Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has praised a community-based energy efficiency group as it launched a new fund to lift Junee even further towards clean energy creation.

Junee Community Power has already taken great strides towards helping the town save energy through its Empower Project.

With the launch of its next project, the Circular Community Fund, even greater savings can be made.

“The fund takes community donations to create an investment source, which enables more and more clean energy projects to be created as savings grow,” Ms Cooke said.

“And, importantly, the fund keeps money in the Junee community rather than letting it go out of town by servicing loans to a bank and paying interest.

“Junee Community Power has done such amazing work for the community by creating awareness of how we can become more efficient at using power. Their efforts have drawn the attention of TV, radio, newspapers, and even the NSW Government and Junee Shire Council have been listening to their achievements.

“They were also received by the Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, when he was Governor of NSW to give a presentation on their work.”

Dennis Lambert of Junee Community Power explained the benefits of the Circular Community Fund.

“Our fund starts with a fund pool built up with donations, and the first project – perhaps the installation of solar panels on a community building – is paid for from that,” Mr Lambert said.

“The first project repays that money out of the fund out of the energy savings.”

“The project’s electricity bill would stay the same for five years, but one-third of the bill comes back into the community fund in Junee instead of sending the money out to electricity companies.

“At the end of the five years it’s paid for the solar panels. Meanwhile, a second project can be financed by the repayments from the first project. And so it continues.”