20.9 C
Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Take back your power

Latest News

Forum to address housing emergency, March 8

A grassroots movement is bringing women, community and art together on International Women’s Day (March 8) in an urgent push to solve the local housing emergency. 

Other News

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Coal scuttle

Alan Veacock, Cumbalum After some serious arm-twisting from the rest of the sane world, led by Joe Biden, the ‘marketing...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep...

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

sunflower-powerWe all know the world needs to change. The old models just aren’t working anymore. Human beings are becoming tired of being referred to as consumers. Consumers are tired of being forced to be complicit to the ethics of corporations they find morally bankrupt in exchange for the basic provision of goods or services.

We know about climate change. We know about peak oil. We know about the impacts of fracking. We know about the challenges of safe storage of the byproducts of nuclear energy. We know our planet is heating. We know that government and corporations have to make structural, philosophical and real changes to the way they do business.

We know that we have to make changes. On the one hand we are told that we as individuals can make a difference. We can recycle, we can eat organic and locally grown, we can cut out plastic, we can walk rather than drive, we can build our houses so we don’t need heating or cooling.

Others tell us that unless the change comes from the top, it’s pointless. And while the models may be unsustainable, they are still profitable, so why would any self-respecting capitalist invest in a long-term strategy? The messaging is confusing because there is just so much of it and, in the end, everyone is right. Change has to come from the top, but it also has to come from the bottom. So what can we do that’s different?

Right now in the northern rivers we have a unique opportunity to take back our power. Literally. Just a few weeks back COREM (Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby) launched their initiative to create community-owned renewable energy – with a vision to making the biggest little town completely self-sufficient.

This is an exciting project, made even more exciting by the emergence of social enterprise ENOVA Energy – a new community-owned renewable-energy company. ENOVA is Australia’s first licensed community-owned retailer. By investing in our company either as shareholders or by switching providers, we could be creating our own energy and feeding back into our own community-owned company! That’s a company with the interests of our community at heart – guaranteeing up to 50 per cent of net profit back into community projects.

Our community-owned energy company won’t be investing in fracking or coal or oil. It’s about moving towards renewables. When ENOVA is fully operational it will become a model for other communities. Imagine if, all over the country, community-owned companies committed to renewables and community re-investment started popping up in place of the large top heavy corporations with no commitment to anyone but their shareholders! Millions of dollars that leave regional areas like ours would be kept in circulation here.

Community-owned suppliers like ENOVA are part of a systematic change towards decentralisation, destabilising corporations used to market domination. In the same way farmers markets have taught us about the importance of localising our food supply, the same has to happen with our energy. It’s part of the Big Change that can only be enacted by Little People. We just need lots of them!

ENOVA are on target to meet the capitalisation process and have $1.75 million already on the way to the $3 million required by November 27. To find out how to invest in your own community company go to enovaenergy.com.au and check out the investor’s page. Personally I can’t wait to tell my supplier that I’m changing companies to something ‘that prioritises renewables and belongs to my community’. Maybe this ‘People Power’ thing is more literal than we thought?!


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great article Mandy. I couldn’t agree more. Enova is the most exciting and game changing initiative to secure community owned renewable energy for our region. It is the way to go and I couldn’t wait to become a shareholder.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?

Lifting the lid on plans to build a retirement village in Ewingsdale

The letter sent to the residents of Ewingsdale last year by holiday park owner Ingenia seemed fairly innocuous at first glance...

Byron’s new road: the good and not so

After more than 30 years of talk, debate, disagreements, tears and political gridlock, Byron Bay has a new road to divert traffic from the CBD to the southern end of town.

Interview with Janet Swain

Janet Swain is 14. She’s in love with the tragic and brilliant cellist Jacquleine DuPré. But one day her mother arrives home with a bassoon.