Peoples’ renewable retailer in search of local investors

People's renewable retailer in search of local investors
Nova Community founding partners L-R CEO Steve Harris, chair Alison Crook, marketing manager Melissa Mac Court and technology manager Patrick Halliday

Enova Community Energy was looking for local investors in September as part of its plan to become Australia’s first community-owned energy retail and installation business.

The company, based in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, released a prospectus and was holding community meetings across the region to explain its business model to the people they want to become both its customers and owners.

Enova is looking to raise between $3-4 million in total, by issuing shares worth $1000 each.

More than half of Enova’s shareholders need to be Northern Rivers locals, chairwoman Allison Crook said.

“We want the local community to have control over their local power supply,” she said, as reported by The Northern Star, adding local ownership will ensure money stays in the local economy.

Ms Crook said about $80 million a year left the region when people paid their power bills, but a locally owned and operated company could help change that trend. The company will specialise in supplying and installing solar energy, and will also be focused on helping grow small to mediumsized renewable energy generators.

There has been strong community interest and enthusiasm at meetings, but Ms Crook said it was too early to judge the reaction to the venture.

Enova’s five-year goal is to partner with social welfare groups to tackle what Ms Crook says is energy poverty – a growing concern in the region. The start-up is headed by former leading executives, with chief executive Steve Harris coming from Origin Energy.