A "doggedness" to keep working to build up an effective solar energy system for Yackandandah has led to Matthew Charles-Jones being nominated for a Victorian Australian of the year award.
The Totally Renewable Yackandandah founder was selected as one of four finalists in the local hero category.
He said he was excited but surprised to learn he had been nominated.
TRY was formed after a community energy forum in 2014 in Yackandandah and with support from group members, the community and government, is on its way to reaching the goal of making the town 100 per cent reliable on renewable energy by 2022.
"This is the work of a bunch of people at TRY," Mr Charles-Jones told The Border Mail.
"We've been very well-supported by local council and state government as well.
"It's unfortunate that it comes to the work of one person, because it's the work of a community.
"It's nice to have the value of community energy being recognised for sure."
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In announcing Mr Charles-Jones' nomination, the National Australia Day Council said TRY's success was due to "the group's determination and Matthew's leadership".
"With enthusiasm and commitment, Matthew brought together passionate townspeople," the council stated.
"Yackandandah now has among the highest density of rooftop solar in Australia.
"With the help of Mondo, a subsidiary of AusNet Services, the town has installed three micro grids and a broader mini grid to advance lean, local and interdependent power.
"Matthew regularly shares TRY's journey with other communities, inspiring them to also reach for a 100 per cent renewable energy."
After TRY was one of the groups to lead the way six years ago, there are now 50 community energy groups in Victoria, including 14 in the North East.
"We are just lucky that we saw an opportunity early on and have been working to harness those opportunities," Mr Charles-Jones said.
The award recipients from Victoria will be announced by Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau in an online, live-streamed ceremony at 6.30pm on October 27, with the winners to become national finalists.