The Energy Efficient Communities Program is winding up the delivery of $40 million in grants to help businesses and community groups lower their energy bills and reduce emissions.
What was the aim of the program?
To help businesses and community organisations save energy and lower bills through:
- equipment upgrades that reduce energy consumption
- investment in energy and emissions monitoring and management systems to better manage energy use
- completion of energy systems assessments according to the Australian Standard or feasibility studies to investigate energy efficiency opportunities
- for community organisations only, energy generation and storage projects (for example, solar photovoltaic (PV) generator systems and batteries).
Who was it for?
There were 2 streams to the program:
- Business Stream.
- Community Organisations Stream.
Both Streams are now closed.
The final Business Stream, the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business grants program, is being finalised by AusIndustry following a pause to the program due to review of grant programs. For more information on the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business grants program, go to business.gov.au.
- Applications for the food and beverage manufacturing business round opened on 12 January 2022 and closed on 3 March 2022.
- Applications for the high energy using businesses round opened on 10 August 2020 and closed on 24 September 2020.
- Applications for the small business round opened on 6 July 2020 and closed on 26 August 2020.
- Applications for the dairy farming business round opened on 22 June 2020 and closed on 24 August 2020.
The Community Organisations Stream opened on 2 April 2020 and closed on 18 May 2020. Community organisations that received grants are listed on GrantConnect when the agreements are made.
How much were the grants?
- Food and beverage manufacturing businesses could apply for a grant of up to $25,000 with no co-contribution required.
- High energy-using businesses could apply for a grant of up to $25,000 with a matching co-contribution required.
- Small businesses could apply for a grant of up to $20,000 with no co-contribution required.
- Dairy farming businesses could apply for a grant of up to $20,000 with no co-contribution required.
- Community organisations could apply for a grant of up to $12,500 with no co-contribution required.
Who was eligible?
Business Stream – eligible applicants include:
- food and beverage manufacturing businesses with 1 to 199 employees
- licensed dairy farming businesses
- small businesses turning over less than $10 million a year
- high energy using businesses consuming over 0.05 petajoules a year.
Community Organisations Stream – applicants eligible to apply include:
- incorporated, not-for-profit community groups, including Men’s Sheds, community owned kindergartens, welfare centres, community centres, women’s associations, community owned childcare centres, community sporting clubs, Scout and Guide groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups and surf lifesaving clubs
- country fire authorities and rural fire services (or equivalent in each state or territory)
What activities were eligible?
Business Stream – eligible activities included:
- equipment upgrades that reduce energy consumption (excluding solar photovoltaic (PV) generator systems and batteries)
- investment in monitoring systems to better manage energy use
- energy audits or energy efficiency investment feasibility studies.
Details of eligible activities for the Business Stream were specified in the guidelines for each round.
Community Organisations Stream – eligible activities included:
- new solar photovoltaic (PV) generator systems
- new battery energy storage systems
- new solar hot water heaters or air source hot water heat pumps to replace existing hot water heaters
- new LED lighting equipment to replace existing non-LED lighting
- new energy-efficient lighting controls
- new high-efficiency split system air conditioning units to replace existing split system, packaged or window-wall air conditioning units
- energy audits.
How were grants awarded?
Grants were awarded to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis.
- The grant selection process took into account the date and time that a completed application was received.
- Guidelines for each round included a mechanism to help ensure the grants were distributed equitably across Australia.
Grants to help food and beverage manufacturers cut energy costs Ministerial media release 8 December 2021
Helping small businesses reduce their power bills Ministerial media release 14 December 2020
Small Business Grants recipients Australian Government
Lower energy costs for dairy farmers Ministerial media release 2 November 2020
Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020 (closed) Australian Government
Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020 Grant recipients Australian Government
Dairy Farming Business Grants (closed) Australian Government
Dairy Farming Business Grants recipients Australian Government
High Energy Using Business Grants (closed) Australian Government
Small Business Grants (closed) Australian Government
GrantConnect Australian Government
Helping high energy using businesses lower their power bills Ministerial media release 10 August 2020
Helping community groups lower power bills Ministerial media release 6 August 2020
Helping small businesses lower their power bills Ministerial media release 5 July 2020
Helping dairy farmers lower their power bills Ministerial media release 22 June 2020