9 August 2011 – The federal government is seeking public input into the design of its draft carbon communities program which will provide funding of up to $5 million to local government and community projects.

The scheme, which will be managed by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, will operate on a matched funding basis, with the applicants needing to fund at least half of costs, according to the public consultation paper, “Low Carbon Communities, Program Design Options.”

Key objectives of the LCCs outlined in the paper are to:

  • Support local councils and community organisations increase the energy efficiency of council and community-use buildings, facilities and lighting
  • Demonstrate and encourage the adoption of improved energy management practices within councils, organisations and communities.

Benefits are to include:

  • Better services and improved amenity of buildings and community facilities
  • Minimising energy consumption and costs to manage the impacts of the carbon price
  • Building the knowledge and capacity of the energy services and construction industry and
  • Contributing to the national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Eligible facilities for the funding include social and cultural, recreation and tourism, aged and disabled care, health care, some education, some office or retail spaces, council workshops and depots and street and traffic lights.

•               Applicants may partner with other government or non?government organisations.

Joint applications may also be considered in se rural and remote areas.

Application may involve upgrades or retrofits to multiple buildings, facilities or sites Sits and project need to be directed towards an energy efficient upgrade or retrofit/

An additional stage to a current project may also be eligible.

It needs to be completed within 24 months from start but exceptions may apply for some rural and remote areas.

Non local governing bodies must have the support of the local council.

Specific projects may include:

  • Internal lighting
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • General energy efficiency measures, such as glazing and shading
  • Installation of co-generation or tri-generation systems
  • Street lighting, outdoor lighting or common area lighting
  • Upgrades to building energy management systems
  • Energy efficient upgrades to community transport

Energy service companies can participate in the program by becoming partners in LCC projects giving expert advice during project design and providing services at the implementation and or monitoring and verification phases of projects, the paper says.

The consultation paper is still being finalised but will be available in its final form for four weeks before close of submissions, a department spokeswoman said.

For full details see the LCC website