source of more blog posts I’m sure!
If you’re interested in being involved in a local community owned energy retailer or anything else mentioned here, please comment or contact us at BBSN.