Enova needs more shareholders for launch
AUSTRALIA'S first community-owned retailer, Enova Energy, has less than a week to meet its target of $3 million in order to launch.
Enova's goal is to provide the Northern Rivers with locally-generated renewable energy.
The business will create up to 40 direct jobs and $80 million per year invested back into the local economy.
Shareholder and supporter Paul Jameson, a member of the Sourdough Group which supports sustainable business development projects in the region, urged people to back the project.
"One of our projects at the Sourdough Group is business pathways, which is all about job creation," Mr Jameson said.
"We want our dollar to be working locally, and it is imperative we actually build a local economy.
"Rather than our purchasing dollars going outside the area, we want to reverse it where we are bringing in money from outside the region from our own exports.
"Enova will produce about 30-40 direct jobs and potentially $80 million of revenue that presently goes to electricity retailers outside the area. The multiplier in that in terms of jobs is enormous.
"I think the other side is climate change (and it) is a compelling problem ... (and) I think they are really going to make a difference and accelerate the amount of renewable energy that we produce."
As an Australian-first, the initiative could also lead to a revolutionary approach to electricity retailing.
Mr Jameson said it was the next step in the "buy local" revolution, much like visiting a farmers' market for food.
"The difference with Enova is that we will own Enova. It'll be our company, it will belong to the people, it will be a community affair," he said.
Enova CEO Steve Harris, formerly of Origin Energy, said the company would earmark funds to help lower income groups to enter the energy supply cycle.
"Enova will generate big economic, social and environmental benefits," Mr Harris said. "It doesn't matter which way you look at it, there's no downside."
Mr Harris said the project could put the Northern Rivers "at the forefront of the energy revolution and show the rest of Australia how they too can take the power back into their own hands".