The Gippsland-based Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative is Australia’s first community-owned clean-energy manufacturer, turning out unique solar hot water tanks from its factory at Morwell.
The factory began by employing five people, and is a member of the Earthworker Cooperative, whose mission is to establish, across Australia, a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprises.
Secretary Dan Musil says by making solar-powered hot water and other components in the Latrobe Valley, the cooperative is responding to declining manufacturing, unemployment, rising household power bills and climate change.
“We’re a people-powered project and part of a movement to create more democratic and sustainable livelihoods and economies.
“We’re working to empower communities to look after each other and the planet – to work our way out of the climate crisis,” Mr Musil said.
“By supporting Victorian companies and manufacturing you’re helping to create new jobs in the growing new-energy sector.”
“People should look closely at what they’re buying, and realise the best value comes from a long-term local investment, not just today’s cheap price.”
Mr Musil said many solar hot water systems were fully-imported and didn’t deliver the quality or follow-up support of locally-made systems.
“With a 15-year warranty and priced competitively against many that are imported and of lesser-quality, our stainless-steel solar tanks are here for the long haul, and you’re investing in Victoria’s future.”
Earthworker Energy’s ‘Made in Morwell’ solar hot water tanks are available as part of a high-performing heat pump or evacuated tube solar hot water systems. All are eligible for the Solar Homes rebate program.
Reviewed 04 April 2022