Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program – Round 2

Last updated: 31 May 2023
Status: Applications closed
Closing date: Monday 4 April 2022, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Up to $50,000 per application

For every $1 funded, the Applicant must contribute $1. In-kind contributions will not be considered as part of the financial co-contribution.

Available to: Community groups, Local government

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is supporting Community Groups to make their facilities more energy efficient through the Community Climate Change and Energy Action program (the Program).

Project implementation grants are available for Community Groups that are best placed to deliver energy outcomes in their community. Up to 3 rounds of funding will be available over 2 years, or until the grants are fully subscribed.

Round 2 of the Program will open for applications on Thursday 17 February 2022. The following are the guidelines for applying for this funding round.

Fund recipients

Round 2 of this grant closed on 4 April 2022. View the fund recipients.

Information bulletin

Find out more in the Information bulletin.

1. Program overview

1.1 Program objectives

The objectives of the Program are to:

  • reduce operational energy costs for Community Groups to save a combined $680,000 in energy costs per year
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tonnes each year
  • improve the energy efficiency of community facilities through an investment of $3.1 million
  • achieve Net Zero Carbon i.e., buildings that are fully powered from on-site renewable sources.

Projects need to meet one or more of these objectives.

1.2 Funding available

Grants of up to $50,000 are available per Community Group.

1.3 Co-contribution

Applicants are required to meet the following co-contribution requirements:

  • For every $1 of SV funding, the Applicant must contribute $1.
  • Co-contributions must be financial only, and cannot be made up of:
    • in-kind contributions
    • funding from any other state-based government funding scheme (e.g., Solar Victoria Solar for Business rebates).

2. Eligibility

2.1 Who can apply

Funding is available to:

  • Community Groups who own their own facility (including community-owned schools and Early Learning Centres).
  • Local Government Authorities (LGAs) where facilities are utilised by, and have running costs paid for by, a Community Group.
  • Community Groups who utilise and pay running costs at an LGA-owned facility. Applications must be accompanied by a letter of support from the LGA.

Eligible applicants do not need to have received an Audit grant (Stream 1) in Round 1 to apply for funding in Round 2.

To be eligible for funding Applicants must:

  1. have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  2. have been operating for a minimum of one year by the application closing date
  3. meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirement
  4. agree to comply with SV's Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
  5. agree to comply with the funding terms and conditions:

Applicants who do not agree with the Grant Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions will be asked to provide full details of proposed amendments that would render the contractual provision acceptable to the Applicant in the SmartyGrants application form. Applicants should note that significant or substantive variations will not be viewed favourably unless the Applicant is able to demonstrate the necessity for such variations. Should applicants be successful, no further amendments to SV’s standard terms and conditions will be considered beyond the variations included in the application form.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Sustainability Victoria manages several grant programs. Although you can apply for more than one grant for a project, you can only receive one grant for each project. If you’ve already applied for an SV grant and now find this grant is more relevant or suitable, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.

2.2 Who cannot apply

  • Community Groups or facilities that received funding under Round one – Stream 2 (Implementation grants) of the Program.
  • Community Groups who:
    • do not own their facility and are renting or leasing premises from an individual or private entity
    • are not paying the energy bills of their facility
    • are operating out of residential premises.
  • LGAs who are paying the energy bills of the facility.
  • Schools and Early Learning Centres that are run privately or are funded by the State Government.
  • Individuals.
  • Businesses.
  • Alpine Resort Management Boards or other organisations operating on Crown Land.

2.3 What will be funded

Funding will support projects that focus on the reduction of energy bills, energy use and/or greenhouse gas emissions of community facilities.

  • Capital purchases (e.g., infrastructure or equipment) including but not limited to:
    • energy-efficient or renewable energy technology
    • rooftop solar installations
    • solar battery storage
    • awnings, shades, or insulation
    • window tinting and double glazing
    • energy-efficient lighting
    • replacement or electrification of inefficient appliances/units (e.g., hot water systems, heating, and cooling).
  • Consultancy or project management costs for contractors/Service Providers.
  • Costs relating to the demonstration of new technologies.
  • Projects that support a change towards a building that is highly energy-efficient and fully powered from on-site renewable sources (Net Zero Carbon).

