Solar funding is now available for community organisations in regional Australia to install solar panel and battery systems.
Round 2 of the Solar Communities Program is releasing $2.2 million in federal grants for eligible community groups to install small-scale solar power.
Grants between $2,500 and $12,500 are available for community groups in eligible regions that meet the criteria.
Funding can subsequently be used for small-scale renewable energy generation and energy storage projects. These include:
- Purchase and installation of solar PV systems.
- Solar power battery storage.
- Solar hot water systems.
Applications close 31 May 2018 with high demand expected. Each region will close once application levels exceed funds available.
How the solar funding scheme works
The Federal Government will fund up to 100 per cent of eligible expenditure for successful applicants.
Any costs incurred above the $12,500 grant ceiling must then be funded by community group. Applicants must live in a listed region which aligns with specified electoral boundaries.
Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos told the Lakes Mail that the Solar Communities Program is a great opportunity for community groups to take advantage of low-cost solar.
According to Senator Sinodinos, one in five Australian homes now have rooftop solar. More small businesses also enjoy green, affordable electricity generated by solar power systems.
Consequently, there’s an increase in solar quotes for installation as households investigate solar panels and the new generation of home batteries.
Who is eligible to apply for community solar funding?
Strict eligibility criteria mean program applicants must:
- Be a community organisation and legal entity;
- Be in an eligible region;
- Have a minimum of $2,500 eligible expenditure;
- Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN); and also
- Provide a letter of consent from the building owner/manager.
Applicants who are not the building owner/manager, must then use a licensed installer accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
Because Energy Matters is an accredited CEC retailer, it employs only CEC-accredited installers. Every installation then meets the highest possible standards of safety and efficiency.
In addition, solar panel rebates are also available for eligible homes, businesses and community groups to install solar power systems and storage batteries.