The federal government has announced it will launch the Powering Communities Program, aiming to benefit community groups across Australia by lowering energy costs, supporting local jobs and reducing global emissions.
Through the Powering Communities Program, thousands of community organisations will be able to apply for a grant to help lower their power bills.
The $10.2 million program will fund up to 12 projects worth a total of $67,700 in each federal electorate. Grants of between $5000 and $12,000 will be available to eligible community organisations, with no co-contribution required.
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The grant will assist groups to lower their energy bills by installing solar panels or a battery, upgrading air conditioners, hot water systems or a refrigerator with more efficient models, replacing lighting with LEDs or conducting an energy audit.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said when not-for-profit groups invest in their community, it helps local economies to grow and supports local jobs.
“Energy bills are often one of the biggest overheads for not-for-profit organisations,” Minister Taylor said.
“Whether it be a sports club, a senior citizens club or a charity group, by helping to reduce power bills, the grants will ease the financial pressure these organisations face so they can better focus on meeting the needs of their local communities.
“These groups and their members are the lynchpins of communities across Australia, and we recognise many have done it tough during COVID-19. This program will help them to do what they do best which is serve and support the community.”
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Federal Members of Parliament will play a key role in identifying the projects to be supported in their electorate, with the assistance of a committee that represents the local community.
Community groups are encouraged to contact their local federal MP to submit an expression of interest.
After the expressions of interest process, each federal MP, informed by the community consultation panel will nominate projects and invite groups to apply for the grant funding.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources will assess applications for eligibility and completeness.
The Powering Communities Program will help community groups across the nation get control of their energy use, while helping to play a part in reducing global emissions and ensure a healthy environment for future generations.