Clean Energy Future & Energy Efficiency Grants

by eccnsw - Monday, 27 February 2012

Home Energy Saver Scheme: (announced as the Household Energy and Financial Sustainability Scheme). $30 million administered by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA) for work with low income households, bringing financial counselling (including energy tariff advice) together with energy use-efficiency advice and low interest loans. Guidelines for this program are close to finalisation. Current providers of FAHCSIA-funded financial counselling services are likely to be invited to apply.

Community Energy Efficiency Program: (announced as Low Carbon Communities during the 2010 election and in the Clean Energy Future package). $200 million for work with local government and ‘community organisations’ to upgrade buildings and facilities. Guidelines are close to finalisation and a call for applications should be made soon. There seems to be an expectation that local government contenders will be strong in the first round as they’ve had more time to think through and prepare proposals. There is certainly some potential for partnerships between local government and the community organisations particularly where community organisations occupy or share local government premises. Expressions of interest due this month.

Low Income Energy Efficiency Program: $100 million for work with low income households to improve energy use-efficiency. Guidelines are in development and likely to go out in late February or early March in a call for expressions of interest. This program involves a two-step process for grant applications; an expression of interest followed by (possibly after consultation and negotiation with the Department) a more detailed application. It is much clearer now that this program is intended to encourage a combination of non-government organisations, state, territory and local governments and the private sector to jointly apply and to stimulate innovation. Funded projects are likely to be trials and demonstration projects. Expressions of interest due this month.

Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program: $40 million for work with organisations including small to medium sized businesses and ‘community organisations’ to improve awareness of energy consumption and improve efficiency in buildings and facilities, equipment and processes, and fleets. Guidelines are in development and likely to go out in late February or early March in a call for grant applications that will be assessed on merit in a competitive process. Successful projects might involve the preparation and publication or presentation of information packages, design and presentation of training, production of on-line tools for assessing energy use and efficiency. There may be potential to work across the private and non-profit sectors [for example in the residential care sector]. Applications are due in March 2012.

Information about these and other energy efficiency programs can be found at the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, here .