Voices for Power enters second year

Voices for Power enters second year, after increasing energy literacy across Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Eight co-designed workshops were delivered in 2021, to 157 people from seven of Australia’s largest community groups.

An industry partnership between Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid and Jemena will see the Voices for Power program continue into its second year, bringing together culturally and linguistically diverse communities supporting them with energy literacy, savings and safety information.

Run by the Sydney Alliance, the train-the-trainer style program brings together diverse cultural, religious and community leaders to build collective power, through knowledge sharing about safe and affordable energy solutions.

Through in-language workshops, the program empowers Australia’s community leaders to support others to take control of their energy concerns, adopt simple energy safety practices, better understand the energy industry and negotiate a better deal on their power bills, allowing the community members to have greater control of their cost of living.

To deliver this critical program, leaders from our local Tongan, Fijian, Filipino, Arabic-speaking, South Asian, Chinese and Nepalese communities delivered linguistically and culturally appropriate training across eight co-designed workshops, training 157 community members. It is estimated these crucial sessions have so far reached 630 people in the community with significant real-world outcomes.

Nirjala Pandey, Nepali Trainer based in Liverpool said, “The communities and people we work with are very concerned about the cost of energy, it is an urgent cost-of-living pressure that is stressing households. They are hungry to understand the energy system, how to save money and be empowered and confident to take control of their energy bills,” she said.

Lina Chen Pan, a trainer representing the Chinese community from Georges River said, “The community appreciate the relational approach of the training. The community is trained together with people that they already trust and share information with. We take the time to listen to their experiences of the energy system. They feel that they are safe to ask questions about the energy system, which allows them to build their knowledge and confidence to engage with the energy system.”

Leanne Pickering, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Endeavour Energy said that as the energy transition progresses, we want to ensure that all customers are included, and no-one is left behind.

“At Endeavour Energy we want to ensure all of our customers understand the complex energy system, and have access to energy saving and safety information.

“The Voices for Power program is helping ensure all customers can better understand the energy system and what changes they can make to reduce their costs,” said Ms Pickering.

Rob Amphlett Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Ausgrid said that safety is a core value at Ausgrid and improving public safety was a key focus.

“The 2021 outcomes report found confidence amongst participants in understanding energy safety more than doubled post the training, with over 67 per cent of participants adopting more energy safe practices,” said Mr Amphlett Lewis.

Managing Director, Jemena, Frank Tudor said, “The energy system can be complex, and it’s important for us to stay connected with communities through programs like this, so we can not only help them understand the system, but also look at what we can do to make things easier for them.”

Sydney Alliance encourages any community groups or individuals interested in participating in the program to reach out. www.sydneyalliance.org.au/energy-training.

Media contact: Peter Payne 0409 664 608

Published on Jun 24th 2022