Fledgling northern rivers community electricity company Enova has said it is ready to open its books to shareholders and is set to conduct a series of information events around the region in coming months.
Announcing the events, the company’s chairperson, Alison Crook, said: ‘We are very excited about the upcoming IPO (initial public offering) and providing potential investors the opportunity to attend these events’.
‘We want the community to find out more, and get involved in Australia’s first community renewable energy retailer. Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions by retailing renewable energy and by encouraging and facilitating the development of local renewable generation, ‘ she said.
‘We [also] aim to be a model for other communities in developing a renewable energy future,’ said Ms Crook, who has served on some 17 boards in both private and public sectors and has been named Australian Business Woman of the Year
The company has said it will only proceed if capital funding can be sourced from within the local community.
Enova, which launched as Northern Rivers Energy last year, says it plans to offer the cheapest green energy of any retailer in the country and pay the highest feed-in tariff for rooftop solar.
It will also provide advice and technical expertise for people who want to go off-grid completely.
But the company faces some stiff competition from another green energy provider that has been making inroads in the northern rivers energy market in recent months.
Powershop has been heavily promoted in the region, through TV advertising as well as direct mail marketing via armchair activist group GetUp and one-man anti-CSG campaigner Dayne ‘Frackman’ Pratzky.
Nevertheless, Enova, which boasts some corporate heavy hitters on its board, ‘with a genuine passion for the environment and community’, is upbeat about the company’s prospects.
Emerging from initial discussions in the North Coast Energy Forum about energy options, followed by attendance at the community energy conference in Canberra in July 2014, Enova’s founders obtained an Office of Environment and Heritage grant to carry out a feasibility study.
It has since been building up the team that it says will ‘lead this momentous change’.
The company also says it will ‘provide community benefits through direct employment and flow on jobs in many areas of the community’.
‘This has already started with accountants, auditors, printers, graphic and web designers all being contracted,’ it said in a media statement.
‘Dividends will return to the community, and a constitutionally guaranteed 50 per cent of profits will flow back into projects that benefit the community,’ the company says.