This Information bulletin includes questions and answers related to the Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program: Round 2.
On this page
Some questions 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.
A general information session for Round 2 of the Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program (the Program) was held online at 3pm on Thursday 24 February 2022.
This video shows four speakers presenting at the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund and Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program Information Session on 24 February 2022.
The Sustainability Victoria presenters are:
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Information Session: Recycling Victoria Communities Fund and Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program’ , ‘February 2022’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint Presentation being played on screen, with speakers appearing via video to the side of the screen]
Alice: Hello, everybody. And thank you for joining us. Hello, everyone. We are just going to wait a couple of minutes to just make sure that everyone is logging on. But thank you and hello to all of you that have already logged on and welcome. Welcome to those just logging on now for the information session. Thanks for joining us. We'll just wait a couple more minutes to make sure that everyone has logged on. Awesome. Well, I think I might dive into it. So hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us online for today's Information Session for the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund and the Community Climate Change and Energy Action program. I am Alice and my colleagues, Karyn, Donna, and Ethan will be presenting to you today. We also have my colleagues, Heather, and Luke and Tasha in the background ensuring today's live session goes smoothly.
Now we are going to start off with the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund first. And then we are going to go into the Community Climate Change and Energy Action program second. Both information sessions are about 15 minutes long with about five minutes at the end for question time. Now, if you click the speech bubble icon on your top right, you'll see that you can submit questions throughout the session. If we don't have time to answer all of your questions today, there is an email address there for you to get in touch with our fantastic grants team. Great. We're going to jump into it.
Now firstly, we would like to start by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which we're meeting today, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and the elders of the nation upon which you're all watching from today. At SV, we acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the most sustainable culture in the world, and that the unique knowledge systems of aboriginal people and their contributions to our understanding of climate change and our environment are being slowly, belatedly recognized. At SV, we are working towards indigenous inclusion in our program design and workplace more generally and we welcome your support and guidance on this journey.
Now we are going to go into the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund. Now today's session will cover background on the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund, a fund overview, eligibility, due diligence, the assessment process, application support, key dates, and then we'll end with question time. Now first, background on the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund. Now the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund comes from the Recycling Victoria: A new economy policy, which is Victorian Government's $380 million, 10-year circular economy plan. Now the RV Communities Fund fits into the $14.6 million going towards supporting councils and communities to reduce waste. Now, what is a circular economy? At the moment, our economy is mainly linear. Products are created. We buy them. We use them. And when we are finished with them, we send them to landfill. In a circular economy, we ensure products, materials and resources are used for as long as possible and aren't being just sent straight away to landfill.
This fund supports communities to transition to a circular economy by reducing, reusing, recycling, repairing and composting. Reasons to apply. We need change from the ground up. We know that communities have the power to inspire change. And we know that communities play a crucial role in changing community behaviors to transitioning communities to Victoria's circular economy. Now I'm going to go into the RV Communities Fund: Fund overview. The fund objectives. The fund supports community-based projects that empower the community to reduce waste. The projects must deliver one or more of the following objectives: reduce waste generation, reduce non-organic material going to landfill, reduce organic material going to landfill, reduce the sources of plastic pollution, litter and illegal dumping. And where possible, boost Victoria's circular economy by helping businesses to grow in new ways and create new jobs. Now, all projects must take place in and service Victoria. You'll see here on the right of the slides that we're highlighting the section of the guidelines where you can find more information.
Funding available. Now, we have two types of grants available. We have the stream 1 grants, which are between $25,000 to $59,000. These must be delivered within 12 months and must benefit one or more community. Now the stream 2 grants between $60,000 to $250,000 must be delivered within 18 months. Now, stream 2 grants must benefit multiple communities, local government areas or a region. Now I'm going to go through some examples of what we funded in Round 1, so we can clearly articulate what would be a stream 1 project and what would be a stream 2 project. So in Round 1, we funded Whittlesea Community Connections who are establishing a repair cafe at Mernda Community House in the City of Whittlesea area. Now this project benefits one local government area, which is the City of Whittlesea. Now another stream 1 example is the Neighbourhood Collective Australia who is establishing an op-shop, sewing workshops and a slow fashion hub in the City of Greater Bendigo area. And this project benefits one local government area, the City of Greater Bendigo.
