COOLmob’s story and project funders
COOLmob was originally known as the Cool Communities project funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Greenhouse Office Cool Communities Initiative. Eventually Cool Communities became COOLmob in both Darwin and Alice Springs, and over the years has been mostly funded by the Northern Territory Government. We have also received grants and support from the Federal department of Industry, PowerWater Corporation (for the delivery of home energy assessments), Darwin City Council, NT EPA, The Australian Government, the Community Benefit Fund, Cutting Edge and 11th Hour Group.
The first stage of the project was launched by the NT Chief Minister in June 2002. In the first stage we received funding from the Australian Government to support 100 households by providing Home Energy Audits, information, financial assistance and workshops and social events. We started off working with households from the suburbs of Parap, Ludmilla, Fannie Bay and The Narrows and then invited households from all over Darwin and Palmerston (including the Darwin rural area) to join us.
We aimed to help these 100 households each save 750 kg of carbon dioxide per year and achieved an estimated saving of 1,900 kg per household per year – that’s more than double our target!
Stage two of COOLmob was launched on 5 March 2004 and a further 60 households joined the project. In 2004 we also won an Environmental Excellence Award from PowerWater Corporation.
From September 2004 COOLmob became a uniquely Territorian project. We worked closely with our sister organisation in Alice Springs, desertSMART COOLmob. We continued to provide Home Energy Audits as well as educate the community about how to reduce greenhouse gases through community service announcements, the media and printed information resources.
From July 2006, further funding from the NT Government will enabled COOLmob to expand beyond Greenhouse issues to become a sustainable living project. Our first step was to include information about sustainable domestic water use.
In 2008 COOLmob expanded its work to include audits of Public Benevolent Institutions and in 2009 we commenced auditing in Katherine. In 2009 COOLmob, in conjunction with the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), also established a very popular Solar Photovoltaic Bulk Buy of panels for household roofs. We also expanded our staff and the number of audits we do each year. In 2010 we established a COOLmob Bulk Buy of the very efficient variable speed pool pump. In 2008 COOLmob commenced delivery of a local Darwin event for the national Sustainable House Day, funded by a community grant from NT Government.
COOLmob incorporated new projects to our services, alongside our trusted home audits. We completed the Sustainable Apartments, Carpooling Website, annual Sustainable House Day events and the Sustainable Neighbourhoods projects between 2011-2013.
In 2013 the NT Government and PowerWater Corporation announced they would no longer support COOLmob with grants or sponsorship.
In 2014, COOLmob was successful in receiving a grant from the Federal Department of Industry’s Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) to deliver our new Smart Cooling in the Tropics project. Smart Cooling, as it is known, is a 2.5 year, large-scale project bringing 480 home energy audits to low income communities in partnership with our consortium of local agencies: Melaleuca Refugee Centre, Yilli Housing, COTA NT, Carers NT and Charles Darwin University.
COOLmob is now focusing on developing fee-for-service products and securing funding from new sources. The recent NT Government funding cuts mean that unfortunately we are unable to provide free or low-cost home audits (except for clients of Smart Cooling partner agencies) but we will continue to provide up-to-date and easy-to-access information on home sustainability including ways to save energy and beat rising electricity prices.
Our latest strategic plan for 2011-14 is available by clicking here.