A power and water efficiency project by the Yolngu people that scooped the Caring for Country Award at the recent NAIDOC awards in Darwin continues to impress.

The not-for-profit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd (CAT) was one of the partners behind the Manymak Energy Efficiency Project in the Northern Territory, along with the Power and Water Corporation, East Arnhem Regional Council, the NT Department of Housing and Charles Darwin University.

CAT designed and delivered the community engagement, education and employment approach for the project.

About 500 residents across six communities in East Arnhem Land participated in the program delivered by the Yolngu workers. They were the communities of Galiwin’ku, Gapuwiyak, Gunyangara, Milingimbi, Ramingining and Yirrkala.

Eighty community members were employed and helped households make informed choices about using power and water in their homes.

A range of energy saving devices were also installed such as stove timers.

About 250 BEEBox’s – an in-house energy display unit designed by CAT Projects and CAT Ltd specifically for remote communities — were rolled out as part of the project, allowing residents to real-time monitor and manage their energy use and expenditure.

The Manymak Energy Efficiency Project was part of the Federal Government’s Low Income Energy Efficiency Program, and received funding through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Findings from the project will be used to inform future energy efficiency initiatives in remote communities across the NT.

The Manymak Energy Efficiency Project has also been shortlisted for the Clean Energy Council Industry Awards in the Business Community Engagement category to be announced at the Australian Clean Energy Summit today.

Wendy Caccetta