Meridian Energy has announced it will contribute all net revenue from its Certified Renewable Energy product to community and business decarbonisation projects around the country.
The company began selling renewable energy certificates (RECs) in 2019, allowing local businesses to match the amount of electricity they use from the national grid on an annual basis, with an equivalent amount of electricity put into the grid from one of Meridian’s renewable hydro or wind generation assets.
Meridian Chief Customer Officer Lisa Hannifin says demand for Certified Renewable Energy in Aotearoa has exceeded expectations, growing to the point where Meridian can reinvest back into projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use around Aotearoa. The amount of funding available is expected to grow in future.
“From airports, banks and shopping malls to winemakers and food producers, New Zealand businesses have embraced Certified Renewable Energy. They’re sending a strong signal to Kiwis that they support renewable energy generation, and now their commitment will directly fund efforts to further drive down Aotearoa’s GHG emissions.”
RECs are widely used around the world as expectations have increased for companies and organisations to report and reduce their emissions, such as those created by the electricity they consume.
Hannifin says that based on current forecasts, around half of the funding will go to business customers for decarbonisation projects such as process heat electrification, installation of solar arrays and EV charger deployment, with the remainder available to community groups.
“We’re looking for projects that may otherwise not get off the ground due to a lack of funding, or other barriers. We’re calling for applications from community groups around the country who are looking to change the way they use energy or reduce emissions in their regions.”
The first round of funding is now open and closes on 24 October 2022. Applications for community funding will be assessed by a committee consisting of Meridian employees and external stakeholders. $150,000 will be available in the first round and this is expected to increase to around $300,000 for subsequent rounds.
To launch the Decarbonisation Fund, Meridian has made initial contributions to KidsCan to replace two of their internal combustion engine/fossil fuel burning vehicles with EVs, and to South Island Rowing for the installation of solar panels at their rowing centre at Lake Ruataniwha.
More information about the Decarbonisation Community Fund and the application process can be found here.
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Meridian Energy Media Team
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