Bruce Hydon (EICoOp Treasurer), Delyse Graham (Bass Coast Community Foundation (BCCF) director), Steve Harrop (Pres. Friends of State Coal Mine, Peter Wonfor (Deputy Chair, Director EICo-op, John Coulter (Director EICo-op, Moragh Mackay(Chair EICo-op, David Wall (EO BCCF), Pamela Rothfield (Mayor Bass Coast Shire) at the State Coal Mine, announcing the grant in June 2017
In 2008, after researching sustainability-focussed co-operatives in the UK and Europe, Moragh McKay from Bass (Bass Coast Shire) initiated community discussions around establishing a Co-operative in the Bass Coast/ South Gippsland Region. She and others felt such an organisation could assist local people to take positive action to address climate change and promote renewable energy.
The Energy Innovation Co-operative Ltd was formally registered as trading Co-operative in August 2009, with Susan Davies as founding Chair, and a board of nine including Moragh Mackay (Deputy Chair) and Bruce Hydon (Treasurer).
By July 2011 the EICo-op was managing projects with $310,000 worth of grants and almost 200 members.
At end July 2012, we completed our contract with Sustainability Victoria for the Southern Solar Hub, which successfully facilitated over 650kW of solar PV, into Bass Coast, South Gippsland, Cardinia and beyond.
In 2013, the Co-op changed its rules via a special resolution of members, to make it a non-trading Co-op, clarifying its not-for-profit status for state and federal government requirements.
In 2015 we donated funds towards a solar battery system for Grow Lightly's food hub in Korumburra and KooWeeRup Sustainability Centre.
In 2016 we launched the Southern CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) Fund, which is a perpetual revolving fund where donor funds are used to assist community groups to install solar on community buildings. Our application for Registered Environmental Organisation (DGR) status, and for registration as a charity, in Dec is being processed. Our Old Energy- New Energy Project at the State Coal Mine Wonthaggi will provide a model for installing renewables in State & National Parks. And we continue to provide more details of battery/ solar systems and energy efficiency for business and homes.
In 2017 Our funding application with the Victorian Government's New Energy Jobs Fund was successful, and we announced the go ahead of Stage 1 & 2 of our "Old Energy-NEw Energy Project at the State Coal Mine Wonthaggi. In September our application to the ACNC for registration as a charity was accepted. In October we were accepted as a Registered Environmental Organisation by the Federal government, which means we can now offer tax deductibility for donations. And in November we are about to announce our first Southern CORE Fund no-interest loan to a community group project !
We now have around 316 shareholders, and always welcome more!
(photograph below: Home of Grow Lightlly :Korumburra Food Hub and Sustainability Centre above Coal Creek, with some of the solar & battery installation, which Energy Innovation Co-op donated funds towards in 2016.)