CoPower is a not-for-profit household electricity provider. One year ago, multinational oil and gas company Shell announced they were buying out Powershop. The news of the fossil fuel behemoth taking over the “green” energy provider shook many energy users into action. Households took a stand against this climate-wrecking corporation with a dubious human rights record and the corporate model which allowed it to happen.
Hundreds of households saw the opportunity that a not-for-profit cooperative offered and switched their electricity to CoPower. Together this movement has been building a new commons to ensure our electricity system works for people and our precious planet.
The last 12 months has been massive for CoPower. Together we have:
- Grown the cooperative by nearly 4,000 household customer members.
- Collaborated to determine our priorities and run a democratic budget process to determine how our funds are spent, with almost 1,000 households participating.
- Allocated $100,000 to support climate justice projects including projects such as Our Islands, Our Home, the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor and supporting Filipino workers to mobilise for climate justice demands.
- Been rated in the top 5 in GreenPeace’s Green Electricity Guide.
- Got a 4.9 customer rating on Google.
- In an energy market in crisis, with retailers pulling out and fossil fuel corporations making super profits, we’ve survived and continued to provide affordable electricity.
- Enacted a marketing strategy that directs funds towards independent and community-owned media.
- We’re investing $7,250 into socially and community-owned renewables.
- We’re a founding funder of Australia’s first cooperative development fund called The Bunya Fund.
- We’ve built-in member discounts with other Earthworker cooperatives that go towards energy efficiency and electrification for our customer members. Helping to bring down fossil fuel use and build a democratic economy at the same time.
- We signed a new retail partnership agreement with Energy Locals which enshrines trade union rights for workers, establishes a yearly meeting with representatives from the climate justice movement to review environmental standards and includes a twice-yearly meeting with a household customer member digital advisory committee.
Looking ahead to next year we face many challenges. The impacts of the climate crisis continue to shape our daily lives with extreme flooding continuing to threaten many communities across the country. While world leaders have gathered at COP 27 in Egypt, fossil fuel use globally continues to increase and current pledges have the planet set to overshoot the 1.5 degrees Celsius “safe” target by far. The cost-of-living crisis continues to skyrocket. Fossil fuel corporations are extracting mega profits from households while paying little to no tax. Policy makers continue to subscribe to austerity as the solution, which hurts workers and is felt most by the vulnerable.
There has never been a more important time to build a future that works for people and the planet. Households are joining together and switching their electricity to CoPower to build a new commons.
Household members are getting active and shaping our actions, from building urban biodiversity corridors, standing in solidarity with Torres Strait Islanders demanding justice among rising sea levels or supporting community-owned renewable energy. Make the switch to CoPower here.