FAQ

Do I need to become a CORENA member in order to take part?

No, anyone can chip in. You may choose to become a member if you wish to have a vote at CORENA meetings and AGMs. The membership fees are our main source of income for covering unavoidable expenses, like insurance, web hosting, and financial audits, so you may choose to become a member simply to help us cover admin costs. The membership fee is $25 for an individual, $40 for a family (2 adults), and $10 concession or low-income (self-assessed).

Can I invest instead of donating?

The CORENA Fund only accepts donations, but investment in community-owned renewable energy (CORE) projects is also an excellent way of speeding up the transition to renewable energy. If you prefer to invest rather than donate, you might find an investment opportunity that suits you in the list of CORE projects here, or in this map of Community Energy projects.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes. Donations of $2 or more to Quick Win projects and Big Win projects are tax deductible.

Is all donated money spent on CORENA's solar projects?

Yes. All contributions to the Big Win Projects and the Quick Win Projects, plus the interest earned by that money, will be spent on implementing the projects.

In future, if we discover we need to use a small percentage of donations to cover unavoidable costs, we will note that on the donations page so that contributors will know that before they chip in.

How are administration costs covered?

We operate on a shoe-string budget so that 100% of the money donated to the Big Win Projects and the Quick Win Projects can be spent on the projects themselves. We avoid non-essential expenses, and currently we rely on volunteers’ time for admin tasks. We hope income from membership fees will be sufficient to cover unavoidable admin expenses, like insurance, web hosting, and financial audits.

If the volume of admin work increases in future to a level that requires employing staff, we may need to use a small percentage of donations to cover wages. If that becomes necessary, we will clearly note the percentage we take for expenses on the donation pages on the website.

How do I know my contribution will be used effectively?

We base spending decisions on technology and business advice from the CORENA Fund management committee and other relevant experts so that we can be sure we are spending donated funds effectively.

For the Quick Win Projects, you can see details and costs of the work performed in the Current Project and Funded Projects sections of the website. You can also see honour rolls recording each donation we have received and where it was spent.

For Big Win Projects, you can see an honour roll which records all donations received. See the Interim and Breakthrough project pages for details of Big Win fund loans.

What are the advantages of contributing to the Quick Win Projects?

The Quick Win Projects are simple and quick, so your contribution can result in a solar panel or similar at a community building within weeks. For those who want a rapid reduction in carbon emissions, the Quick Win Projects provide a small but almost immediate practical benefit.

We only have one atmosphere, so every Quick Win Project installation benefits us all equally regardless of whether it is next door or on the other side of the country.

What are the advantages of contributing to the Big Win Projects?

You will be contributing to a fund that may eventually be able to build a citizen-owned utility-scale renewable energy project, such as solar thermal with storage. But in the short term we put your contributions to good use in smaller Interim and Breakthrough projects that start reducing emissions almost immediately.