Projects must:

  • be new planned projects that have not yet started and will not commence prior to signing a funding agreement with SV
  • be located in and service Victoria
  • meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • be commissioned and operational/completed by 31 May 2023 and within six months of the funding agreement being signed
  • have costs substantiated by a valid quote from a Service Provider (installer or contractor). In the case of solar and battery installation, Service Providers must be accredited by the Clean Energy Council. Applications that list non-accredited providers for solar or battery projects will be deemed ineligible.

Eligible Community Groups can only apply for one facility in this round of funding. LGAs may apply on behalf of multiple Community Groups.

2.4 What will not be funded

Projects that:

  • are being undertaken to comply with regulations or a regulatory notice or order
  • do not demonstrate a reduction in energy bills, energy use and/or greenhouse gas emissions
  • do not meet regulatory or planning requirements
  • are completed or have commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with SV
  • have been approved for funding under any other state-based government funding scheme
  • are undertaken at residential premises.

The following costs are ineligible for funding:

  • lease or purchase of land
  • permit, licensing, approval costs
  • routine or cyclical maintenance works with no energy reduction benefit
  • upgrades or works to building infrastructure to meet regulatory compliance
  • pre-construction (site preparation) such as site clearing, earthworks or site accessibility works
  • repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire, or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance
  • operating costs (e.g., staff costs such as salaries, electricity, water, and other utilities)
  • marketing, advertising, and promotional costs
  • purchase of vehicles (e.g., front-end loaders, forklifts, electric vehicles)
  • travel, accommodation, conferences, and other educational activities
  • LGA consultancy or project management costs.

3. Assessment process

Applications will be assessed using a contested, merit-based process against the criteria below. Preference will be given to projects that deliver higher value for money and greater reduction in energy use.

3.1 Assessment criteria


Weighting: 40%

Demonstrate the project meets fund objectives and outline:

  • the proposed energy upgrade works that will be undertaken at the facility
  • the scope of each upgrade activity (e.g., specifications of capital purchases installed, number of fixtures retrofitted, size and type of solar photovoltaic systems installed)
  • energy bill savings (electricity and gas) for each upgrade activity
  • greenhouse gas emissions savings (for solar and battery projects)
  • simple payback (years).


Weighting: 20%

Describe why the project is needed including:

  • Why it needs Victorian Government support, and how it will provide value for money for Victorians and the Community Group.
  • Why the chosen facility has been identified to deliver energy savings and any other benefits the project will provide.


Weighting: 20%

Demonstrate the abilities of the Applicant to deliver the project including:

  • Capacity (time and staff resources) – who will manage the delivery of the project, and how will this be balanced alongside regular duties.
  • Capability (skills, knowledge, and experience) – what relevant skills, knowledge and experience do they have that is applicable to delivering this project.
  • Details of the Service Provider who will be managing the listed upgrades, and details of any sub-contractors (including a detailed and valid quote). In the case of solar and battery installation, Service Providers must be accredited by the Clean Energy Council. Applications that list non-accredited providers for solar and battery projects, will be deemed ineligible.


Weighting: 20%

Demonstrate how the project will be successfully delivered including:

  • Listing the key milestones and stating how they will be delivered on time, within budget and within scope.
  • Ensuring all relevant site considerations (e.g., planning or building permits, site preparations) are taken care of.
  • The financial viability of the project, outlining proposed funding contributions.

3.2 Diversity consideration

SV may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that represent:

  • a geographical spread across Victoria with the aim of preferencing projects located in areas of socio-economic disadvantage.
  • spread across types of Community Groups, with the aim of preferencing projects that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Groups.
  • spread across project types.

