Solar Communities Program

At a glance

Closed

Provides community organisations in eligible regions with grants from $2,500 to $12,500 to install small-scale renewable energy systems including solar photovoltaic panels, storage batteries and solar hot water systems.

Who can apply:

At a minimum, you must:

  • be a community organisation
  • be a legal entity, able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth
  • be located in an eligible region
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Other eligibility requirements apply.

Contact information:

13 28 46

business.gov.au/contact

Overview

The Solar Communities Program will provide $2.2 million in grants to community organisations in eligible regions to undertake small-scale renewable energy generation and energy storage projects, including purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic systems, battery storage for solar photovoltaic systems and solar hot water systems. The program will fund up to 100 per cent of eligible expenditure.

  • The minimum grant amount is $2,500
  • The maximum grant amount is $12,500.

If your total budget costs are greater than the maximum grant amount of $12,500, you will have to meet additional costs yourself.

To be eligible to apply you must be located in one of the regions, which align with electorate boundaries. You can check the region of your project site address at aec.gov.au.

Regions

New South Wales

  • Banks
  • Barton
  • Benelong
  • Dobell
  • Gilmore
  • Greenway
  • Hughes
  • Macarthur
  • Macquarie
  • North Sydney
  • Page
  • Reid
  • Richmond

Northern Territory

  • Solomon

Queensland

  • Bonner
  • Brisbane
  • Forde
  • Herbert
  • Lilley
  • Moreton

South Australia

  • Mayo

Tasmania

  • Braddon

Victoria

  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Bruce
  • Corangamite
  • Flinders
  • Higgins
  • Kooyong
  • La Trobe
  • Maribyrnong
  • Melbourne Ports

Western Australia

  • Burt
  • Cowan
  • Perth
  • Tangney

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must be:

  • a community organisation that is a legal entity, able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

You must also:

  • be located in an eligible region
  • have at least $2,500 of eligible expenditure
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • provide a letter of consent from the building owner/manager, if you are not the building owner/manager
  • ensure you use an installer that is accredited and licensed to perform the relevant electrical/plumbing work (for solar photovoltaic generation and battery storage systems installers must also be accredited with the Clean Energy Council)
  • provide the relevant mandatory attachments.

We cannot waive the eligibility criteria under any circumstances.

The maximum grant period is 6 months.

For more information on what activities and costs are eligible please refer to the Grant Opportunity Guidelines.

How to apply

You should read the Grant Opportunity Guidelines and Sample Grant Agreement before you apply.

The Solar Communities Program is currently closed to applications.

When you submit your online application, we will provide you with an automated receipt number and a link. The link goes to a page where you can enter your email address to receive acknowledgment and a copy of your complete application.

For assistance with the application form contact us.

We expect a high level of demand for the Solar Communities Program. Each region will close for applications when the number of eligible submitted applications exceeds funding available. If a region has closed for applications you will be notified when clicking your region link below.

If you have started but not yet submitted an application at the time a region closes for applications you will be notified either:

  • when opening a saved application, or
  • when submitting an application that you are currently working on.

How we assess applications

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria. We will then award funds to applications that satisfy the eligibility criteria, subject to available funds in each eligible region.

The Minister decides which grants to approve taking into account the application assessment and the availability of grant funds.

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, you will receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.

If your application is successful, you will enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will state the maximum grant amount we will pay.

We will pay 100 per cent of the grant on execution of the grant agreement.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Key documents

  • Grant opportunity guidelines
  • Sample application form

Sample grant agreements

  • Exchange of letters - excluding solar water heaters
  • Exchange of letters - including solar water heaters
  • Approval letter - excluding solar water heaters
  • Approval letter - including solar water heaters
  • Letter of consent from building owner/manager

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