New Australian Government Energy Efficiency Programs Opened

The Gillard Government has just announced the opening of series of energy efficiency initiatives and assistance targeted towards business, local government, households and communities.

A joint statement from Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean; and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus states these programs will make it easier for regional communities and smaller councils to access assistance and support in the transition to a low carbon future.

The programs include:

Community Energy Efficiency Program – $200 million

To assist local government, not-for-profit and community organisations to undertake energy efficiency upgrades to community infrastructure, including council buildings, stadiums, education facilities, town halls and nursing homes.

While funding for wind and solar power systems are not considered eligible for this program, solar hot water systems are eligible as they are not classified as renewable energy generation systems.

Low Income Energy Efficiency Program – $100 million

To support groups of service providers to demonstrate smarter energy use in low income households across Australia.

Purchase and installation of renewable energy generation systems, such as solar panels, micro-hydro, wind turbine and biomass generation systems are not eligible, but solar hot water is as it is not classed as a generation system.

Energy Efficiency Information Grants program – $40 million

To support small and medium sized businesses and community groups by providing information and advice to make smarter energy choices.

“The programs will enable all Australians regardless of where they live or how much they earn to harness the opportunities of a low carbon future. They will be delivered in partnership with business, councils and community groups,” reads part of the statement.

Applications open on February 13 and the guidelines for each of these programs are now available via the links above.