Steven Harris, CEO Enova energy, in Byron Bay. Provides solar panel to enable the community to go 100 % solar and to sell the excess renewable energy they produce back to the community.  Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / Northern Star
Steven Harris, CEO Enova energy, in Byron Bay. Provides solar panel to enable the community to go 100 % solar and to sell the excess renewable energy they produce back to the community. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Enova powering up the Northern Rivers

LOCAL power distributor Enova Energy is making final preparations before taking on customers in late May and plans to pay a feed-in-solar tariff of 10 cents per kilowatt hour.

In the four months since Australia's first community-owned energy distributor raised $3 million from shareholders it has opened an office in Byron Bay, and is employing 19 local people including service providers.

The company is in the process of testing its systems that will enable it to start supplying customers, Enova chair Alison Crooks said.

Shareholders will be contacted in the next weeks, and should be able to start migrating across from their existing energy suppliers to Enova Energy by late May, she said.

Enova will be supplying fully accredited green power and will also be sourcing its own renewable energy suppliers.

This will include people who already have solar systems on their homes and those that want to get systems put on, she said.

Households not part of the existing 60 cents feed-in-tariff regime can expect to get 10 cents per kWh from Enova.

This compares favourably with rates offered by other NSW energy retailers.

Click energy also offers 10c, but AGL and Diamond Energy offer 8c, ahead of Powerdirect (7.7c), Origin energy (6c), Lumo Energy (5.5c), Energy Australia (5.1c) and Red Energy (5c).

Enova will also source power from other small to medium-sized generators both in and outside the local area.

"The prices we pay for power will help get these projects get off the ground," she said.

COREM in Mullumbimby has raised money to install a 10 kWh solar system on the local Drill Hall.

This system will be among the first to deliver power to Enova Energy, Ms Crooks said.

Enova is also recruiting and training volunteers within its Not-For-Profit operation.

The volunteers will carry out a range of educational activities aimed at assisting people in the region to save energy and to reduce their carbon emissions, she said.



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