We are on the right track! Coastal Energy, the Ōtaki Energy Co-operative takes off

F_DE15_OtakiEnergyLaunch.jpgWhat a great turn-out. About 50 interested people came to the launch on Sunday 1 November — proof that the Ōtaki Energy Co-operative is on the right track. The community wants to become energy efficient and take matters into their own hands to pursue local, community-owned energy projects and be more resilient.

Displays during the launch event demonstrated different lighting options (incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent and LED bulbs) and their energy use, devices measuring power consumption to benchmark the current use in a house or business, solar audit kits to evaluate and display solar-generated energy — all of which will be available for assessment to members of the Co-op. Presentations from other parties (Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Electra Energy, GlenDimplex Appliances, Kiwi Bank) raised further interesting discussion.

Phil Malpas: “We see Coastal Energy, the Ōtaki Co-operative, as a social enterprise that operates with a similar structure to a commercial business. In both business models the aim is to maximise returns to its shareholders. The important difference is that the Co-operative ownership and voting power is in the Transacting Share: one vote per person, and not one vote per share. Consequently the Transacting Shareholders always retain ownership of the company”.

The purpose of coastalenergy.nz is to develop member and community benefits by providing services, purchasing advantages and power efficiency.

Member benefits include:

  • Analysis of energy use and advice on how to reduce costs
  • Discounts on purchases
  • Rebates on transactions
  • Dividends on shares
  • Group purchasing power
  • Influence in negotiations with other partners

The idea and purpose behind the recently formed Ōtaki Energy Co-operative Ltd, trading as Coastal Energy, is to achieve more independence for the local communities of the Kapiti and Horowhenua in delivering energy efficiency for domestic and commercial consumers. www.coastalenergy.nz