Now, here are some stream 2 examples that were funded in Round 1. So we funded Reground who are expanding their current coffee grounds collection service. Now this project benefits an additional 19 local government areas across Victoria. Now we also funded in stream 2 Living Learning Pakenham. And this project is establishing a network of compost hubs, repair cafes and workshops across Melbourne's eastern and southern suburbs. And this project benefits three local government areas across Victoria. Co-contribution. Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $5 requested. This contribution can be either financial (cash) or in-kind, by the applicant or their project partners. And up to 100% of the co-contribution can be in-kind.
Project partners. Project partners are encouraged to support project delivery and maximize the project's impact. Project partners can be any organization. For example, local governments, research institutes, commercial businesses, or Aboriginal corporations. You can have as many project partners as you like, but there can only be one lead applicant. Applicants will need to clarify the project partner's commitment and role in the project. And letters of support are encouraged. Now I'm going to pass over to my colleague, Karyn, to take you through the rest.
Karyn: Thank you, Alice. I'm just making sure I'm off mute. Thank you very much, Alice. And hi, everyone. It's really lovely to have you connect in with us today for our information session. So regarding eligibility, so who can apply? So eligible organizations must be one of the following. So you either need to be a community group, a charity, not-for-profit organization, or social enterprise. And we also want to highlight that if you're applying under stream 1, that's the lower funding stream, you need to have been operating for at least one year. And if you want to apply under the stream 2 funding level, you have to have been operating for a minimum of two years and your ABN number needs to reflect this. Applicants who were not successful or were unsuccessful in Round 1, you are welcome to apply under Round 2. And we also really encourage applications from diverse communities. And as Alice highlighted before, we've referenced on this slide here the different sections in our guidelines that talk further about this information.
So the next slide is what can be funded. And I won't go through this whole list, but I think in the guidelines, I really encourage you to go to the guidelines to look at those costs that can be funded. And my message here would be to say that you need to really make sure that the expenditure items you're requesting funds for can strongly relate to the project of which the application talks about. The next slide is around what can't be funded or what won't be funded. And again, I won't talk through the list. There's a bit of a... Because of the time we had today. But again, this list is in our guidelines and I will just mention the top point there. So litter or illegal dumping projects that solely focus on clean up and/or enforcement activities. They won't be funded under RV Communities Fund because it's not a priority for the circular economy initiative.
We'll be looking at our projects that focus on litter or illegal dumping projects that they're about litter prevention and behavior change. So, but please refer to our guidelines. Okay. The next slide is around due diligence. And just to let you know, so if an application is successful, they ask particular checks we undertake that need to be sort of applicants need to go through before we enter a funding agreement with you. So we need to ensure that there's been no environmental safety or workplace breaches in the last five years. We also need to ensure that you have the adequate insurances before entering a funding agreement and there's public liability, professional indemnity and WorkCover insurance. So when you get to the application form, you'll see we do ask specific questions in relation to these matters. And if, for example, you don't have a particular insurance, just let us know. We do have a space where you can say why you don't have insurance. And that just helps the panel to be clear as to where you're at with regards to that process.
Okay. So the assessment process. The key thing in the assessment criteria... Sorry, we've got our lovely slide person in the background here working through with us. So assessment criteria. Now I reckon if I was to do anything out of this application process, I would have the assessment criteria top of mind besides your screen when you're working through the form because it's this criteria that the panel referred to when they're looking at your application as to how the project, the criteria and how your project aligns with this criteria. And the questions we ask in our application form also strongly align to this criteria. So really encourage you to look at that. And again, that is stated in our guidelines. And you'll also see that there's a waiting system that's put alongside each of our criteria.
Okay. And application support. So we're really pleased to say that we've got a wonderful support through the Waste and Resource Recovery Support Group. And we strongly encourage you to connect and contact your regional work representative as early as possible because they can really help you develop your application and sort of be that sounding board for you in relation to the project that you're considering, the partners that you're thinking you're having on board, and just tease the project out a bit more in relation to our objectives. WRRGs can't sort of put letters of support with your application and/or recommend funding, but they are really great sounding board in relation to your project considerations. In our guidelines, we've got contact details for you.
And before you apply. Yeah. So it's almost like the checklist before you press the get into filling out the form. So strongly recommend you read and understand the guidelines and sort of have them on hand when you're filling out the form. Really also encourage you to look at the terms and conditions under the funding agreements, either for stream 1 or stream 2, because that'll give you a sense of if you are to get funding, what are those next steps that you'll need to work through. Equally, read the Round 1 funded projects and the recipients, because that might help sort of generate some project ideas or reaffirm the project that you've got in mind in terms of whether it's an eligible project or not. We've got a great information bulletin there for you. We've also developed a tips for preparing and writing a grant application. And we have, as Alice mentioned, we've got a great inquiries team. So really encourage you to email any queries to the team.
