Care of our friends over at Coalition For Community Energy
The community energy sector’s progress will be influenced by the outcome of the 2019 Federal Election. This is a time when all candidates are listening, creating an excellent opportunity to promote the benefits of community energy and ask for support from your Government. Feel free to share this newsletter around and encourage all your friends to talk about our energy transition with their candidates.
The benefits of community energy
The community energy sector is growing in Australia because communities want an electricity system that works for them. They want a speedy transition to renewable energy and they want better outcomes for the whole community. Community energy is a common feature of energy systems internationally. Since 2010 Australian community energy groups have been experimenting with different models to bring ownership of energy systems into community hands, to speed up the use of local renewable resources and to share the benefits more widely. Community energy can support local economies, build social capital, reduce electricity bills, reduce emissions and improve the resilience of our energy systems and the communities that rely on them.
What we can expect from different parties
- The Liberal Party is promising a focus on lower power bills and a climate solutions fund targeted at farmers, small businesses and indigenous communities. It also hopes to help households and business with energy efficiency.
- The Labor Party has a neighbourhood renewables program and support for solar, batteries, electric vehicles, bioenergy and grid modernisation.
- The Greens support a public renewable energy retailer, public and active transport, an electric vehicle revolution and a just transition for fossil fuel workers.
- The Nationals want to meet the challenges of climate change, including a community environment fund and a commitment to regional infrastructure.
- Don’t forget the independents. Some have already been heavily involved in community energy, like Adam Blakester and the outgoing member for Indi. Many are open minded as they learn about issues and opportunities.
Questions to ask of candidates
- What do you need to know about community energy?
- Do you agree with the aims of more renewable energy, faster transition, community benefits and energy system models to support a better, fairer system?
- How will you make sure that high level commitments translate into support for our local community energy initiatives?
- How will you support our community energy sector at a national level?
- What is one thing you will do to improve the understanding of community energy within your party and the government?