Energy Forever

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'Energy Forever’ is a Port Macquarie - Hastings community-owned solar power and sustainability grants program. We use solar power to generate funds for local community driven projects.

How it works

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Energy Forever in detail

  1. Energy Forever raises funds through donations and business sponsorships for the purchase of multiple 10 to 25kW solar power systems.
  2. Quotations are sought for installation and maintenance of the solar power systems from reputable, accredited companies with offices in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area. This is to promote local employment and ensure prompt service if required. To avoid conflict of interest, the preferred company is selected by a sub-committee of Energy Forever Inc. which does not include individuals employed in the solar power industry.
  3. The systems are installed across multiple host sites in the region. Each system is matched to the host site's electricity requirements to ensure that most of the solar electricity generated is used on-site. The first system will be installed on St Agnes Early Education Centre, and we are currently finalising the agreement with them. We are also looking for additional host sites.
  4. The host site pays Energy Forever for the electricity that is generated by the solar power system, at a modestly reduced rate to their regular electricity provider. This is done under a Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA.
  5. The money paid by the host site for the solar power goes directly to an ongoing grants fund, which provides annual grants to eligible projects in the region which improve social, economic and environmental sustainability (some of the funds are set aside for administrative costs such as insurance, solar power system maintenance, and web hosting). The grants program is administered by Energy Forever, and is modelled on other government grants programs to ensure accountability and ethical rigour. Members of Energy Forever Inc. are ineligible to receive grants.

Local organisations will be able to apply for grants for projects which meet these criteria. Some examples of the types of project which might apply for a grant include, but aren’t limited to:

  • energy efficient lighting for sports and social clubs
  • locally grown food initiatives
  • training low income householders in energy efficiency
  • tools for a community bike repair / furniture recycling workshop / Men's Shed
  • improved recycling collection facilities and education
  • solar power for a local charity organisation

We're looking forward to seeing what other ideas come forward!

So why give to Energy Forever instead of directly to a community project?

The exact rate of return on each solar power system will vary depending on the host site's electricity use, but will pay for itself within 5 years. However, the host sites' payments to Energy Forever for the solar electricity will continue for 15 years. This means that the initial donations which are invested in the solar power systems are effectively tripled, providing three times the benefits for sustainable projects. Plus, the host sites are switching from conventional electricity to clean renewable power, and saving some money at the same time. Win, win, win!

Sponsor a panel

You can be a part of this innovative project by sponsoring a panel. There are two ways – we prefer direct debit because there are no fees to us (just remember to put your name in the transaction reference field). But we understand that credit card donations are a lot more convenient, so we've given you that option too.

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Join our mailing list

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Sustainable Grants Program

The Energy Forever Sustainable Grants Program is based on similar grants programs run by local council. The grant guidelines are currently being developed, and will be uploaded here shortly. Local organisations will be able to apply for grants for projects which meet these criteria. Some examples of the types of project which might apply for a grant include, but aren’t limited to:

    • energy efficient lighting for sports and social clubs
    • locally grown food initiatives
    • training low income householders in energy efficiency
    • tools for a community bike repair / furniture recycling workshop / Men's Shed
    • improved recycling collection facilities and education
    • solar power for a local charity organisation

We're looking forward to seeing what other ideas come forward!

Download the Energy Forever Sustainability Grants Program Draft Guidelines here

Where we're at right now

We are in the final stages of the feasibility study for Energy Forever and now, we are pleased to announce we have secured an energy partner for our first installation of a 20kW solar power system. This first system will be located at St Agnes Early Education Centre, and generate approximately $80,000 in funding to support sustainability within our community over the next 15 years.

Our timeline for positive change:

        1. Feasibility Study to Assess Project Viability (ends June 30)
        2. Secure our first ‘solar site’ (done)
        3. Finalise the host site agreement (in progress)
        4. Fundraising for our first installation (in progress)

Become a member of Energy Forever

You can be a part of this exciting new project! We need volunteers to help promote renewable energy in the community, locate suitable host sites, and raise funds.

Membership of the Energy Forever Association is free, simply fill in your details on the application form below. Please note that that individuals who are members of the association will not be eligible to receive a sustainability grant from Energy Forever.





Name*

Email*

Phone*

Postcode

Download the Energy Forever Constitution May 2016 here

Become a host site

If your organisation would like to host an Energy Forever solar power system, we'd love to hear from you. We're looking for a building that:

        • is located in the Port Macquarie Hastings Shire
        • has available roof space that doesn't get much shade
        • uses over 60kWh/day of electricity (usually this means you have multiple rooms that are air-conditioned, or have large refrigeration units)
        • is on an electricity tariff of 24c/kWh or more
        • you own, or have a long-term rental agreement for.

If you think you fit the bill but aren't sure, please get in touch anyway – we can check your electricity bill for you and take it from there!

Our team

The Energy Forever project was initiated by the Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network, with funding for the feasibility study from the Office of Environment and Heritage's Building Community Energy program.

The Energy Forever Inc. committee:

Chair: Stephen Lockhart
Co-ordinator: Anne Wilson
Treasurer: Angela Frimberger
Public Officer: Shannon Larkin
Committee member: Alicia Bales
Committee member: Stuart Watson
Committee member: Harry Creamer

Our Wonderful Sponsors

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Stekor Pty Ltd

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