And just coming to the end, got a lovely snapshot there of the wonderful projects that were funded under Round 1. And hi to any of you that are on screen today. It's a real privilege working with you. And as you can visually see, there's a real diversity there, which is great. Okay. So finally I think, key dates. So the applications are already open. They opened last week, 17th of February. They close at 11:59 on 31st of March. So we've got about five weeks. The intention is that we would give you an outcome in July and that we would have the agreements funded established in August. Great. So that's from me and Alice. I believe we may have some questions.
Alice: Yes. Thank you so much for those of you who are sending your questions through on the chat. That is fantastic. So Karyn, I have a question for you.
Question: Can I apply for a project that already exists or does it need to be a new project?
Karyn: Yeah. Great question. Used to both, so you can definitely apply for a new project and you can apply for an existing project. I think the key thing if you're applying for an existing project, I strongly encourage you to be as clear as you can as to the new aspects about your project. What is it that the expansion is going to cover that's not happening currently? What are those activities or those cost items that are going to be in addition to the existing project?
Alice: Awesome. So next question.
Question: Can an organization that received funding in Round 1 apply again in Round 2?
Karyn: Yes. Short answer, but it can't be for the same project that you receive funding for in Round 1. So essentially, we assume it's going to be either for an expansion of that project and/or for a completely new project. And there may be a couple of questions if you fall into that sort of category, you receive funding under Round 1 and you're wishing to apply under Round 2. If there are some questions about your application, I encourage you to come through our grants team because your project may not have finished by the time you apply or assuming they haven't, you're going to have to be really crystal clear as to why is it a new project and why is it now, and/or if it's an existing project, why is it expanding project, why is it expanding now given your project as yet to finish.
Alice: Right. Thanks. Okay. So here's a nice and easy one.
Questions: What are some examples of organic material and non-organic material?
Karyn: Yeah. Okay. I actually, I've got this little card beside me where I just sort of keep reminding myself about that one. So organic materials essentially refers mainly to sort of food waste from... And examples of non-organic materials are things like glass, paper cardboard, textiles, plastics, and/or secondhand furniture. But again, if I haven't sort of fully answered that for some people, by all means, throw us a question.
Alice: Perfect. Okay. I'm going to do three more questions. Now here's one that's interesting.
Question: What is the difference between project inputs and outputs versus project outcomes?
Karyn: Yeah. Nice. And this can keep... I sometimes have to remind myself the difference here and it can get a little bit confusing. So outcomes are what you are intending your project to achieve, or what is it that you want your project or your organization to achieve, or what do you need your project to achieve. And the outputs are the key activities that you need to do in order to achieve that outcome. So what are the projects you're going to put in place or the programs or the different activities you need to do, or what are the project plans or engagement plans that you need to put in place in order to achieve that outcome? I hope that answers the question.
Alice: Okay. Second to last question.
Question: Can we discuss our project ideas or get feedback from a Sustainability Victoria staff member?
Karyn: Yeah, as much as... And Alice, you'll agree with me on this one. As much as we'd love to be talking, as much as we can to everybody, unfortunately, the answer to that is no. This fund is, and like most of SV funds, it's a competitive grant process. So it's really important that Alice and I and other key members of the assessment panel, we really step back from the inquiry process and not provide feedback. So we highly recommend, as we've said, that you get in touch with our grants team through the grant inquiry process. And we have a legal and governance team and we have a funding sort of inquiry team that can help you with your questions and queries.
Alice: Fantastic. Okay. One last question.
Question: Does SV provide a guide or a calculator for in-kind contributions?
Karyn: No. So we... Oh, that stumped me. But Alice, so I'm just going to refer to [crosstalk].
Alice: I do know the answer to this one. I can jump on in there. So we do not provide a calculator for in-kind contributions purely because we do leave that up to you to calculate. Now we have put some definitions in the guidelines for full-time equivalent employees, FTE, and we also have a definition for in-kind contributions. So refer to that as a guide. But we also recommend looking up at vic.gov.au/grants understanding in-kind contributions. And there are some resources out there like that website that can help you calculate. But other than that, we do leave this up to you.