3.3 Due diligence checks

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic, and environmental risks in relation to the project. This assessment will include the Applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners and/or Project Participants (see Section 9: Definitions).

Applicants (and their Related Entities and, if applicable, their Project Partners and/or Project Participants) must:

  • have had no Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breaches in the last five years or, if there was a breach, Sustainability Victoria may assess that the Applicant’s breach poses a satisfactory level of risk
  • have not been the subject of an enforceable undertaking or successful litigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 or a fair work instrument within the last five years
  • demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project
  • have adequate insurance as outlined in the short form funding agreement (for grants less than $50,000) or Grants general funding agreement (for grants over $50,000) and below:
    • Public liability $10M minimum
    • Professional indemnity $5M – not applicable for applicants who do not provide professional advice, however, SV advises all participants ensure the Service Provider/s they engage hold an appropriate level of cover
    • WorkCover
  • have not failed to satisfactorily progress or complete previous projects funded by Sustainability Victoria within funding program timelines and without sufficient reason and
  • manage any conflicts of interest adequately.

Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to Sustainability Victoria’s consideration of:

  • the seriousness of any finding(s)
  • whether the finding has been resolved to the satisfaction of the relevant enforcement agency, or the Applicant can demonstrate it is working effectively to resolve the finding
  • the efforts made by the Applicant including implementation of management systems, to ensure no further finding(s) occur and
  • whether, since the finding, the Applicant has had a satisfactory level of compliance with relevant Environmental and Safety Laws and Workplace Laws.

Sustainability Victoria may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners and/or Project Participants involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Project Partners and/or Project Participants agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at Sustainability Victoria’s request.

Sustainability Victoria reserves the right not to award funding to Applicants where the due diligence risk (including that of Project Partners and Project Participants) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.

4. Funding conditions

Successful applicants approved for funding must do the following:

4.1 Before starting the project

  • Participate in an inception meeting to discuss the project and funding agreement.
  • Agree to realistic evidence-based and performance-based milestone payments.
  • Provide SV with relevant insurance certificates of currency.
  • Sign SV’s funding agreement within 30 days of its issue.
  • Provide a project plan.

4.2 During and after the project

  • Deliver the project as outlined in the application and comply with the funding agreement.
  • Contribute to regular project progress updates or meetings.
  • Notify SV immediately about any delay or change to the project.
  • Provide update reports to SV at agreed milestones with evidence of expenditure, progress, and performance.
  • Provide adequate monitoring and evaluation of the project according to the funding agreement.
  • Collect and release data to SV. SV may share or report on the data.
  • Contribute to the project’s promotional activities (e.g., provide SV with support by reviewing and approving written stories or videos).
  • Participate in and contribute to SV activities to distribute the findings to broader stakeholders (for example, government and industry).
  • Acknowledge that SV has contributed funding in all communications related to the project.

5. Timeline

Dates may change.

Applications open: Thursday 17 February 2022.

Applications close: Monday 4 April 2022.

Information session: Thursday 24 February 2022

Project delivery: September 2022 – May 2023

Notification of outcome: Expected August 2022. We will provide applicants with updates as often as possible and when necessary.

6. How to apply

Before applying, we recommend you attend the information session.

This grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.

  1. Ensure that your organisation can apply.
  2. Ensure that your project is eligible.
  3. Read SV’s short-form Grant funding agreement for grants $50,000 or less or for grants more than $50,000 read the General grant funding agreement.
  4. Read SV’s Terms of participation in grant programs.
  5. Create an account and start your application on the SmartyGrants website.
  6. Complete all questions and upload supporting documents.
  7. Submit your application by 11:59 pm, Monday 4 April 2022. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances.

