Community Energy Efficiency Program

Up to $5M to make council buildings more energy efficient



The Community Energy Efficiency Program is a merit-based grant program established by the Commonwealth Government to provide matched funding to local councils and non-profit community organisations to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits to council and community use buildings, facilities and lighting.

Program objectives

The objectives of the Community Energy Efficiency Program are to:

  • support a range of local councils and community organisations to improve the energy efficiency of different types of non residential council and community use buildings, facilities and lighting
  • demonstrate and encourage the adoption of improved energy management practices within councils, organisations and the broader community.


Applicants may apply for Community Energy Efficiency Program funding of up to $5 million (excluding GST) for eligible project costs. Exemptions may apply in relation to the upper funding limit for iconic street lighting projects proposed by groupings of local councils or for regional street lighting projects.

Community Energy Efficiency Program applicants must fund at least half of eligible project costs (applicant contribution) from sources other than the Commonwealth Government. The applicant contribution cannot include in‑kind contributions. Exemptions will apply for small regional and rural councils, which may provide up to 25 per cent of total project costs in the form of in-kind contributions.

Eligible Projects

An eligible Community Energy Efficiency Program project will be one that is directed towards an energy efficiency upgrade or retrofit to a non‑residential council or community‑use building, facility or site, where the majority use is for council or community purpose.

It must achieve clear, measurable gains in energy efficiency or reduction in energy use (or in the case of buildings that are currently unoccupied, such as heritage buildings that are being retrofitted, will achieve clear estimable energy efficiency gains certified by an appropriately qualified energy efficiency expert).

Eligible Expenditure

Energy audits or assessments

  • Assessment at (or in some cases prior to) the beginning of project to set a baseline for energy use and estimated efficiency improvement
  • Assessment at completion of project to determine energy efficiency improvement
  • Consultant costs Cost of one energy audit or energy

Upgrades or retrofits to buildings and facilities

  • Upgrades to the roof, walls and floor to resist heat transfer
  • Improved glazing to resist heat flow and solar radiation
  • Sealing of the building (draught proofing) and thermal improvements
  • Upgrades to allow air movement for free cooling, in terms of openings and breeze paths
  • Upgrades to heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems and hot water supply
  • Upgrades to lighting and electric power saving features
  • Other energy efficiency upgrades such as pool blankets, new motors for swimming pool pumps
  • Upgrades to building energy management systems or services, including hardware and software
  • Installation of co-generation or tri‑generation systems (not including renewable energy sources)

Upgrades to outdoor lighting such as street lights and traffic lights

  • Materials
  • Equipment hire
  • Labour (contractors)

Basic energy efficiency items

  • Efficient light bulbs, low‑flow shower heads, shower timers, draught-proofing material, fridge and freezer thermometers and energy saving power boards
  • Installation of smart/energy meters
  • Installation of efficient hot water systems to replace inefficient electric systems

 Monitoring and reporting

  • Installation of metering equipment
  • Purchase of energy monitoring systems

Educational activities and raising community awareness

  • Website development, demonstrations of techniques, community monitoring, surveys and other awareness‑raising activities to assist groups to adopt new ideas or build skills in energy
  • efficiency (e.g. workshops), installation of signage to raise awareness of and/ or spread the learnings from a project.

 Administration support

Administration funding is to be included only where it is for the purpose of supporting the operations and activities of the applicant organisation to undertake and deliver the project. Funding for this component should not exceed 10% the total project costs up to a limit of $100,000.

For Community Energy Efficiency Program projects implemented by small regional and rural councils funding for this component should not exceed 20% of the total project cost up to a limit of $100,000.

Financial audit/accounting costs

Grant recipients are required to provide an independent audit report verifying project expenditure after completion of the project.


Expert Assistance

We have a 100% success rate with large grants to assist with climate change adaption. We can provide assistance with all aspects of this grant. Contact us on 03 9005 6789 or email to see how we can assist you further.

Areas where we can assist with your Community Energy Efficiency Program application include demonstrating:

  • capacity of the applicant to deliver the proposal
  • financial viability of the proposal
  • technical feasibility of the proposal
  • risks relating to the proposal

 Applications close at 5:00pm (AEDST) on 23 March 2012

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