Karyn: Great answer. Thanks, Alice.
Alice: So it looks like that's all the questions we've got time for. But if you still have questions, you can visit our information bullet page and read our FAQs online. And of course, as mentioned before, email our grants team.
Karyn: Thank you.
Alice: Thank you. We will pass it over to the CCCEA team.
Donna: Great. Thank you, Alice and Karyn. Hello, everybody. My name is Donna Shiel. I am a project advisor here at Sustainability Victoria. And I will be taking you through the Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program section of this information session along with my colleague, Ethan Berry. So let's get started. So similar to the Recycling Victoria Community Fund presentation, this session will cover a background to the Community Climate Change and Energy Action program, which I will now refer to as the CCCEA program. I will go over a fund overview, the eligibility, due diligence, the assessment process, how to apply, key dates, and we'll have time for some questions at the end as well.
So by means of background, the CCCEA program is part of the Victorian Government's COVID-19 economic stimulus package. And it's been designed to deliver tangible projects to help ensure Victoria's Climate Change Policy outcomes, which target net zero emissions by 2050 are met. And just so you all know, everything we cover today is also covered in our Grant Guidelines. And you'll see these little green boxes at the bottom of your screen, which highlight the relevant section of those Grant Guidelines. So you can reference those as well. Just having a bit of trouble with the slides there. Looks like we've jumped straight to question time for me. I'm not sure if anyone else is seeing that. Yeah. All right. I think it might be slowly coming back. Sorry about that everyone. Just having a couple of technical issues. It's slowly coming back I think. I will attempt to progress. I'm not sure what you all are out there seeing, but I've just got a bit of a pixelated screen, but I can mostly see.
So the CCCEA program has three key objectives: to save about $680,000 in energy costs annually, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tons annually, and to invest $3.1 million into community facilities. And to meet these objectives, the CCCEA program is offering grants to eligible community groups to help them reduce their operational energy costs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through funding upgrade, energy efficiency upgrades and to help community facilities transition to lower carbon energy sources and to move towards net zero. So we'll move into a fund overview now and just take you through a little bit about what the fund is all about from that perspective.
So we've got grants of up to $50,000 available per community group. And funding can support community groups to implement upgrades focused on reducing operational energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and also to support community groups to change towards buildings that are highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site renewable resources. So net zero carbon. A co-contribution of $1 to $1 is required for these grants. And in-kind contributions will not be considered as part of that co-contribution. And all of that is outlined in section 1 of the Grant Guidelines for you.
All right. So as you know, this is Round 2. So there was a Round 1 before this and a few things have changed in this round from the last. So I'm just going to go over a few of those things with you. And these changes have been made based on feedback from Round 1 recipients at the process and also learnings. So a few things that we learned along the way as well. So Round 2 has only one funding stream, which is implementation grants. So in Round 1, we also had energy audit grants and implementation grants, but this round it's just implementation. Round 2 also has only one funding tier. Whereas in Round 1, there were two. So all applicants are able to apply for up to $50,000 in this round regardless of their project type.
So you don't have to apply for up to 50,000. You can apply for 5, 10, 20, whatever's appropriate for the scale of your project. In this round as well, service providers engaged to undertake solar panel or battery installation must be accredited by the Clean Energy Council. So there's a link to the Clean Energy Council website in the Grant Guidelines. And on it, there's a list and I think a map as well of all of the service providers that are accredited with the Clean Energy Council and there's a good spread right across the state. And it's important to note that applications for solar and battery that list non-accredited providers will be deemed ineligible. So please make sure you check out that list in user provider from it. Community groups can only apply for funding for one facility in this round, whereas in Round 1, they could apply for funding for up to three. And finally, community groups are now able to complete an application form for a facility that is owned by a local government authority, whereas in the previous round, they could not.
Moving onto eligibility. So community groups are eligible to apply so long as they meet the definition that is outlined in the Government Office of Best Practice Regulation and that are in their own premises. So there is also a link to that in the Grant Guidelines. So you can head on over to that website and ensure before you apply that you are an eligible community group. Local government authorities or LGAs where facilities are used by and have running costs paid for by a community group are eligible to apply, and as are community groups who utilize and pay for running costs at an LGA-owned facility. If that is your situation, then applications must also be accompanied by a letter of support from the LGA. And there's more information on what that letter of support should include in Section 2.1 of the Grant Guidelines.
