Ian McChesney, is he co-founder of the Community Energy Action Charitable Trust.

Community Energy Action was established as a private charitable trust in Christchurch in 1994 to address issues of cold damp houses and energy poverty.  It was the first such community energy enterprise established in New Zealand.  To date the trust has installed insulation in over 20,000 homes, facilitated several thousand heating retrofits, pioneered the curtain bank initiative, runs several partnership programmes for particular customers (e.g. Warm Babies in association with Plunket; earthquake repair programme with CERA), and provides energy advice services.  Currently the Trust employs over 25 people.

Despite this, many cold houses remain, and some energy poverty indicators remain stubbornly high.

This presentation will discuss:

  • The establishment of the Trust, the journey over the last 20 years, and some of the lessons learned
  • Issues of energy poverty, and the policy responses
  • The role of a local, independent charitable energy enterprise
  • Future challenges