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Solar Communities Program


This program seeks to support community groups to undertake small-scale renewable energy generation and energy storage projects.

Grants between $2,500 and $12,500 up to 100% of eligible project expenditure are available.

A total funding pool of $2.2 million is available in 2017-18 and 2018-19 comprising:
- $1.8 million in 2017-18
- $400,000 for independent safety inspections in 2018-19

Under the program, applicants may be eligible to receive small-scale technology certificates (STCs) through the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must:
- Be a community organisation that is a legal entity, able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.
- Be located in an eligible region, listed in appendix A of the Guidelines.
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Provide a letter of consent from the building owner/manager, if not the building owner/manager (see template at appendix C of the Guidelines).
- Ensure they use an appropriately licensed and accredited installer as set out in Section 5 of the Guidelines.
- Provide the relevant mandatory attachments.

To be eligible, applicants must be located in one of the regions, which align with electorate boundaries.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects must:
- Include eligible activities and eligible expenditure.
- Have at least $2,500 in eligible expenditure.

Eligible activities must include the purchase, installation and final inspection of one or more of the following:
- Solar photovoltaic panels
- Batteries connected to a solar photovoltaic system
- Solar hot water systems

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of eligible activities and expenditure.


The following are ineligible for funding:
- For-profit entity.
- Commonwealth, State, Territory, or local government body (including government business enterprises).
- Individual.
- Not a community organisation as defined in Section 4.2 of the Guidelines.
- Educational facility such as primary, secondary schools, tertiary (universities, colleges, TAFE) and/or related entity such as P&C association.
- Group that use facilities operating primarily for gambling or the sale of alcohol.
- Political party, political organisation, lobbyist or of a political nature.
- Military service unit.
- Any group whose activities unnecessarily seek to exclude individuals or groups of residents by means of a form of discrimination.
- Solar installation service provider or associated with a solar installation company.
- Gaming venue.

Status Pending
Opening Date 13 Mar 2018
Closing Date 7 Jun 2018
Closing Information
This program is available annually. The next funding round is yet to be announced.

Funding Type Grant
Min.Funding $2,500
Max.Funding $12,500
Total Funding Pool $2.2M
Co-contribution No
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Environment : Energy
Gender Any
Age Any
Who Can Apply?
Applicable to Churches No
Eligible Organisation Type(s)
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Program Administrator
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit