Eight co-designed workshops were delivered in 2021, to 157 people from eleven of Australia’s largest community groups.
A program that helps empower people to negotiate a better deal on their power bill will reach more people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in its second year, at a critical time when energy costs are rising.
Through the Voices for Power program, community network Sydney Alliance brings together diverse cultural, religious and community leaders to build collective power, through knowledge sharing about safe and affordable energy solutions.
Rob Amphlett Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Ausgrid explained that the goal of the program, supported by energy distribution companies, Ausgrid, Jemena and Endeavour Energy, is to empower 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.
The Voices for Power program is aimed at increasing the confidence of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and we are extremely pleased to see the 2021 program delivered just that. We’re committed to ensuring equal access and understanding of our often complex energy system and look forward to seeing the results of the 2022 program.
Rob Amphlett Lewis, Chief Customer Officer, Ausgrid
To deliver this critical program of work to our communities, 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 the Liverpool Local Government Area 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.”
Energy is always evolving and so too are Australia’s communities, programs like Voices for Power are essential to ensuring the energy industry stays connected to what communities need, today and tomorrow, while ensuring the energy literacy surrounding safety and pricing continues to increase.
Safety is a core value at Ausgrid, Jemena and Endeavour Energy, and improving public safety was a key focus for the energy distributors in supporting the program. 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.
“It’s great to see the training delivering real life practical outcomes with participants adopting more energy safe practices. I’d also like to thank the community leaders who have made this possible through their own commitment and dedication,” Mr Amphlett Lewis said.
Lina Chen Pan, a trainer representing the Chinese community based in Georges River Local Government Area 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”.
The energy partners behind the second year of the program worked with Sydney Alliance to develop training workshops for the community leaders based off key learnings from the focus groups. Sydney Alliance encourages any community groups or individuals interested in participating in the program to reach out. Find out more at www.sydneyalliance.org.au/energy-training.
Ausgrid is proud to support the Voices for Power Train the Trainer program. In partnership with Jemena and Endeavour Energy, we are working with Sydney Alliance to help customers across NSW have equal access and understanding of the energy industry.