Enova celebrates third birthday
ENOVA Community Energy celebrated three years in operation as Australia's first community-owned electricity company last week.
CEO Felicity Stening thanked Byron Bay and other Northern Rivers residents who pushed for a local energy company that is a social enterprise - acting on climate change while giving back to local communities.
"It was the enthusiasm, the vision and support of the people of the Northern Rivers that led to the creation of Enova,” Ms Stening said.
"What we're doing has never been done before.”
"We have actually pioneered a new way of doing energy, right here in the Northern Rivers: energy that is local and renewable, that keeps money and jobs in the region and returns profits to the community in a beneficial cycle.
"It's a wonderful example of the power that even small communities have, to make real change.”
Enova sources most of its power from renewable local sources such as rooftop solar.
As well as championing renewables, Enova is inspiring and helping communities to become energy self-sufficient (through projects such as microgrids), which in turn helps keep millions of dollars in local economies.
Enova will also return 50% of its profits (after tax and reinvestment) to community projects that help all residents, regardless of income, to get affordable renewable energy, along with education on energy efficiency to save money.
Some of the projects it has completed include facilitating solar panels for low income homes in conjunction with North Coast Community Housing, along with home energy audits to help people reduce their energy consumption.
Headquartered in Byron Bay, Enova switched on its first customer on May 31, 2016.
Three years on, it continues to strike a chord with a new generation of people keen to help the planet and their community. It now has more than 1600 shareholders, an impressive customer base and has created more than 20 jobs in the Northern Rivers as well as flow-on economic benefits to many local suppliers.
"Building communities and combating climate change at the local level are central goals,” Ms Stening said.