The results of our third democratic budget are in!
As a customer member, you decide what we do with every single dollar of our cooperative’s income – and this year, a record 1,118 customer members took part – which is 317 more than last year!
CoPower wants to thank all our customer members who voted, came along to our workshops and shared our democratic budget on social media – and we want to thank all the incredible community partners who brought us their project ideas and organised throughout the vote!
Unfortunately, we can’t fund every amazing project we get pitched – but the more customer members we have, the bigger our impact budget gets.
If you want to see more projects funded next year, make sure you get your family and friends to join CoPower and use our Refer a Comrade program so you both get $50 off your next power bill.
Our $51,500 impact budget is what we use to fund good works in our communities. We invest this money into projects run by organisations our members are active in or to support causes that are left out by other major funders like strikes and climate resistance.
We are in a privileged position to fully fund eight projects this year!
From next month, we will be starting to fund these five projects from our community partners:
Our customer members also choose to continue CoPower’s solidarity funds that we use to support strikes, activists and communities in need, a tradition we’ve had since we started.
Earlier in our democratic budgeting deliberations, our customer members voted to allocate $51,500 to the Impact budget. The way the numbers fell, that would have meant one of these projects wouldn’t have been fully funded, so the CoPower board voted to top up the pool to make sure every project that got voted up, got fully funded.
Our $51,500 service budget is what we use on helping out our customer members. We allocate this money to priority areas which then invests in services over the course of the year that reduce the cost-of-living pressures for our customer members, help them get off fossil fuels or deliver major capabilities that help our customer members better engage with the cooperative like upgrades to our billing and payments systems or tracking their household energy usage.
Customer members voted for the following allocation:
Our $101,000 operational budget is the reinvestment we make in the cooperative to keep it going. This includes staff, growth, administration and organising costs, design work, and Paying the Rent. These projects are overseen by our volunteer board, which is made up of representatives from our member organisations and independent directors. Member organisations are democratic organisations like environmental groups, trade unions, other cooperatives, community energy groups that part-own CoPower and provide in-kind help for it to grow.
The operational budget is expected to spend roughly $48,000 to pay our part-time staff member, $33,000 on growth organising, $12,000 on marketing with independent media outlets and improving our engagement with customer members, and $8,000 on subscriptions and other administrative costs.
Our full operational budget can be viewed here.
Getting better all the time
Our democratic budget is always a work in progress.
We changed a lot this year. We’re keen to hear from project proposers and customer members on how they thought this year went and how we can improve next year.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions, email us at [email protected].
Highlights from our last few budgets
In the first two years of our democratic budget cycle we have made a positive impact much larger than our relative size. Such highlights include but are not limited to: