First Community-Owned Renewable Energy Retailer To Open in Byron Bay

Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer, Enova, is about to open its doors in Northern New South Wales after raising $3.8 million from 1,090 investors.


“Enova’s retail licence was dependent upon reaching a minimum subscription level of 3 million but by December 15 they had reached $3.2 million.

Seventy-five per cent of the voting shares are held on the NSW north coast, but chair Alison Crook said the company had attracted investors from every state and territory in Australia.

The first community-owned renewable energy retailer will begin by buying renewable energy from the grid to sell to customers but hopes to increasingly buy from local renewable energy generators.

“What we hope to be doing is facilitating the development of community-scale renewable generation,” she said.

“Some of that will be on the north coast, some will be close by, some will be further away.

“We’ll be assisting and purchasing from renewable energy providers and helping them to get off the ground.”

Enova’s aim is to build an energy-conscious community in the Northern Rivers that shares common goals of:

  • maximising energy efficiency
  • meeting our own energy needs
  • fostering the take up of new clean technologies and grid-enabled community benefits and
  • reducing the regions’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Ms Crook said the anti-coal seam gas movement, particularly the Bentley blockade, had inspired herself and the other three co-founders to turn the idea for Enova into action in 2014 by the lack of political leadership on environmental issues.

“This may have happened without the anti-coal seam gas movement, but certainly it gave an impetus because it showed that different groups in the community were aware of the need to protect water and food supplies above all else,” Ms Crook said.

“Bentley showed that if the people came together they could stand up and protect the environment, but what’s been happening progressively is that people are realising if we are going to do anything in the environment we can’t wait for political leaders.

While this is an exciting development for the Northern Rivers region, here at SAE Group we envisage it won’t be long before this idea starts taking off in other regions. If you want to take control of your energy consumption and costs or simply want to know what solar panel system would meet your individual needs, click on the blue button below. One of our experienced team will be happy to answer all your solar questions!


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