Low Carbon Communities

Last updated: 5 November 2017
Low Carbon Communities was a program originally to span four years which aimed at supporting communities to take action on climate change and reduce their energy costs through energy efficient upgrades to street lighting, community facilities and council buildings. Low Carbon Communities originally provided competitive grants to local councils and operators of community facilities via three funding streams: 1. Small scale grants of up to AUD 500,000 for local councils to reduce energy consumption in council buildings and facilities such as outdoor lighting. 2. Large scale grants of up to AUD 5 million for operators of community facilities to invest in energy efficient upgrades such as the installation of cogeneration or new heating and air conditioning. 3. Greener Suburbs grants of up to AUD 500,000 for councils to implement capacity building and demonstration projects that improve the use of parks and green spaces in urban areas.The Low Carbon Communities program was then expanded to provide funding through competitive grants to local councils and communities to improve energy efficiency in council and community-use buildings and facilities, and to assist low-income households. The funding was increased from AUD 80 million to AUD 330 million was then divided into three funding streams: 1. AUD 200 million for the Community Energy Efficiency Program which will support energy efficiency upgrades to council and community-use buildings, facilities and lighting. 2. AUD 100 million for the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program which will support a range of community organisations, local councils and energy service companies to trial energy efficiency approached in low income households. 3. AUD30 million for the Home Energy Saver Scheme (formerly the household Energy and Financial Sustainability Scheme) to assist low income households find more sustainable ways to manage their energy consumption. The Low Carbon Communities has now been re-designed and expanded as part of the Clean Energy Future package in July 2011 to become four distinct programs no longer under the umbrella of 'Low Carbon Communities': 1. AUD200 million Community Energy Efficient Program; 2. AUD100 million Low Income Energy Efficiency Program; 3. AUD30 million Home Energy Saver Scheme; and 4. the Charities Maritime and Aviation Support Program. The program in its new format of 4 different programs has been now extended from 30 June 2014 to 30 June 2016.

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