The Victor Harbor Community Action Group (VHCAG) had more than 30 interested residents attend a forum on the City of Victor Harbor’s proposal for a Community Energy Program.
The format of the night comprised a presentation by council’s economic projects co-ordinator Mark Przibilla followed by a Q&A with panel members CEO Victoria MacKirdy, Cr Tim Glazbrook, community representative Brian Hockney and Mr Przibilla.
Mr Przibilla detailed the structure planned by the council, in conjunction with five adjacent councils, to enable those communities to participate in a Community Energy Program.
The presentation explained how the communities would interact with a community energy retailer in conjunction with a Community Energy Board, with the ultimate aim of providing consumer savings and energy efficiency/renewable energy projects for the community.
VHCAG chair Barry Wright said there was insightful questions from attendees.
Questions included; Who bears the cost of setting up and operating the scheme? What is the specific role of the council in this project? What will be the protocols regarding ownership of the generation and distribution equipment? What will be the risk to the consumers if they transition to a community retailer, who subsequently ceases to operate? Would the possible increase in community power generation and infrastructure encourage more industry to the area? Would the state government solar rebate continue if consumers transitioned to a local community energy provider? Will 120,000, or possibly less, consumer take up of the scheme be enough to attract a community energy provider to establish a facility here? How many people will be better off under this scheme than with their current provider? How much has this exercise cost our council in resources, time and money from 2014 to now?
“Our group intends to hold more public forums to update the community as the Community Energy Program progresses,” Mr Wright said.