Picture it now: your local politician announcing a regional energy hub for your area, funded to the tune of a $1million. A small team of staff (perhaps you or your colleagues, even), on hand to provide advice and support. Start up funding to help new community energy projects get off the ground. A network to link you in with others across the nation. Perhaps a shop front.
This is the vision outlined in Smart Energy Communities: a bold campaign to turbo-charge community renewables and other local energy initiatives across Australia. And this is what we want to win from states, territories and the Federal Government.
Keen to know more about how the Smart Energy Communities program would work, check out:
- An excerpt of the Homegrown Power Plan where the program was first conceived (under the banner of Community Powerhouses)
- The latest NSW Smart Energy Communities Briefers - one pager, political briefing, detailed policy briefing.
Winning in NSW
Last year many of you were involved in the Smart Energy Communities campaign leading up to the Federal Election, when the Federal ALP committed $98.7m to the Smart Energy Communities program. We now have a huge opportunity to make sure community power gets the support and funding it needs to really take off in NSW.
The NSW Government will sign off on its plan to tackle climate change within weeks. The Climate Fund Plan will decided how $1.3b is spent. Community energy must get its share of the pie. We’re calling on the NSW Government to commit to funding the Smart Energy Community Program.
Last year community energy groups across NSW made submissions to the NSW Climate Fund, sending a clear message about the support communities wanted from government. We want to make sure the Government acts on these submissions and delivers for the communities remaking the energy sector all over NSW.
We’ve already had a significant win this year in Victoria with the creation of three pilot Community Power Hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley. We can make sure NSW is next but we need your help ASAP.
NSW Government Champions for Community Energy
We know there are members of the NSW Cabinet who are enthusiastic supporters of community energy. Now is the time to make sure they take this support to Cabinet. Here’s what a few senior Government MPs have to say on the subject:
“We share your passion for community energy... Community energy is really exciting... it shares the benefits of renewables on a local scale... building community support for renewable energy and democratising our energy system”
Rob Stokes MP, Education Minister
“If I can do only one thing – it is to have a genuine peer-to-peer energy scheme operating in this state. I say that because it just makes sense. I mean, duh. This is a way to get the second wave of community interest in PV solar and other renewables happening.”
Adam Marshall MP, Tourism Minister
“I’d like to congratulate the community energy sector on its tremendous development over the past few years, know that you have a friend in the NSW Government”
Ben Franklin MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy
Community energy has been building huge momentum in NSW as more and more people recognise that it “just makes sense”. Now it’s time for the NSW Government to take the next step and commit to unlocking the enormous potential of the community power sector.
For more information about the Smart Energy Communities Campaign please contact Lachlan Rule on Lachlan@cpagency.org.au.