CoPower: 12 Months of Achievements

CoPowerBreazeSS
Since Shell bought out PowerShop CoPower has gone from strength to strength.


What is CoPower you ask?  Well, CoPower is a not-for-profit household electricity provider, of which BREAZE Inc. is an organisational member, and to which you can switch here 

One year ago Shell announced they were buying out Powershop. The news of the multinational 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, just like you, 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. 

As a Coop dedicated to supporting social justice and climate justice CoPower re-distributes a proportion of its profits to worthwhile causes as judged by its membership. BREAZE Inc. Social Solar was the fortunate recipient of such a grant recently. We thank CoPower for their contribution to the Social Solar Fund which is dedicated to assisting regional not for profits to access the benefits of renewable energy and related resources - and of course to reducing emissions across our region.

 

The last 12 months has been massive for CoPower, together we have:

        1. Grown the Cooperative by nearly 4,000 household customer members. 
        2. Collaborated to determine our priorities and run a democratic budget process to determine how our funds are spent, with almost 1,000 households participating.  
        3. 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. 
        4. Been rated in the top 5 in GreenPeace’s Green Electricity Guide .
        5. Got a 4.9 customer rating on Google. 
        6. 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. 
        7. Enacted a marketing strategy that directs funds towards independent and community-owned media. 
        8. We’re investing $7,250 into socially and community-owned renewables. 
        9. We’re a founding funder of Australia’s first ever cooperative development fund called The Bunya Fund
        10. 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. 
        11. 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 prescribe 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 seas levels or supporting community owned renewable energy. 

BREAZE Inc. is proud to be an organisational member of the CoPower cooperative. BREAZE member, Peter Reid is the elected BREAZE representative on the CoPower Board.