Royal Life Saving Welcomes Community Energy Upgrade Fund Program
The Australian Government has just announced the $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund (CEUF) which is targeted at community facilities such as aquatic facilities.
The CEUF is a targeted, competitive grant program that provides co-funding for energy upgrades at existing local government facilities.
The funding targets upgrades that increase the energy efficiency of a facility, improve the demand flexibility of a facility through energy storage and load shifting, and/or undertake electrification upgrades to replace the use of fossil fuels (such as natural gas).
It aims to help support local governments to:
- make their facilities more energy efficient
- lower their greenhouse emissions and energy bills.
The Government cites that the CEUF will help Australia meet its emission reduction targets of 43% by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, and support 82% renewable electricity generation by 2030. It will also support the National Energy Performance Strategy.
Speaking of the announcement, RJ Houston, General Manager – Capability & Industry at the Royal Life Saving Society Australia said that aquatic facilities contribute significantly to social value but are facing extraordinary challenges in maintaining viability in the face of rising energy costs.
“Gas prices have increased five-fold this decade, and after two years of COVID-19 closures, workforce shortages and extreme inflation in construction costs, aquatic facilities have been doing it very tough indeed,” said Mr Houston.
“While this program is extremely welcome and needed, what is even more critical is that the learnings and business case from energy efficiency upgrades are documented and shared, so that Councils can understand potential benefits and buy-back periods to make their internal investment cases if they are unsuccessful in gaining a grant under this program. This is necessary to scale best practices and do our part to ensure the viability and sustainability of aquatic facilities.”
The grant round 1 will commence in January 2024.
To learn about eligibility and how to apply, head to: https://www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-programs/community-energy-upgrade-fund-program