Is community-based retailing the future for energy?

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Enova Community Energy plans to establish a community-based electricity retailing partnership as part of a commitment to taking local action on climate change.

Enova is set to partner with Border Trust, the Community Foundation for the twin cities of Albury (NSW) and Wodonga (VIC), to create Border Community Energy (BCE), which will provide community-based renewable electricity retailer services to the Albury-Wodonga region under its own BCE brand.

Albury and Wodonga will be the first cities to partner with Enova under this style of arrangement. A portion of the profit generated locally will be reinvested by Border Trust via their established grants program to support grass root community and not-for-profit charitable initiatives.

BCE expects to commence retailing in Albury by the second quarter of 2019. It is planned that this will be extended to include Wodonga residents under a Victorian licence by the end of 2019.

“We are inspired by the revolutionary model Enova has already created within NSW. Through their hard work they have proved local ideas and initiatives can have state-wide impacts,” said Border Community Energy spokesperson, Michael Houlihan.

Enova’s community owned energy model and its vision of communities generating, storing and sharing their own renewable energy is already proving successful in Northern NSW where the company has its headquarters.

Enova Community Energy Chairperson, Alison Crook, said the company is a social enterprise and a product of community dissatisfaction with the current fossil fuel dependant energy industry which is tied to a centralised, non-local energy supply.

“Half of our net proceeds go back into community renewable energy projects, education and energy efficiency services, plus we are developing innovative projects like microgrids and solar gardens,” Ms Crook said.

“Enova is assisting communities to generate and manage their own renewable power and in turn lower their costs. Thus, community-owned energy solutions such as in Albury-Wodonga are being established, where money stays circulating in local economies to benefit people, jobs and businesses.

“Our goal is not only to help local communities take back their own power, but to quickly help them reduce the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.”

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