We’re inside the final month, and the excitement is palpable – the biggest Community Energy Congress this country has ever seen is right around the corner!

If you haven’t already, REGISTER NOW!

It’s been a wonderful few weeks with Congress 2017 featuring prominently across numerous media outlets around the country. More on that below. On the home front, we’ll be releasing newsletters every week in the leadup to the Congress with special announcements, handy hints, final tips and more. We’ll also be communicating directly with attendees via email, so watch your inboxes for the ultimate juice on Congress 2017!

In this newsletter we cover:

  • Community energy in the media
  • Speaker profiles – Sharyn Hunnisett, Jo Kaptein & Amanda Cahill
  • Volunteering
  • Breakout profile – Energy Justice
  • C4CE member profile – ISF
  • SA Govt sponsorship – ends today, so APPLY NOW!
  • City of Melbourne – Powering Up
  • And more…

Looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne in February!

Nicky and Steve
Congress 2017 Organising Team

Community Energy in the media 

There have been some great news stories about community energy in the last month or so and we thought we’d share them with you. Check out this great ABC News segment about Clearsky Solar Investments – one of Australia’s most successful community energy groups.

Our own Nicky Ison penned an Op Ed for Fairfax regional papers last week on the Community Energy Congress and the inevitable transition to clean energy. There are also longer pieces on community energy in this month’s edition of Renew Magazine and EcoGeneration.

Look out for more media stories in the lead up to the Congress. If you’d like to help put community energy and the Congress on the map, think about contacting your local radio station or paper. Contact Nicky if you’d like some help with talking points or tips.

Volunteering at Congress 2017

Keen to attend Congress 2017 on a budget? Or just love helping out behind the scenes..? We’d like to extend the opportunity to join our team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers! Thank you to those who have already expressed an interest, we’re looking for just a few more volunteers to make the event run like clockwork – we couldn’t do it without you!

It’s true, we value our volunteers extremely highly. It is our intention that volunteering at Congress 2017 should be a truly rewarding experience, one that provides a unique opportunity for professional networking, learning and great satisfaction. If you’re keen to join our team of enthusiatic volunteers, we’d love to have you. Please email Steve for more information and to register your interest.

Meet some more of our esteemed presenters…

Continuing with our series profiling more of the 2017 Congress presenters, we look this week at three well respected women who will be bringing their expertise to Melbourne Town Hall later this month.

Sharyn Hunnisett has been responsible for successfully formulating and delivering Lismore City Council’s Climate Change and Sustainability programs since 2002. Sharyn is currently leading the implementation of the councils 2023 Renewable Energy Master Plan which incorporates Lismore Community Solar – an innovative Council/Community Energy project. Sharyn will speak as part of the Main-stream: Stories of Success breakout session in the Main Hall on Day 1.

Jo Kaptein is Project Officer at the Hub Foundation, a not-for- profit set up in 2014 to help reduce CO2 emissions. The Hub Foundation’s largest initiative is the campaign for More Australian Solar Homes (MASH) which has installed over 650 solar rooftops in Central Victoria in just over 2 years. Jo has been involved in the MASH bulk-buy since it started and co-ordinates all aspects of the program including supplier and product selection, partnerships, pricing, community engagement and marketing.  Jo is also speaking in the Stories of Success session and is looking forward to the opportunity to sharing the lessons learned from MASH with other community groups as well as learning from the experiences of others.

Amanda Cahill has spent the last two decades supporting the emergence of more resilient, socially just and ecologically sustainable local economies across the Asia-Pacific region. As CEO of The Next Economy, she applies participatory and strengths-based approaches to research, plan and implement diverse economic activities that not only support increased employment and investment opportunities, but also move us closer to achieving a zero emissions economy.

This work ranges from assisting the Byron Shire achieve zero emissions within ten years to working with coal and gas affected communities to identify economic opportunities beyond fossil fuels. Amanda joins the Energy Justice: Community energy and fossil fuel affected communities breakout session in the Yarra Room on Day 1.

Organiser Profile – ISF

So many people and organisations are playing a role in organising the Congress, but a few are going above and beyond. To thank them we’re going to profile these great organisations. So read on to find out more about the Institute for Sustainable Futures…

ISF was established in 1996 with the mission to create change towards sustainable futures. ISF undertakes targeted contract research with industry, government and community that aims to increase ambition and accelerate the delivery of an energy system that is clean, affordable and accessible to all.

This is achieved by creating open source data and decision-making tools to empower new energy market participants – such as community energy groups, and undertake modelling, strategy, and policy/regulatory analysis to aid the transition to more efficient, distributed and democratic models of energy infrastructure.

ISF projects include the National Community Energy Strategy, enabling Local Network Charges and Local Electricity Trading, and numerous Council clean energy strategies. ISF is proud to be a founding member of C4CE and sits on the Steering Group.  ISF has been coordinating Candace Valhsing’s visit as well as two of the Congress breakout sessions.

City of Melbourne – Powering Up 

Across Victoria people are getting together to take renewable energy into their own hands. As part of the Sustainable Living Festival 2017, the City of Melbourne will be hosting three free public information sessions to generate momentum towards community energy in Melbourne.

Come along to discover the latest on community-led renewable power from experts including our very own Nicky Ison, connect with like-minded people, and learn about the 2-day Community Energy Congress that will conclude this year’s SLF.

Powering Up – Boyd Community Hub, Southbank
Thursday 9th February
6:30pm – 7:30pm
Register Here

Powering Up – Kathleen Syme Community CentreCarlton
Sunday 12th February
10:30am – 11:30am
Register Here

Powering Up – Library at The DockDocklands
Tuesday 14th February
6:30pm – 7:30pm
Register Here

Book your place at Congress 2017 HERE.

SA sponsorship – ENDS TODAY!

The Conservation Council SA is partnering with the Government of South Australia to support 10 community members to attend the Community Energy Congress. For your chance to be selected as a participant, please email a short summary explaining what you hope to gain for your organisation by attending to Heather Smith by 2 February 2017, at heather@changingweather.com.au.