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Interest-free loans available for community groups to tackle climate crisis

One of the 44 completed CORENA projects: Rooftop solar installation at Walpole Community Resource Centre, Western Australia (Image Credit: CORENA).

CLIMATE action not-for-profit, Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia (CORENA), is on a mission to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by offering interest-free loans to community groups to reduce their emissions and tackle the climate crisis.

CORENA has provided $892,497 in interest-free loans to 44 separate community-focused climate action projects since it was founded in 2013 by dedicated volunteers.

They are now looking to support even more emissions-busting projects.

CORENA has appointed Ms Sarah McCabe as Head of Operations to connect with community groups and encourage them to apply for interest-free loans.  

This appointment was made possible by The Keuneman Foundation, a not-for-profit philanthropic organisation that supports activities and projects to reduce carbon emissions across the country.

“CORENA has a fantastic track record for on-ground climate projects,” Ms McCabe said.

CORENA’s 44 completed climate projects equate to 223 average households having switched to using 100% renewable energy instead of grid electricity.

So far, these projects have avoided 2,804 MWh of grid electricity.

“I’m excited about working with our volunteers and community organisations across the country to build on that work to reduce carbon emissions,” Ms McCabe added.    

Ms McCabe’s previous work in local government sustainability roles and her background in climate change, solar panels, and energy-efficient projects will greatly assist CORENA.

The Keuneman Foundation, founded by Sri Lankan-born Tash and Wendell Keuneman, is a not-for-profit philanthropic organisation that supports activities and projects to reduce carbon emissions to help the world achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“We want to do everything in our power to help us all get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” their website states.

This appointment follows the recent announcement that CORENA has approved funding for its first electric vehicle project.

CORENA is providing funding to support the purchase of two electronic-Transit delivery vans to support CERES Fair Food in delivering their organic groceries to homes across Melbourne.

This project will continue CORENA’s other pojects, which replaces gas appliances with electric

CORENA uses an innovative revolving funding model to provide world-changing grants.

Donations are lent and then, once repaid, are continually re-lent to multiply their practical climate action impact.

Projects suitable for funding include: 

  1. Installing rooftop solar systems.
  2. Energy efficiency improvements.
  3. Replacing gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives.
  4. Replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs).

Applications for new loans are now open.

Non-profit-organisations, community groups and social enterprises are encouraged to apply.

Anyone can donate via the CORENA website to fund the loans suitable for new emissions-busting projects.

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