Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program – Round 3

Last updated: 7 March 2023
Status: Applications closing soon
Closing date: Friday 24 March 2023, 11:59 pm
Total funding available: Up to $20,000 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
Please note:

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

Round 3 of the Program opens for applications on Monday 30 January 2023. The following are the guidelines for applying for this funding round.

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 $20,000 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:

  • Community Organisations (see Section 9: Program definitions).
  • Local Councils where facilities/properties are utilised by, and have running costs paid for by, a Community Organisation.

Eligible Applicants must:

  • have received an energy audit grant (CCCEA Round 1 Stream 1) for their nominated facility to apply for funding in Round 3, and
  • not have previously received an implementation grant (CCCEA Round 1 Stream 2, Round 2) in respect of the nominated facility.

Eligible Community Organisations can only apply for funding for one facility in this round of funding.

Councils may submit multiple applications on behalf of Community Organisations where the facility/property is owned by Council.

Note: SV will enter into the Funding Agreement with the facility/property owner.

Note: If the Applicant is a Trust, SV can only enter into a Funding Agreement with the Trustee of a Trust. The Trustee as the proper Applicant, must meet all the eligibility requirements of the fund.

Note: The energy bills of the nominated facility must be paid for by the Community Organisation that operates out of the facility.

To be eligible for funding Applicants must:

  1. have a current Australian Business Number (ABN). If the Applicant is a Trust, the Trustee as the proper Applicant, must meet this requirement.
  2. have been operating for a minimum of one year by the application closing date (to be validated by the date that the organisation’s ABN is active from). If the Applicant is a Trust, the Trustee as the proper Applicant must meet this requirement.
  3. be able to demonstrate financial viability to undertake the project (will meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements)
  4. agree to comply with SV's Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
  5. agree to comply with the funding terms and conditions:
    1. for grants $50,000 or less read the Short-form grant funding agreement.
    2. for grants more than $50,000 read the General grant funding agreement.
  6. submit their Fair Jobs Code Pre-Assessment Certificate Number with their application if applying for $500,000 or more (exclusive of GST). A Certificate must be held prior to applying for the grant.

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

Organisations that do not meet the criteria defined are not eligible for grant funding. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Community Groups who are:
    • renting/leasing premises from an individual or private entity
    • not paying the energy bills of the facility they operate in
    • operating out of residential premises.
  • Council-owned facilities where the running costs/bills are paid for by Council.
  • Schools.
  • Early Learning Centres that are run privately.
  • Individuals.
  • Businesses.
  • Unincorporated associations.
  • Applicants who:
    • did not receive a Round 1, Stream 1 CCCEA (energy audit) grant, in respect of the nominated facility
    • received a Round 1, Stream 2 CCCEA (implementation) grant, in respect of the nominated facility
    • received a Round 2 CCCEA (implementation) grant, in respect of the nominated facility.

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.

One or more of the following capital purchases/installations/removals that supports emissions reduction:

  • Installation of energy-efficient heating and cooling, such as a reverse cycle air-conditioner.
  • Replacing inefficient hot water systems with heat pump hot water models.
  • Replacing inefficient domestic appliances (e.g., fridge, oven, stovetop) with efficient electric models.
  • Rooftop solar installation.
  • Solar battery storage installation.
  • External awnings, shades.
  • Draught-proofing, insulation installation.
  • Ventilation improvements such as ceiling fans
  • Window tinting, internal curtains/blinds, replacing conventional windows with double glazing.
  • Replacing inefficient lighting with energy-efficient LEDs.

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 18 August 2023
  • 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. Old appliances removed as part of a project must be disposed of or recycled responsibly.

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
  • request retrospective funding (where projects are completed or have commenced installation at the time of submitting the application or before entering into a Funding Agreement with SV
    • Note: project equipment may be ordered or purchased following receipt of notification of grant approval, and prior to signing a Funding Agreement with SV to accommodate shipping and delivery time and prevent delays in completing the project at the Applicant’s own risk.

  • have been approved for funding under any other Victorian government funding scheme
  • are undertaken at residential premises
  • are not commissioned and operational/completed by 18 August 2023.

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
  • Costs relating to repairs or audits of structural safety prior to upgrade installation.
  • 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.
  • Local Council consultancy or project management costs.

3. Assessment process

The assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to the criteria bellow. Applications will be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

3.1 Assessment criteria


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).


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,


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.
  • the chosen project has been prioritised over other upgrade types.


Demonstrate how the project will be successfully delivered including:

  • listing the key milestones and stating how they will be delivered by 18 August 2023, within budget and within scope
  • ensuring all relevant site considerations (e.g., proof of site ownership, planning or building permits, site preparations, letter of support from facility owner where applicable are taken care of
  • the financial viability of the project, outlining proposed funding contributions.

3.2 Due diligence checks

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic, safety 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: Program 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
    • 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/s 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 their project and the Funding Agreement.
  • Agree to realistic evidence-based and performance-based milestone payments.
  • Provide Sustainability Victoria with insurance Certificates of Currency.
  • Sign Sustainability Victoria’s Funding Agreement within 30 days of approval.
  • 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 Sustainability Victoria immediately about any delay or change to the project.
  • Provide update reports to Sustainability Victoria 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 Sustainability Victoria. Sustainability Victoria may share or report on the data.
  • Contribute to the project’s promotional activities (for example, provide Sustainability Victoria with support by reviewing and approving written stories or videos).
  • Participate in and contribute to Sustainability Victoria activities to distribute the findings to broader stakeholders (for example, government and industry).
  • Acknowledge that Sustainability Victoria has contributed funding in all communications related to the project.

5. Timeline

Dates may change.

There is no date for the announcement of application outcomes. We will provide Applicants with updates as much as possible and when necessary.

Applications open: Monday 30 January 2023

Applications close: Friday 24 March 2023 (or prior if funds are fully allocated)

Information session: Wednesday 1 February 2023

Project completed by: 18 August 2023

Notification of outcome: Expected April 2023. 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.

Applications will be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

  1. Ensure that your organisation can apply.
  2. Ensure that your project is eligible.
  3. Read Sustainability Victoria’s funding agreement. You must meet the terms and conditions to ensure funding.
    1. For grants $50,000 or less read the short-form grant funding agreement
    2. 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. Submit your application by 11:59 pm, Friday 24 March 2023. Late applications will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances.

Your application

  • Allow adequate time to plan, research, gather supporting documentation and draft your application.
  • As this is a competitive grant, we cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
  • You must use SmartyGrants, unless you have written permission from Sustainability Victoria.

7. Assistance available

7.1 Information bulletin

Answers to questions we receive via phone and email are published on our Information bulletin. We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in these grant guidelines.

7.2 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. Applicants must be legally constituted organisations and with a current ABN that has been active for a minimum of 2 years by the application closing date.

In the case that the Applicant is a Community Group whose facility is owned by a local Council or Auspice Entity, the Council or Auspice Entity will execute the funding agreement with SV and will assume legal and financial responsibility for administering the grant on behalf of the Applicant. In all other cases, the successful

Applicant is responsible for the contractual obligations under the Funding Agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.

Auspice Entity

The facility owner where the Community Group that operates out of the nominated facility does not own the site and does not lease from a private entity or individual. This Entity may be a Local Council, Trust, or a parent organisation to the Community Organisation. An Auspice Entity must be a legally constituted organisation with a current ABN that has been active for a minimum of 2 years by the application closing date.


The Applicant’s required financial contribution to the total project income. Co-contributions must be for eligible activities.

Community Groups/Organisations

Community Organisations as defined by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Australian Government Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis 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’.

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.