And moving onto who cannot apply. So community groups that do not own their own facility and are renting or leasing their premises from an individual or private entity, or are located on Crown Land or State Government Land are ineligible to apply, as are community groups that are not paying the energy bills of the facility that they operate in, or community groups operating out of a residential premise. Additionally, LGAs who are paying the bills, individuals, businesses, Alpine Resort Management Boards, and applicants who received an implementation grant in Round 1 are also ineligible to apply.
So there are lots of things that can be funded, which is great. And they include new projects that focus on a reduction of energy bills, energy use and/or greenhouse gas emissions of community facilities. And these include things like capital purchases, including rooftop solar, battery storage, awnings, insulation, energy-efficient lighting, energy-efficient heating, cooling. So a long list all in the Grant Guidelines. Also, what will be funded is installation of all that capital, consultant or project management costs for service providers, and costs relating to the demonstration of new technologies, and also projects that move facilities towards a net zero carbon.
Alongside things that will be funded, there is a bit of a list of things that will not be funded. So I just want to highlight a couple of things here. So projects that don't demonstrate a reduction in energy bills or energy use or greenhouse gas emissions will not be funded, and also projects that are completed already or have commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria and which request retrospective funding will not be funded. Also, which won't be funded are projects that have been approved for funding under another state-based grants scheme, and also grants which use the Solar Victoria rebate as part of their cash contribution. So there's a few other things there that will not be funded and you can have a read of those in the Grant Guidelines. Cool. And I'm going to pass over to my wonderful colleague, Ethan, who is going to now take you through the rest of this pack. Thanks, Ethan.
Ethan: Thanks, Donna. And thank you very much for everybody coming along today. With the Community Climate Change and Energy Action program just like with the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund speaking before, we will be doing due diligence checks as well for all applications submitted. So applicants must have had no environmental safety, all workplace breaches in the last five years. And same as with the Recycling Victoria Fund, adequate insurances before entering into a funding agreement, including public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and WorkCover.
Our assessment process will be on a competitive, merit-based assessment process with an assessment panel. And we do have a criteria matrix as well where the what portion of the application will be weighted the highest. So that's where you describe your project and how it will contribute to the program's objectives. The other three categories, why the project is needed, who the applicant is, and how the project is feasible. They are all weighted at 20%. So please do keep this criteria matrix in front of mind when you're making your application and take a look at the guidelines to see how that will be assessed. As well as that, there is also a diversity consideration for this round of Community Climate Change and Energy Action as well, where Sustainability Victoria may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that: One, represent a geographical spread across Victoria; Two, will have a spread across types of community groups; And three, a spread of project types.
When you're looking to apply for the grant itself, there's eight steps to consider. And we definitely direct you to Section 6 of the Grant Guidelines to see what's involved in applying. But first of all, it really entails making sure that your organization and your project are eligible for funding. So please take a good look at the eligibility criteria for your project and your organization on our guidelines. And just as Donna has just detailed those requirements. Number three is to read the short-form and general grant funding agreements that are available for you to take a look at what a funding agreement it would look like for your project. So for grants under $50,000, a short-form grant funding agreement will be used. Number four, read Sustainability Victoria's terms of participation in grant programs. Please make sure that you are really across all the terms and conditions before you apply for the program. And then five, you'll be creating account on SmartyGrants, which is the online platform that we used to administer all grants. So you'll be applying through that program and there'll be a form there for you to used to submit your application
On the next slide, we also want to make it clear that there are two forms on SmartyGrants. And that is depending on whether you are: one, a community group; or two, a council applying on behalf of community groups. There are two different forms. So there's a form on SmartyGrants for community groups and a form on SmartyGrants for councils applying on behalf of community groups. So just make sure you choose the right form. Make sure you complete all the questions and upload supporting documents. And lastly, these program closes for applications on Monday, the 4th of April at 11:59 PM. So make sure that you submit your application by then. Still, about five weeks to go there.
Okay. So the key dates for this program. Our grant opened on the 17th of February, which was a week ago. And the round itself closes, as I said on Monday, the 4th of April. We will be looking to announce the successful applicants and notifying successful applicants in August. And having funding agreements established and signed in September. Project completion will be within six months of the funding agreement being signed. Okay. I think that's everything that we had to talk about for Community Climate Change and Energy Action program. Looks like there's a number of questions there as well. Donna, have you picked out any questions to address?
