Government priorities


Closed energy programs


Managing energy use is a critical issue for Australia and the Australian Government has delivered a series of programs that have supported industry, community and individuals to manage energy use and costs. 

The following programs were administered by the former Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Archived information regarding these programs is available in the Australian Government Web Archive.

Charities Maritime and Aviation Support (CMAS) program

The CMAS program was introduced on 1 July 2012 to assist eligible charities with maritime and aviation fuel cost increases as a result of the carbon price. This recognised charities’ inability to pass on additional costs associated with the carbon price and the potential impacts on their operations.

Under the program, eligible charities received payment for the demonstrable cost increase incurred due to the effective carbon price on fuels purchased for eligible maritime and aviation activities.

The program provided $1.87 million to 37 eligible charities. The program closed on 17 July 2014

Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP)

CEEP was part of a suite of measures announced in July 2011 as part of the governments' climate change strategy. CEEP was a competitive, merit-based grant program that provided co-funding to local governing bodies and non-profit community organisations to implement energy efficiency projects in council and community-owned buildings, facilities and sites.

A particular focus was placed on projects that would benefit low socio-economic and other disadvantaged communities, or support energy efficiency in regional and rural councils.

The program closed on 30 June 2016. Some key outcomes of the program were:

  • Grants were awarded to 171 recipients for a total of $113.4 million.
  • 11 grants were withdrawn before funding agreements were executed.
  • 7 projects were terminated during the program with some projects partially completed at the time of termination.
  • At the close of the program, a total of $96.3 million was paid in grant funding and 153 projects completed.

See the list of final CEEP reports.

Energy Efficiency Information Grants (EEIG) program

EEIG was part of a suite of measures announced in July 2011 as part of the governments' climate change strategy. The program assisted industry associations and non-profits to provide practical, tailored energy efficiency information to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and community organisations. The information helped to make informed decisions about energy efficiency and thereby reduce operational costs.

Across 2 funding rounds, 46 recipients received a total of $33.2 million. The program closed on 30 June 2015.

Energy Efficiency Best Practice (EEBP) program

The EEBP program commenced in 1998 using sector case studies, benchmarking reports and information products to better inform industry of the benefits of energy efficiency and assist companies in overcoming barriers to the adoption of energy efficient practices.

In May 2000, the focus of the program shifted to implementation, innovation and capacity building.

The EEBP program acted as a precursor to the EEO program.

Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program

Established under the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act (2006), the EEO program was designed to improve the identification and evaluation of energy efficiency opportunities by large energy-using corporations. As a result, the program encouraged the Implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.

Companies were required to conduct rigorous assessments of their energy use and publicly report on assessment outcomes. 

The program closed on 30 June 2014.

Ethanol Production Grants Program (EPGP)

The EPGP was designed to support production and deployment of ethanol as a sustainable alternative transport fuel in Australia. The EPGP provided full excise reimbursement, at the excise rate, to ethanol producers for ethanol produced and supplied for transport use in Australia from locally derived feedstock.

The program provided $839 million in funding. The program closed on 30 June 2015.

Local Government Energy Efficiency Program (LGEEP)

LGEEP provided financial assistance to local governments for the installation of solar and heat pump hot water systems in community buildings and facilities. Particular focus was given to authorities in low socio-economic or otherwise disadvantaged areas.

Grants were awarded to 214 local councils for a total of $6.7 million. The program closed on 30 June 2014.

Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP)

LIEEP was part of a suite of measures announced in July 2011 as part of the government's climate change strategy. LIEEP was a competitive merit-based grant program providing funding to government, business and community organisations to trial approaches to improve the energy efficiency of low income households.

Across 2 funding rounds, 20 recipients were successful in securing grants worth a total of $55.3 million. The program closed 30 June 2016.

See the final reports from the 20 successful projects.

National Solar Schools Program

Under the National Solar Schools Program, over $217 million was provided to 5310 schools to install renewable energy systems, rainwater tanks and a range energy efficiency measures.

Solar power systems installed under the program produced enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4600 average households every day.

Funding helped educate students about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and  how everyday actions can prevent carbon pollution.

The program closed on 30 June 2013.

Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme (REBS) - Solar Hot Water Rebate

Under REBS, over 255,000 rebates in excess of $323 million was provided to eligible home-owners, landlords or tenants replace electric storage hot water systems with solar or heat pump hot water systems.

Eligible households could claim a rebate of $1000 for a solar hot water system or $600 for a heat pump hot water system.

Smart Grid, Smart City (SGSC)

The SGSC project trialled Australia's first commercial-scale smart grid. The project went from October 2010 to February 2014 and was delivered and funded by the Australian Government in partnership with Ausgrid, Energy Australia and their consortium partners IBM Australia, GE Energy Australia, Sydney Water, and Newcastle City Council.

The Australian Government provided a $100 million grant for the project. This was complemented by more than $400 million of cash and in-kind contributions committed by the project consortium.

The SGSC project gathered robust information about costs and benefits by testing a smart grid in a real world context. The outcomes of the project can be used to inform future decisions by government, electricity providers, technology suppliers and consumers across Australia.

To read more about the program, including reports, supporting documentation and links to SGSC data, please refer to the web archive of the pages.

Solar Cities program

The Solar Cities program worked in partnership with local government and industry consortia groups. There were 7 Solar Cities with each Solar City trialing a combination of options for homes and business to save money and energy.