Managing energy use is a critical issue for Australia and the Australian Government has delivered a series of programs that have supported industry, community and individuals to manage energy use and costs.
Archived information regarding closed programs administered by the former Department of Industry, Science. Energy and Resources is available on the Australian Government web archive.
Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP)
The BEAP was announced in December 2018 as part of the Australian Government’s Action Plan to Reduce Power Prices. The $12 million program responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's July 2018 Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report. The objective of the program was to deliver trusted advice to help small businesses and their representatives get better energy deals and increase their energy efficiency.
The program launched in August 2019 providing 2 free services for small businesses:
- Business Energy Advice, an energy advisory service that delivered face-to-face, phone and digital advice to small businesses across Australia. The service concluded in August 2022.
- Small Business Energy Check, an online benchmarking tool that enabled small businesses to compare their energy spend with similar businesses. The service concluded in June 2023.
Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP)
CEEP was part of a suite of measures announced in July 2011 as part of the governments' climate change strategy. CEEP was a competitive, merit-based grant program that provided co-funding to local governing bodies and non-profit community organisations to implement energy efficiency projects in council and community-owned buildings, facilities and sites.
A particular focus was placed on projects that would benefit low socio-economic and other disadvantaged communities, or support energy efficiency in regional and rural councils.
The program closed on 30 June 2016. Some key outcomes of the program were:
- grants were awarded to 171 recipients for a total of $113.4 million.
- 11 grants were withdrawn before funding agreements were executed.
- 7 projects were terminated during the program with some projects partially completed at the time of termination.
- a total of $96.3 million was funded and 153 projects completed.
See the list of final CEEP reports.
Energy Efficient Communities (EEC) program
The EEC program formed part of the Climate Solutions Package which was announced in February 2019. It was designed to provide direct support to businesses and community organisations to reduce their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions through a range of energy efficiency measures.
Under the EEC program, eligible businesses and community organisations received grants for energy efficiency projects such as replacing and upgrading old equipment to more efficient technologies, energy monitoring studies and audits. The community grants targeted energy generation and solar storage projects.
The program was delivered across 6 streams:
- Community Solar Grants 2019
- Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020
- Dairy Farming Business Grants 2020
- Small Business Grants 2021
- High Energy Using Business Grants 2021
- Food and Beverage Manufacturing Grants 2022
Across the 6 streams the EEC offered 2,033 grants to businesses and community organisations across all Australian states and territories worth a total of $38.6 million.
To read more about the program including grant recipients, go to business.gov.au.
Hotel Energy Uplift Program (HEUP)
The Hotel Energy Uplift Program delivered $10.2 million in grants to help small and medium hotels reduce their energy use, improve energy productivity and deliver carbon abatement. The focus of the grants was on upgrading equipment, implementing energy management activities and investing in energy monitoring.
Grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 were awarded to 442 hotels.
To read more about the program, go to business.gov.au.
Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP)
LIEEP was part of a suite of measures announced in July 2011 as part of the government's climate change strategy. LIEEP was a competitive merit-based grant program providing funding to government, business and community organisations to trial approaches to improve the energy efficiency of low income households.
Across 2 funding rounds, 20 recipients were successful in securing grants worth a total of $55.3 million. The program closed 30 June 2016.
Powering Communities Program (PCP)
The Powering Communities Program provided $10.2 million in grants to help not-for-profit community organisations reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of the program was on upgrading equipment to reduce energy consumption and investing in on-site renewable energy and solar-connected batteries.
Grants of between $5,000 and $12,000 were distributed to community organisations across 151 Federal electorates.
To read more about the program, go to business.gov.au.
Supporting Reliable Energy Infrastructure (SREI) program
The SREI program was announced on 26 March 2019 to supply affordable and reliable energy for commercial and industrial customers, specifically for high energy-using and trade-exposed industries in central and north Queensland. The program funded projects in a variety of ways including grants, procurements and partnership agreements.
On 8 February 2020, the government announced 3 projects it intended to support through the program:
- up to $2 million for a pre-feasibility study on a 1.5 GW pumped hydro-electric plant (Blue Hydro)
- up to $4 million to support a feasibility study for a proposed 1 GW high efficiency, low emissions coal plant (Shine)
- up to $1.5 million to work with the Queensland Government and industry on electrifying Curtis Island.
The program also funded an independent strategic study to examine northern and central Queensland’s current and future energy needs.
The ANAO’s performance audit of the program was tabled in Parliament on 18 March 2021. The program ended in 2022.
Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program
The Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program was established to support firm generation capacity and increase competition as part of the Australian Government's commitment to lowering electricity prices and increasing reliability in the system.
The program closed on 25 October 2022.