Energy and utilities

Offer greener energy

Energy co-ops are interested in delivering value to customers. This means they invest in products such as renewable energy which may provide less income to the co-op but will deliver better long-term value to the member.

Spread benefits widely

A co-operatively-owned wind farm, for example, allows local community members to have a stake in the business, spreading its benefits widely.

Deliver a social license to operate

Local ownership of energy assets such as wind farms has been shown to mean fewer objections from the local community.

Mutually owned utilities …

  • Create collective purchasing power which can lower costs
  • Put customers at the centre of the business
  • Reinvest locally and benefit rural Australia
  • Focus on the long-term

Create collective purchasing power which can lower costs

The collective purchasing power created by individuals coming together through an energy co-operative returns control back to people and can help to drive down costs.

Put customers at the centre of the business

Customers are put at the centre of the business and help take decisions about how energy is provided in their town or locality. For example, groups of individuals can decide to collectively own and control a solar array or wind turbine.

Reinvest locally and benefit rural Australia

Any surplus is made locally and can be retained locally. That surplus can be redirected back to the community that owns it. There is a rational economic reason to join the co-operative and this can help give people a stake in the renewable energy transition.

Focus on the long-term

Like other types of co-operative, energy and utility co-operatives can concentrate on the long-term, without the need to focus on short-term results. This is particularly important in a sector such as energy where a consistent energy supply and a sustainable approach to the provision of electricity is essential.

Energy and utilities examples

Americas Electric Co-operatives Logo

America’s Electric Co-operatives

There are more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts in the United States. They are a legacy of the New Deal, and between.
Established Year: 1937
Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Logo

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL)

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL) is a member owned co-operative which supplies irrigation and corporate services to its members and customers. Its irrigation delivery is via...
Established Year: 1997
Harvey Water Logo

Harvey Water

Harvey Water is a self-funded cooperative which delivers non-potable water to its members and a broad customer base, located in the premium south west growing districts, 100km south of Perth,.
Established Year: 1996
Hepburn Wind Logo

Hepburn Wind

Hepburn Wind is located at Leonards Hill, about 100km north-west of Melbourne, just south of Daylesford Victoria. The 4.1MW wind farm hosts two turbines, called Gale and Gusto, which produce.
Established Year: 2007

Energy and utilities submissions

Australian Local Power Agency Bill 2021

BCCM submitted in favour of the formation of an Australian Local Power Agency.
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Committee: House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
Submission Date: 07/09/2021

Inquiry into Modernising Australia’s Electricity Grid

The BCCM highlighted the potential for co-operative ownership of electricity infrastructure.
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Committee: House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy
Submission Date: 04/28/2017