AusNet launches $10M Energy Resilience Community Fund

Transmission towers against sunset (ausnet community fund)
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Victoria’s AusNet has announced a $10 million Energy Resilience Community Fund with a focus on supporting local recovery efforts and enhancing energy resilience in communities severely impacted by recent catastrophic storms and other electricity reliability challenges.

Related article: Storms cause power outages and bushfires across Victoria

The community fund, which is in addition to the guaranteed service level payment and prolonged power outage payments already being provided, will function in close collaboration with relevant local councils to ensure its effective and appropriate administration.

“AusNet is committed to helping communities get back on their feet in the short term, but we also recognise the importance of working with local governments and their communities to strengthen community infrastructure and businesses and help ensure they are better prepared to withstand future weather events,” AusNet CEO David Smales said.

“The recent storms caused unprecedented damage to local electrical infrastructure which unfortunately resulted in prolonged outages.

“And it is predicted these weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. In fact, this was the third catastrophic storm to affect some of these communities in as many years.”

These urgent efforts are in addition to longer-term investments AusNet will make on its electricity infrastructure to enhance its ability to withstand increased weather events due to climate change. Smales said the Community Fund was recognition of the urgent need to support communities now and into the future and would focus on three key areas, being immediate support, community infrastructure and resilience, and small business energy resilience.

Related article: Victoria’s power outage could have been far worse. Can we harden the grid against extreme weather?

AusNet will collaborate closely with relevant local governments to finalise application and funding guidelines and ensure the effective management of the Community Fund.

To register your interest to receive further information and updates on the Energy Resilience Community Fund, email ercf@ausnetservices.com.au.

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