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Community Energy Retailer Aims To Be Australia’s Cheapest, Help People Quit Grid

Originally published on One Step Off The Grid
by Sophie Vorrath

A NSW start-up with plans to become Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer – as well as its cheapest – is hoping to win local support for its venture ahead of a public share offer.

This-way-out-300x227Enova Energy, which was formed last year by residents from the Northern Rivers Region, aims to retail renewable electricity, while also providing advice and professional services for those who want to install solar, and/or leave the grid entirely.

It also hopes to generate decent returns for investors. To this end, the not-for-profit group behind the venture, Enova Community Ltd, said on Tuesday it had prepared a detailed prospectus for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), and would host a series of information events throughout the Northern Rivers region in coming weeks.

Not short on ambition, Enova Energy wants to offer the cheapest retail price for green electricity in Australia, pay the highest feed-in tariff for rooftop solar exported to the grid, and provide consumer-targeted advice and technical support for people who want to go off-grid completely.

However, the company has conceded it will only proceed with these plans if capital funding can be sourced from within the local community.

northern_nsw“We are very excited about the upcoming IPO and providing potential investors the opportunity to attend these events,” said Enova Community Energy Chair, Alison Crook on Tuesday.

“We want the community to to find out more, and get involved in Australia’s first community renewable energy retailer.

“Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions by retailing renewable energy by encouraging and facilitating the development of local renewable generation. We aim to be a model for other communities in developing a renewable energy future,” Crook said.

According to the Byron Echo, the company also plans to provide community benefits through direct employment and flow on jobs.

“This has already started with accountants, auditors, printers, graphic and web designers all being contracted,” Enova said in a media statement.

“Dividends will return to the community, and a constitutionally guaranteed 50 per cent of profits will flow back into projects that benefit the community,” it said.

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