Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program: Information bulletin

Last updated: 10 August 2021

Due to the high volume of questions received at the information session, some have been re-worded and grouped to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.

This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.

Information session

We held an information session on 21 July 2021 to present an overview of the program.

Recording

Applicant eligibility

Are education institutions, such as early learning centres, kindergartens, schools or universities, eligible for funding?

Only institutions that are funded by community organisations or local government are eligible for this funding. Schools and early learning centres that are run privately or via state government funding are therefore not eligible. Some kindergartens will be eligible as they are funded by community organisations or local government.

Can peak bodies, not-for-profits or social enterprises apply for this funding to support their members?

Yes, providing your organisation is a community organisation and meets all other eligibility criteria. You can find the definition for a community group or organisation in the program guidelines.

To summarise, this refers to ‘any organisation engaged in charitable or other community-based activity that is not established for the purpose of making a profit.’ You will need to demonstrate how your project delivers energy bill savings to community organisations.

If you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible, make sure you read the guidelines carefully, including the eligibility criteria and exclusions.

Think about who owns the site, who utilises it and how it benefits community organisations.

Are facilities owned by state government eligible if they are managed by community organisations?

No, only facilities owned by the community organisations themselves or by local government will be eligible to apply. Please see Section 3 - Eligibility in the guidelines.

Project eligibility

What types of projects would be eligible under Stream 2?

Under Stream 2 we are looking for projects that target a reduction in energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Some examples of eligible projects are:

• upgrades to more energy-efficient lighting

• installation of roof-top solar panels

• upgrade to more energy-efficient hot water systems

• installation of more energy-efficient heating and cooling, such as a reverse cycle air-conditioner

• insulation

• double glazing.

Think about what will have the most impact at your facility in terms of reducing energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Applications

If our facility is owned by our local council, do they need to apply on our behalf? Can they ask us to provide the co-contribution?

Yes, the local council would need to submit an application on your behalf. This would make them the lead applicant and mean they are responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. For example, ensuring that the project is completed as planned and providing a financial co-contribution (for Stream 2).

Do you have any advice on approaching your local council to submit an application on your behalf?

The project team engaged with local government leading up to the launch of the program, so they should all be aware of the program prior to you reaching out.

We suggest you write to your local council with details of your proposed project. Make sure to let them know what is involved from their end and describe how your community organisation would benefit from the funding. The more detail you can give them, the easier it will be for them to complete the application.

What do I need to prepare to complete the application?

You could download a copy of the application form to review the questions prior to submitting your application through SmartyGrants. You will need to provide:

  • information about your facility (site address)
  • type of community organisation
  • ABN
  • details of insurance
  • a description of what you wish to undertake at the facility
  • a quote for the works and estimated savings in terms of energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Can the same community organisation receive multiple grants for the same site?

Yes, but there are conditions. An applicant cannot apply for the same site under Stream 1 and Stream 2 within the one funding round.

For example, you are unable to apply for both an audit and an upgrade at the same site within Round 1. However, if you wanted to apply for an audit grant for the site in Round 1, and then an upgrade such as energy efficiency lighting in Round 2, that is possible (and encouraged).

Can a community organisation receive funding in multiple rounds for the same stream?

There is a limit of one grant approved per community organisation for each funding stream. If you receive funding for an upgrade under Stream 2 in Round 1, you couldn't then apply under Stream 2 in Round 2.

Are there limitations on local government applications?

Our aim is to support as many different community organisations as possible. Local government could apply under each stream multiple times, providing that they are supporting a different community organisation each time.

What if my community organisation needs funding for several sites?

To give you the chance to perform audits or upgrades at multiple sites you can list up to 3 sites per application. However, you will only receive the maximum amount allowed under that particular stream. You will be required to detail in your application how you plan to split the funding across those 3 sites.

If an application is unsuccessful for funding in Round 1, can we re-submit our application in future rounds?

Yes. There will be a chance to get some feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful in Round 1 which will assist you in applying for future funding rounds.

What do you suggest if we are unable to complete a project within the six-month timeframe?

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the 6-month timeframe, but we do plan on opening the grant for a second round later this year or early next year. You could think of ways to split the project across multiple rounds. Consider which facilities need an audit and which have projects that could be implemented in the next funding round.

It is important to remember that community organisations will only be successful for a particular stream of funding once across the life of the program.

Local councils will need to think about which community organisations and facilities they could support in this round versus the next.

The guidelines state that projects cannot commence prior to signing a funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria. Do you have a suggestion of when this might be, given that we must provide an estimated project start date in the application form?

Due to the nature of grant funding, we can’t provide a specific start date. You will need to ensure you include the details of key milestones in your project plan, to demonstrate that you can deliver the project within a six-month timeframe.

Do we need to source multiple quotes for the projects?

You are only required to submit one quote for the works, although you can certainly approach several providers if you wish. Please ensure that this includes the details outlined in the application form:

  • Name, ABN and contact details of service provider.
  • Facility address.
  • Outline of proposed works (including what will/won’t be included and details of any sub-contractors).
  • Audit information (Stream 1 only):
    • proposed standard of audit (Type 1 or Type 2)
    • what will/won’t be included
    • why the chosen type is appropriate.

Can you recommend an auditor that we could approach for a quote under Stream 1?

Due to the competitive nature of the program, we are unable to recommend or endorse any energy auditors or service providers. We suggest you start by approaching your industry peers, local council and business networks for recommendations.

Is there a requirement to apply for Stream 1 and complete an audit prior to applying for Stream 2?

No, there is no requirement for you to apply for Stream 1 prior to Stream 2. Stream 2 grants are designed to fund and fast-track projects that have been developed and are at implementation stage.

More information

This grant program is a competitive process and we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.

We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility and merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and application form.