The ‘Your Community Energy’ initiative has put the power in the hands of Powershop customers, who collectively contribute to funding renewable energy projects.
The way it works is that customers can voluntarily contribute to Your Community Energy, through paying a small premium when they pay for their power. The premium is then pooled and provided to selected not-for-profit groups for small scale renewable energy projects that benefit the community.
So far, over 10,000 Powershop customers have contributed to raising nearly $300,000 which has funded 15 projects across Victoria and NSW. Projects include the installation of a 10kW solar panel system at Moyola Lodge Aged Care Facility, which offsets around 12,000 kWh of electricity each year, saving about $2,000 per year in power costs. Moyola Lodge Aged Care Facility has used the savings for various projects and engagement programs while reducing their impact on the planet.
Powershop and Meridian Energy Australia's Head of Marketing Catherine Anderson, said she was surprised by the incredible response to the initiative.
“We came up with the idea 12 months ago and launched it to our customers with one email. We hoped to raise $20,000. Since then it has taken off and we’ve raised nearly $300,000.” she said.
“This is a way to allow our customers to have an impact at a community level. So if there is a household in South Yarra who has no connection to regional community groups, but wants to help be part of the solution of a cleaner energy future, they are able to straight from their smartphone.
“It’s really about us using our expertise and our networks. All the credit has to go to our customers. It is our customers who are making a difference.”
Through Your Community Energy, Powershop works with not-for-profit organisations who otherwise could not afford renewable energy.
“We help not-for-profit groups with a real community focus who don’t have access to corporate or government funding. This is a key way we can help them to reduce their environmental footprint.
“They are all are looking for ways to save money, future-proof themselves and have a positive influence on their community,” Anderson said.
Powershop is a founding partner of TAKE2. They are the Australia’s first and only 100 per cent carbon neutral electricity retailer and only invest in renewable energy.
Recent social research by Sustainability Victoria revealed that 91 per cent of Victorians believe climate change is in some way caused by humans and 80 percent are willing to act on climate change. More than 84 per cent said they are currently doing things to reduce energy use, with 64 percent believe that there is more they can do. 84 percent support the Victorian government’s renewable energy targets and 73 percent said they’d prefer to buy goods and services from businesses who show they care about climate change.
Powershop’s new ‘Your Community Energy’ initiative is testament to the community’s willingness to get involved and take action on Climate Change.
“The way energy is generated, how it travels to our homes and how we pay for it, is going to change dramatically in our lifetime,” Anderson said.
“Initiatives like this will help community organisations on that journey and we’re proud to be a part of that."
To find out more visit Your Community Energy.