Donna: Yeah. Thank you, Ethan. Yeah. So I can see there's a few questions in the chat box. There are a several questions about the definition of a facility and whether this is meant to mean one building or several buildings on one title. And I might just encourage those couple of people who have asked about that to email us at email@example.com. And we can have a conversation with you about your particular site. So yeah, if you could do that. I think the next slide has all the details actually to contact us with those questions. So that would be great if you could send them in to us via email and we'll have a look at...
Ethan: Not sure if it's just me or if Donna has frozen there. But yes, please do get in touch with us at grants inquiries to talk through that eligibility point.
Karyn: Yes. Ethan, I think it's the joys of our internet. And I think Donna has frozen. Yeah.
Ethan: Thanks for... Oh, it looks like Donna is back.
Donna: Sorry. My internet just dropped out. So I'm not sure if that question was continued by anyone. No, that's all right. I'll just skip back to that. So it was just about how the fund, how the co-contribution funding can be made up. So it can either be, so cash from your organization, or it can be grant funding from a local government source or a federal government source, but not a state government source. So I hope that answers that question for you. And just having a look to see if there are any other questions. I think that's kind of all I can see there.
Ethan: I've got a question, Donna. A question regarding…
Question: If an applicant was successful in receiving an implementation grant last round, are they eligible for this round of funding?
Donna: No, unfortunately not. So if you've had an implementation grant in Round 1 of CCCEA, you are ineligible to apply for one for Round 2. However, if you did an audit grant or got funding for an audit assessment grant in Round 1, so Round 1 stream 1, you are eligible then to apply for Round 2. And that way you can apply for funding to implement the recommendations of that audit. All right.
Ethan: I've seen another question here that Heather's answered, but I'll just address it here as well for everybody in case they can't see the chat.
Question: Is an energy audit required to apply for implementation funds?
Ethan: And the answer is no, an energy audit is not required in order to apply for funding in Round 2. Applicants must carefully consider the assessment criteria, including why the project is needed and how it provides value for money for Victorians and the community group. But no, an energy audit is not required.
Donna: All right. Just having a little [inaudible]. Good answer mostly in there is also a question actually about a building on Crown Land. So an organization that were a local council-owned building, but it's on Crown Land. I'll actually also encourage that person to please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we'll have a conversation about that specific circumstance as well. All right. We have one more question actually coming through now.
Question: What flexibility is there in the program if projects are delayed due to labor or material shortages or COVID?
Donna: Ethan, did you want to chat about the grant timelines for that one?
Ethan: Yeah. So six month completion time for the project is what we ask applicants to aim for. Of course, things do happen along the way and there can be uncontrollable things that pop up and we aim to manage that. And we aim for everybody to manage that as we go along. Can't provide a solid answer, I'm afraid, but we are aware that things can happen along the way.
Donna: And we do have it until the end of May in 2023 to complete the projects too. So there's a decent timeframe there for us to work with. All right. I think that might be it for questions. If we have missed any, which I don't think we have, or if you have any other additional questions or something comes up in the next few weeks, please have a look at the information bulletin page on the Sustainability Victoria website and have a look at the frequently asked questions. You can also phone us and the number is on screen there, or definitely email us as well at email@example.com and just pop Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program or Recycling Victoria Communities Fund in the subject line. And one last thing is that we cannot review our drafts or provide feedback on applications. And I think that might be it from us. Thank you all for your attendance. And we look forward to getting lots of applications from you all.
Alice: Thanks so much, everyone. Thanks for joining us.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you’, ‘It’s up to all of us to help shape the State of the Future’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘t @SustainVic’, ‘in Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’]
[End of Transcript]
What has changed in Round 2 of the Program?
Based on learnings and feedback from the delivery of Round 1, there are five key changes to Round 2 of the Program:
See ‘Community Groups’ or refer to Section 2 – Eligibility, and Section 6 – Your application of the guidelines for more information.
If you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible, make sure you read the program guidelines carefully, including the eligibility criteria, exclusions, and the definition of a Community Group. Think about who owns the facility, who utilises it, who pays for the energy bills and how it benefits the local community.
Are facilities owned by the State Government eligible if they are managed by Community Groups?
No, only facilities owned by the Community Groups themselves or by LGAs will be eligible to apply. Please see Section 2 – Eligibility in the guidelines.
