The Manymak Energy Efficiency Project, an initiative that identifies barriers to energy efficiency in low-income Indigenous households and aims to help over 620 households to use energy more efficiently, has celebrated its successes at a gathering at Milingimbi in East Arnhem Land (NT).
Working across all sectors of remote communities to improve energy and water efficiency outcomes as well as building capacity within those communities is an important focus for Power and Water, General Manager Remote Operations, Jim Bamber said.
“Power and Water is very excited about this partnership project because it considers demand management of our important natural resources is environmentally and fiscally responsible, helps community members save on their water and power bills and very importantly, is creating valuable employment opportunities in some of our remote communities,” Mr Bamber said.
“Initially, key barriers have been identified to energy and water efficiency in low-income Indigenous households and best practice engagement and technology approaches to address these barriers have been trialled.
“As part of the program, a group of Yolngu people from each community will be employed as Energy Efficiency Workers to help interested householders learn more about using power wisely to make power cards last longer.
“The program is designed to engage with up to 620 homes across East Arnhem, to provide energy efficiency advice as well as retrofits such as more efficient light bulbs and solar hot water systems.
“Promoting ways to use less water is also a feature of this work, as there is a need for greater water efficiency in many communities in the region.
“This project is the largest demand management project ever run in Northern Territory remote communities and offers an opportunity to test a model for successful demand management that could be applied to other regions in the future.
“This project has, and will continue, to achieve important social, environmental and economic outcomes.
“I want to thank our consortium partners, the Centre for Appropriate Technology, Charles Darwin University, NT Department of Housing and the East Arnhem Regional Council for working with Power and Water’s Indigenous Essential Services Pty Ltd to deliver this important program,” Mr Bamber said.
Milingimbi is the launching point for the project, where the Energy Efficiency Workers have been receiving training since May and have commenced household engagement. During the celebration event on Tuesday, representatives from the project and from the Department of Industry issued the Milingimbi workers with certificates acknowledging their work on the project to date, and this was very well received by the community who are keen to see more employment opportunities.
The Manymak Energy Efficiency Project, also known as Dharray Manymakkung Pawaw Ga Gapuw, is a $12.5 million project taking place in six communities in East Arnhem Land with funding from the Australian Government’s Low Income Energy Efficiency Program. Manymak is a word from the Yolngu Matha group of East Arnhem languages and means ‘good’. The communities involved are Milingimbi, Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Yirrkala, Gunyangara and Ramingining.