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.

Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP)

The BEAP was announced in December 2018 as part of the Australian Government’s Action Plan to Reduce Power Prices. The $12 million program responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's July 2018 Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report. The objective of the program was to deliver trusted advice to help small businesses and their representatives get better energy deals and increase their energy efficiency.

The program launched in August 2019 providing 2 free services for small businesses:

  • Business Energy Advice, an energy advisory service that delivered face-to-face, phone and digital advice to small businesses across Australia. The service concluded in August 2022.
  • Small Business Energy Check, an online benchmarking tool that enables small businesses to compare their energy spend with similar businesses.

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.
  • a total of $96.3 million was funded and 153 projects completed.

See the list of final CEEP reports.

Energy Efficient Communities (EEC) program 

The EEC program formed part of the Climate Solutions Package which was announced in February 2019. It was designed to provide direct support to businesses and community organisations to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions through a range of energy efficiency measures.

Under the EEC program, eligible businesses and community organisations received grants for energy efficiency projects such as replacing and upgrading old equipment to more efficient technologies, energy monitoring studies and audits. The community grants targeted energy generation and solar storage projects.

The program was delivered across 6 streams:

  1. Community Solar Grants 2019
  2. Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020
  3. Dairy Farming Business Grants 2020
  4. Small Business Grants 2021
  5. High Energy Using Business Grants 2021
  6. Food and Beverage Manufacturing Grants 2022

Across the 6 streams the EEC offered 2,033 grants to businesses and community organisations across all Australian states and territories worth a total of $38.6 million.

See archived information regarding these streams.

To read more about the EEC program including grant recipients, go to

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 Energy Efficiency Opportunities 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.

Hotel Energy Uplift Program (HEUP)

The Hotel Energy Uplift Program delivered $10.2 million in grants to help small and medium hotels reduce their energy use, improve energy productivity and deliver carbon abatement. The focus of the grants was on upgrading equipment, implementing energy management activities and investing in energy monitoring.

Grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 were awarded to 442 hotels.

To read more about the program, go to

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.

Powering Communities Program (PCP)

The Powering Communities Program provided $10.2 million in grants to help not-for-profit community organisations reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of the program was on upgrading equipment to reduce energy consumption and investing in on-site renewable energy and solar-connected batteries.

Grants of between $5,000 and $12,000 were distributed to community organisations across 151 Federal electorates.

To read more about the program, go to

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.

Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program

The Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program was established to support firm generation capacity and increase competition as part of the Australian Government's commitment to lowering electricity prices and increasing reliability in the system.

The program closed on 25 October 2022.