Are education institutions, such as Early Learning Centres (ELCs), kindergartens, schools, or universities eligible for funding?
Only facilities that are owned by Community Groups or LGAs are eligible for this funding. Schools and ELCs that are run privately or are funded by the State Government are not eligible. Some kindergartens will be eligible as they are owned by Community Groups or LGAs.
Can peak bodies, not-for-profits or social enterprises apply for this funding to support their members?
Yes, providing their organisations meet the definition of a Community Group and all other eligibility criteria in the program guidelines.
Do I have to agree with the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions if I’m successful?
We advise you to read the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions before applying. If you do not agree with any of the Terms and Conditions, there is a free text box in the application form where you are directed to identify the clause/s in question, and to briefly set out your proposed variation and the reason why you seek it.
Substantial or significant variations from the Terms and Conditions will be taken into account in assessing your application. SV will follow up any issues with proposed variations at the clarifications stage during the grant assessment process.
What if a Community Group needs funding for several facilities?
To fund a diverse range of projects, Community Groups and geographical locations, Community Groups have been limited to applying for one facility in this funding round. Consider which facility would reap the most benefit in terms of energy use and energy bill savings and best improve outcomes for users and the local community.
How do you define a facility?
One facility is defined as a building or buildings (permanent structure) at the same address. Buildings must meet all eligibility criteria, for example be owned by the one Community Group or LGA.
If an application was unsuccessful for funding in Round 1, can the project be resubmitted as an application in future rounds?
Yes, but please reach out to SV to get some feedback on your application if you were unsuccessful in Round 1 prior to reapplying and note the changes in the program guidelines.
What if a project cannot be completed within 6 months of signing and before 31 May 2023?
Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the project completion date due to our funding and reporting commitments. Depending on applications received, there may be a Round 3 of funding released in the future which may be more appropriate for your project timeline.
Do we need to source multiple quotes for the project?
Applicants are only required to submit one quote for their project, although they can approach several Service Providers to test the market. Please ensure that all requested funding is substantiated by a valid quote and that quotes include all the information requested in the application form.
Can we request funding in this round for an energy audit?
No. Energy audits were oversubscribed in Round 1 and will not be available in Round 2. This also applies where funding is requested for an audit as part of an implementation project. This portion of the funding request will be deemed ineligible.
Will SV funding cover any preparation and safety works?
No. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary site preparation works are completed prior to the proposed energy upgrade for which the funding is sought. Before entering into a funding agreement with SV, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that the proposed site has addressed all regulatory safety and compliance requirements before the energy upgrade works can proceed. The grant funding cannot be used to cover any of these (or similar) costs. Please refer to Section 2.4 – What will not be funded of the guidelines.
If a facility is owned by an LGA, does the LGA need to apply on behalf of the Community Group?
No. Where a Community Group utilises and pays for the running costs of LGA-owned facilities, they may complete an application. They will, however, be required to provide a letter of support from the LGA which includes:
Please see Section 2 – Eligibility, and Section 6 – Your application of the guidelines for more information.
What is the best way to approach an LGA to apply on behalf of a Community Group?
Call the LGA first and connect with the appropriate officer. Then, email them with details of your proposed project. Make sure to let them know what is involved from their end and describe how your community would benefit from the funding.
The more detail you can give them, the easier it will be for them to complete the application.
Alternatively, you could submit the application on their behalf (see question above), providing they can provide a letter of support and are prepared to meet the terms and conditions.
Can a Community Group receive multiple grants for the same facility?
If the facility received an Energy audit grant in Round 1 - Stream 1, then this facility is eligible to apply for an Implementation grant in Round 2. We encourage these Applicants to apply for funding in Round 2 to carry out the recommendations of their audit.
If the facility has already received an Implementation grant in Round 1 - Stream 2, then this facility is not eligible to apply for further Implementation grants in Round 2.
Can an LGA support more than one Community Group?
Yes, an LGA can apply for funding to assist as many Community Groups as they wish, providing they meet the eligibility criteria.
Each Community Group is eligible to receive up to the funding amount of $50,000 and must utilise this at one facility only.
LGAs should be aware that if their request for funding exceeds $50,000 due to supporting multiple Community Groups, the long form funding agreement terms and conditions will apply.
What are an LGA’s responsibilities if a Community Group is completing an application for a council-owned facility?
If a Community Group completes an application for an LGA-owned facility, they will be required to provide a letter of support from the LGA which provides:
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.