Smart Energy Challenge Projects Seek Community Pledges

15 April 2014

Over the last few months we’ve been working alongside social enterprise groups to promote community-led projects designed to reduce energy use and increase clean energy in Wellington.

The Smart Energy Challenge finalists from Aro Solar, shyft and Solair.

2014 Smart Energy Challenge finalists

The Smart Energy Challenge is a collaborative effort with the talented people from Enspiral, Generation Zero and PledgeMe to find, fund and create businesses and jobs with social and environmental benefits for Wellingtonians.

Three successful Smart Energy Challenge teams have spent the last five weeks turning their ideas into reality through workshops, networking events, collaborative cafés and a Dragons’ Den-style pitching night. They are now at the exciting crowdfunding stage of the project and this is where Wellingtonians can get involved and help the projects to really take off.

Aro Solar aims to bring solar power to community centres, eliminating power bills and freeing up funds for community projects.

The shyft team want to help change the way Wellingtonians move by bringing an easy-to-use yet sophisticated car-share co-op to Wellington neighbourhoods.

While the Solair team want to install space heaters into low income households, schools, student flats or community buildings in Wellington this winter; benefiting those who need it most.

If the teams are successful in raising their targeted funds from the community, we’ll match the amount they have raised dollar for dollar (capped at $20,000 across all three projects). The Council’s CEO, Kevin Lavery, says, “Wellington City Council wants to promote sustainable and green economies and technologies that fit with our vision for a smart capital.

“Sustainable development can only happen in partnership, which is why we want to do as much as we can to help entrepreneurs and start-ups. The three teams are excellent examples of how passionate people with entrepreneurial skills can create jobs and grow Wellington’s economy.”

Learn more about the projects, see how each project could benefit your community and make a pledge. There are some great incentives for pledge-makers, ranging from t-shirts and baked goods to a personalised song performed by one of the team members.

Pledging online is easy, and credit cards will only be charged if the project meets its funding goal in the set time frame. To find out more, visit: