Many businesses and business owners want to embrace the cost savings and environmental benefits of renewable energy, but are often discouraged by the initial price of installation.
That is the idea driving a community forum in Wollongong on Thursday night, as the Wollongong Climate Action Network [WCAN] establishes a Community Energy Enterprise where the community at large can pledge funds to help businesses become more eco-friendly.
"Doing this is a win-win for the whole renewable community," said WCAN member Alexandra McPaul.
"It increases the amount of renewable energy used, assists the community in accessing renewables for their business, and helps employ local people to install it."
Ms McPaul said similar schemes revolved around businesses or individuals offering an initial seed fund used to pay for other businesses to install solar panels or other sources of renewable energy, with that business gradually paying back the initial costs.
Ms McPaul said this method meant little or no initial outlay for businesses interested in harnessing renewable energy, the initial seed fund being paid back to initial lenders, and long-term cost and emissions savings for the business.
"We see this as the best way forward in reducing the impact of and reliance on fossil fuels," she said.
"The forum is to discuss the concept, and discuss what people have done elsewhere."
The energy forum will discuss how it has worked elsewhere, and will be held at the Illawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre at 22 Kenny Street, Wollongong, at 7pm on Thursday. All are welcome.