Wow, what a year!! Up, down, roundabout and back again. Of one thing we can be sure: the need for conscious, engaged, sustainably-focussed communities is greater than ever.

We mentioned last time that Congress 2017 will see Aboriginal leaders from across Australia tell their story of how clean energy is empowering their communities. This time, we’re extremely excited to announce that two First Nation leaders from Canada will also be joining us.  More on that shortly.

Its well worth reading through this newsletter for:

  • The final word on early bird tickets – ending Xmas eve! Get them here.
  • The official Congress social event – ReInvest – sponsored by Future Super
  • Vic & Tas gov sponsorship for regional groups in each state
  • Updates from some of our sponsors
  • And more…

If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, a ticket to the Congress could be just the thing. And if you haven’t registered yet, make sure you take advantage of early bird tickets available until Christmas Eve – there is no more cost effective way to attend Congress 2017.

To apply for group discounts, please email here.

With just days to go before Christmas, ’tis the season to be spending quality time with family & loved ones. And therein lies the very essence of community. All of us here at Congress HQ would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful festive season, a safe holiday period and a fantastic start to 2017.

We’ll see you in Melbourne in February.

Nicky and Steve
Congress 2017 Organising Team

Canadian First Nation Leaders at Congress 2017

We are honoured to say that two First Nations Leaders from Canada will be joining us next year for the Congress!

Chief Gordon Planes & Melina Laboucan-Massimo are two incredible social justice leaders and have spearheaded renewable energy projects in their communities.  They are part of a wider movement for community owned energy projects across Canada.

You’ll hear from both Canadian and local Leaders in the Energy Justice Plenary on the first day of the Congress.  There will also be a breakout session and a range of other opportunities to meet with and listen to Chief Gordon Planes & Melina Laboucan-Massimo throughout the Congress. This is the beginning of cultural sharing and project visioning, as First Peoples across the planet come together to share and build projects that support and regenerate community and Mother Earth.

Click here for more information.

3 days left to secure Early Bird tickets!

Yes that’s right, we’ve come to that time of year already… Early bird tickets are about to end!! Get yours here.

We know we’ve said it before, but it’s true – by far the most cost effective way to attend Congress 2017 is with an early bird ticket. This can also be combined with a group discount (email here for details), a Future Super discount (more details here) and for regional Victorian and Tasmanian groups the potential for registration assistance (more information below).

Official Congress Social Event

As the sun sets on the fossil fuel era, a new renewable energy future is dawning…
To celebrate, we’re throwing a party!

Australians have embraced Divestment, now it’s time to take the next step and ReInvest in the solutions. Join Future Super and their entourage of clean energy experts from 6.30pm on Monday 27 February at Melbourne Town Hall for an evening of music, refreshments and engaging conversation. ReInvest is free, open to the public and Congress attendees alike.

As well as food, drinks and DJs, you’ll have a unique opportunity to hear enlightening presentations from leaders championing renewable energy and fossil fuel free investment. All while hanging out with hundreds of like-minded people involved in the greatest energy transition the world has ever seen!

Still need to purchase your Congress 2017 ticket? Future Super can help with a $100 discount. Click here to find out more.

Here’s just a few of the fantastic speakers you’ll hear from at ReInvest:

  • Jeremy Leggart is a former oil executive turned social entrepreneur. After becoming concerned about climate change in the late 80s, Jeremy’s career took a U turn. He became a campaigner with Greenpeace before founding SolarCentury, the UK’s biggest solar company, and SolarAid, an international charity that combats poverty and climate change.
  • Simon Corbell has spent more than 18 years as an MLA in the ACT. He has been instrumental in setting the policies that will see the ACT powered by 100% renewable energy by 2018, and is now advising the Victorian government on their renewable energy strategy.
  • Greg Barber entered public life in 2002 as the first Green Mayor and has been the Victorian Greens Leader since 2010. A long-time champion of renewable energy, Greg’s insights will let you know what’s next for renewables.
  • Alison Crook AO – Alison has a wealth of experience in the public, private, academic and not-for-profit sectors. After attending the inaugural Community Energy Congress, Alison was inspired to take action in her community. Today, Alison is the Chair of Enova Community Energy, a Northern Rivers community owned renewable energy company and social enterprise committed to local job creation and regional economic benefits.

Rego support for Tassie & regional Victorian groups

Just in case you missed it last time – Sustainability Victoria are offering registration support for regional Victorian groups keen to attend Congress 2017. They have agreed to sponsor a limited number of registrations and will endeavour to share them fairly and widely across regional Victoria, giving priority to groups that have the furthest to travel. Contact taryn@embark.com.au to show your interest and be provided with further details and a discount code. Offer ends 7 January 2017.

Now we’re super excited to announce a similar offer from the Tasmanian Government. The Tasmanian Climate Change Office will cover registration costs for a small number of Tasmanian community group attendees. Details are still being finalised but If you are interested email climatechange@dpac.tas.gov.au (assistance will be still be available if you have already paid your registration).

In both cases places are limited, so get in quick!

Funds still an issue?
If fundraising is presenting a problem, please consult our Congress Fundraising Guide for some handy tips. And don’t forget early bird tickets are available until Christmas eve and group discounts apply until 31 Jan 2017. Further discounts on registration can be obtained with the Future Super offer. And if it’s still proving a problem, email us!

Remember the most important thing to make the Community Energy Congress a success is you and your community coming and participating. SO REGISTER NOW!

Our great sponsors are supporting the Congress for a reason – find out why!

At Powershop we think we can help play a role in the future of community energy in Australia and that’s why over a month ago we launched Your Community Energy, a new initiative that lets our customers shop for power and support community energy projects at the same time.

Thanks to our generous customers we are stoked to share that we have already smashed our target of $20,000, which will go to our first two project partners, CERES Community Environment Park and their solar installation project and Hepburn Wind’s Daylesford Lake micro-hydro project. We are now searching for our next community energy projects, if you know of one that needs a cash injection send us an email. Be sure to keep your eyes on the Your Community Energy webpage to see the running tally of how much money has been raised and what projects we will support next.

Like you, Energy Locals want to see energy made cleaner, fairer and cheaper. Well there’s now a new social enterprise that shares those same aims, and they’re providing an ‘energy retailer as a service’ to support local organisations to actively make energy better. They have a retail licence and have just launched in NSW and Queensland, and most of their profits are given to community organisations like yours and to new local renewable energy projects. They’ve got a great Feed in Tariff (11 cents including GST), provide carbon offsets for all customers and proudly offer Australia’s only promise to never increase energy prices for profit. There’s also a special offer for Congress attendees that means you get get up to $15,000 towards your community energy project.  For more information see here.

Bank Australia is Australia’s first 100% customer owned bank. Customers have been banking with us since 1957 and today nearly 130,000 people and community sector organisations choose to bank with us. Our customers have told us that they want us to encourage growth in renewable energy, so we’re excited to support the Community Energy Congress 2017.

At Solar Citizens our mission is to make sure our sunburnt country takes advantage of all that solar energy. That’s why we’re partnering with the Coalition for Community Energy to bring you the Community Energy Congress. If you have solar, want solar or just plain love solar, head over to our website and become a Solar Citizen today – it’s completely free and you’ll be helping to protect the rights of solar owners and grow the solar revolution in Australia.

Stay informed.

Join our mailing list and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the congress as it approaches.