Your application

  • As this is a competitive grant, we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
  • The application form can be downloaded and reviewed prior to filling out and submitting.
  • Allow adequate time to plan, research, and gather supporting information to draft your application. Supporting information required includes:
    • information about your facility (site address)
    • type of Community Group
    • ABN
    • details of relevant insurance
    • a description of what you wish to undertake at the facility
    • a quote for the works and estimated savings on your energy bills (dollar savings), and estimated greenhouse gas emissions savings (CO2e per year, or CO2e over performance warranty period)
    • a letter of support from your LGA (docx, 27kB), if applicable.
  • Eligible Community Groups can apply for funding for one facility only.
    • If the facility is LGA-owned, the application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the LGA (docx, 27kB) including:
      • confirmation the LGA owns the facility
      • written consent for the proposed works to take place at the facility
      • a declaration that the LGA is prepared to enter into a funding agreement with SV
      • acceptance of responsibility for all terms and conditions of funding
      • confirmation of their financial co-contribution
      • signatures from both parties (LGA and Community Group).
  • LGAs can apply on behalf of multiple Community Groups.
    • Each Community Group can be associated with one facility only.
    • The funding limit of $50,000 applies per Community Group.
    • The facility must be owned by the LGA, and the running costs paid for by the Community Group.
  • You must use SmartyGrants unless you have written permission from SV.

7. Assistance available

7.1 Information session

There will be one online information session. A recording will be available after the session.

Date: Thursday, 24 February 2022

Time: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

7.2 Information bulletin

Answers to questions we receive at our information sessions and via phone and email are published in our Information bulletin.

We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in these grant guidelines.

7.3 Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.


In the subject line, use the grant name Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program.

8. Why the Victorian Government is providing this funding

This fund was released as part of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 stimulus response measures. Investing $3.1 million in local Community Groups overcomes the barrier of groups not having the resources and expertise to improve their facilities. By subsidising up to 50% of the costs for implementing energy efficient measures, the Program helps to reduce energy operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

This Program is designed to deliver on Victoria’s Climate Change policy targeting net zero emissions by 2050. Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of community facilities is a cost- effective activity that also benefits the whole community.

9. Definitions

The following terms are used in these Guidelines:


The Applicant who applies for the funding and is responsible for all details in the submission of an application and the contractual obligations under the funding agreement with SV if successful for grant funding. In the case that the Applicant is a Community Group whose facility is owned by a local government authority (LGA), the LGA will execute the funding agreement with SV and will assume legal and financial responsibility for administering the grant on behalf of the applicant.


The Applicant’s required financial contribution to the total project income.

Community Groups/Organisations

Community Groups as defined by the Australian Government Office of Best Practice Regulations 2020.

The Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis defines ‘community organisation’ as ‘any organisation engaged in charitable or other community-based activity operating under Australian law and not established for the purpose of making a profit’. This definition can include not-for-profit entities pursuing a range of ‘for-profit’ commercial activities. It can also include organisations engaged in advocacy or other activities that may not be primarily charitable in nature.

Crown Land

Crown Land is land that is owned and managed by the State Government, which is generally not freehold title. Most of the land held by the Victorian Government is Crown Land reserved for national parks and State forests. Alpine Resort Management Boards (ARMBs) are Crown land reserves.

For more information about how the Victorian Government manages Crown Land, see Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) land management.

Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breach

An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention, or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.

Environmental and Safety Laws

Environmental and safety laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 2017 or any other legislation, regulation, order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.

Net Zero Carbon

A building that is highly energy-efficient and fully powered from on-site renewable sources.

Project Participant/s

An organisation engaged by the Applicant to assist in the delivery of the Applicant’s project, including but not limited to major subcontractors, contractors, product suppliers and consultants.

Related Entities

Entities which are related to the Applicant, including:

  • holding companies of the Applicant
  • subsidiaries of the Applicant
  • subsidiaries of holding companies of the Applicant
  • companies with common directors or shareholders as the Applicant
  • companies that are a beneficiary under a trust of which the Applicant is a trustee
  • trustees of a trust under which the Applicant is a beneficiary
  • companies that conduct business at the same address as the Applicant, or the same address as the location of the activity for which the funding is sought.

Related Person/s

Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the Applicant or a Related Entity.

Workplace Laws

Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.

Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the email subject line, use the grant name Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program.