June 9, 2016: A New Ethical Energy Retailer

Energy Locals – Cleaner, Fairer, Cheaper Energy

A few days ago I switched our electricity account over to Energy Locals and, if you live in Australia, I would like to encourage you to consider doing the same.

Energy Locals describe themselves as a Social Enterprise which seeks to ‘use their commercial power to generate improvements in society’ in the following ways:


And if the above is not enough to convince you… they’ll probably save you money too. I thought the Greeny Flat was on a pretty good plan with Click Energy, mainly because they were offering a 10c FIT (Feed-In Tariff is the amount we get paid for the electricity we export to the grid when our solar system is producing more than we’re using). Because the Greeny Flat exports considerably more energy than we import, a high FIT is good for us financially. As it turns out, Energy Locals also offers a 10c FIT PLUS their rate per kWh of electricity is cheaper. And, by joining now, they have agreed to lock-in the price of 23c/kWh for the next year without locking me into a contract.

Most electricity retailers in Australia are set to raise their rates at the start of the new financial year, some significantly. So I figure we’ll be much better off by this time next year.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this lock-in offer you need to act quickly because they are only making it available for a limited time. I know… I sound like a salesman for the company but I’m not. I get nothing from Energy Locals other than an honest deal on my electricity supply and the chance to feel good about how I spend my energy dollars.


Energy Locals‘ slogan, ‘Cleaner, Fairer, Cheaper’, tells me that, like the Greeny Flat, their operation is founded on a Triple-Bottom-Line Philosophy which seeks to improve the Environmental, Social and Financial outcomes or our actions. Everything I’ve seen so far about Energy Locals tells me that their intentions are genuine and the good thing is we’re not locked into a contract. So, if we learn anything about them that we don’t like, we can simply switch to another retailer.


I first heard about Energy Locals through my work with Repower Shoalhaven and Renewable Energy Wingecarribee which are both involved in community solar power projects. We have recently been contacted by Energy Locals to look for ways to partner with them to offer locally-generated renewable energy to customers in our local community. It is early days yet so nothing has been finalised but our hope is that, via Energy Locals, we’ll soon be able to sell affordable power from a solar farm in the Southern Highlands to homes and businesses in our local area.

I’ll keep you posted as things develop. In the meantime I encourage you to consider switching your own home our business over to Energy Locals. At least give them a call. I was pleasantly surprised by their friendly, helpful and easy-to-understand customer service. And, if you are involved in a community group or renewable energy project, contact Energy Locals to find out how they might be able to help you raise money.

In Other News – the Good Stuff

The Solsource Sport – a Portable Solar Cooker for US$149!

170609 Solsource Cooker

There are just five days left to join the Kickstarter campaign for this great-looking little solar BBQ. So far they’ve raised $127,556 from an intial goal of $20,000. As their website says, this ‘super easy to use, compact, portable and 100% solar-powered stove is made for truly pollution free cooking, anywhere’.

I’m thinking about getting one for the Greeny Flat and to take on PHEV-camping trips. Apparently it takes about five minutes to set up and then only seconds to get hot enough to start cooking.


Thermawood – Retrofit Double Glazing for Timber Windows

170609 Retrofit Double glazingI’ve written before about the TwinGlaze system for retrofitting double-glazing into existing aluminium framed windows.

This week I learned about a new system for adding double-glazing to existing timber windows called Thermawood.

I don’t know much about either system but, if you have a house with single-glazed windows it might be worth looking into the cost of adding double glazing using one of the above.


Rail-less Train

170609 Railless trainLight Rail! It’s all the go in cities around the world. They don’t like to mention that what they’re doing is reinstalling the trams that they previously took out . Sydney’s a classic example. Sydney’s last tram ran out to Maroubra on the 25th of February, 1961. And now we’re spending billions of taxpayer dollars to build a new light-rail (i.e. tram) track to Randwick.

But what if we didn’t need the rails? What if the ‘trams’ could just run on the roads like extruded buses? We could get all of the benefits of a new ‘light-rail’ system with none of the cost and hassles of building the bloody rails.

It’s something to think about. Check out this NewAtlas article for more info.

India’s Turning Green

170609 Green IndiaA regular reader sent me this article from the New York Times which tells the tale of how ‘India has undergone an astonishing turnaround, driven in great part by a steep fall in the cost of solar powerExperts now say that India not only has no need of any new coal-fired plants for at least a decade… but that after that it could rely on renewable sources for all its additional power needs.

India is also aiming to convert its entire vehicle fleet to electric by 2030 so, chances are, we’ll all be getting around in cheap little Indian autonomous EV’s before too long.

Meanwhile, here in the good old A-U of Stralia, we’ve taking HUGE steps in the opposite direction.

The Bad Stuff

From the ABC, June 6, 2017 – Adani Board Pushes Ahead With Queensland Coal Mine.

And the feedback loops that will take Global Climate Change from bad to worse are becoming evident

170609 Black IceAs described in this article from the Huffington Post, the massive ice sheets in Greenland are being covered with a black layer of soot and ash from coal-fired power stations. The dark colour is absorbing much more heat from the sun and causing much more rapid melting of the ice.

And there’s an enormous chunk of ice about to break off the Antarctic ice shelf as well.

Meanwhile we’re encouraging an Indian company to rip out a massive chunk of Queensland, ship it India using fossil-fuels, and burn it in coal-fired power plants. This is awfully depressing but I can only take it as motivation to keep working for a cleaner, greener and fairer world. Joining Energy Locals is one more small step in the right direction.

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