Why does the Valley & Plains Community Energy Co-operative exist?
Well, energy has been in the news a lot lately. In the last three years, electricity prices have more than doubled. Obviously this makes running any organisation more challenging. In addition, we just have to walk outside to see that the environmental impacts of our continued fossil fuel use are becoming clear.
The question that we have been wrestling with, is how do we ensure that community organisations and small to medium businesses, particularly in our region, which is the Barossa, Adelaide Plains and Gawler area, are able to put more of their available resources into serving their community while they reduce their impact on the environment? How can these organisations access capital and the know-how they need to install solar panels, battery storage or other energy efficiency measures?
We think we have the solution!
We are in the process of forming a cooperative where the equity raised from members’ contributions will allow solar panels to be installed on the roofs of our local organisations. The organisations will benefit from lower electricity prices and eventual ownership of the solar panels, while the members will receive modest returns on their investment.
This is really a win-win-win solution. Community organisations can instead use their money in direct services to the community, local businesses can continue to thrive, the local community gets to directly contribute to this and of course we all benefit from lower carbon emissions.
If you are a local community member who is concerned about the social and economic well-being of the broader Barossa and Adelaide Plains region and the environment in general, we need you to help contribute to solving this problem.
There are a few ways you can do this…
- We would love to have you involved in our pre-formation group in whatever capacity you can, especially if you have skills in commerce, legal, marketing or design (or a heap of money!) but what’s most important is a passion for our region and our future.
- Join our mailing list so as soon as we open memberships, you will get notified.
- Get in touch with us if you know of any community organisations or small businesses that might be a good project site.