Blog | 28th Jul, 2022

Why we've joined CoPower (and how you can too!)

To make the clean energy transition fast and fair, we need to put power back in the hands of the community – instead of big corporate polluters.

That’s why we’re excited to announce Environment Victoria is now officially a member of non-profit cooperative energy retailer CoPower, meaning we’re now part-owners of an energy retailer whose mission is fighting poverty, tackling the climate crisis and supporting communities!

Find out how your household can switch to CoPower

Why have we joined CoPower?

CoPower is 100% owned by its members and by law is not allowed to make a profit. Instead, after it has paid for the electricity it sells to its customers, it directs any surplus funds back into achieving its core mission – to “tackle poverty, take action against the climate crisis and build community.” Seems a whole lot more useful than lining the pockets of big corporates!

At its latest budget vote, the cooperative directed $100,000 to helping build a new wildlife corridor in Melbourne, supporting First Nations-led organisations like Pay the Rent and Our Islands, Our Home, powering grassroots campaigns to get Victoria off gas – and more. Read all about it here >> 

Importantly, only organisations like Environment Victoria that are non-profit and member-based can own a stake in CoPower. That means it can’t be taken over by big fossil fuel companies like Shell, and the decisions on where to spend its money will be made by like-minded organisations. It also means profits won’t come before customers.

Can my household switch to CoPower?

Yes! CoPower, in partnership with Energy Locals, stands alone as the only 100% community owned and democratically managed energy retailer in Australia. It was also highly rated and recommended in Greenpeace’s Energy Locals Green electricity guide for 2022 >>

Just like other energy retailers, you can choose to purchase 100% GreenPower. Moreover, CoPower has committed to investing in community owned renewable energy as they grow. If you choose to get more involved, you can even have a say about exactly where the surplus is spent – energy democracy in action!

Make the switch

Participatory democracy in action!

Instead of adding to the profits of wealthy, polluting companies like Shell, CoPower re-invests money in organisations and campaigns working for a fairer society and a safer climate. Now that Environment Victoria is officially a member of CoPower, we will pass on opportunities for our supporters to get involved – including being part of their participatory budgeting processes.

Following Powershop’s shock announcement that it was being bought by Shell, thousands of people across Australia joined CoPower (including many of you!). It was CoPower’s largest ever increase in customers and helped raise a $100,000 “democratic budget” ​​fund to be allocated to impactful work.

Customers were invited to vote for projects they’d like to see this money go towards. Check out all the amazing work it’s helping power here >>

Tackling the climate crisis head on

As well as supporting important grassroots activist projects, if CoPower continues its current growth, it will be able to make impactful catalytic investments in businesses we need to create environmentally just solutions to the climate crisis.

Whether its First Nations-owned solar farms or worker-owned renewables components manufacturers – this is about disrupting the climate wrecking business models that the Shells and AGLs of this world have been pushing for far too long.

At the very moment we need rapid community building and paradigm shifting – joining CoPower makes you part of the solution. Find out how you can make the switch here >>

Be a part of the solution