Project period extension

In response to customer feedback regarding delays completing approved projects caused by supplier and resource issues, the department is able to extend the maximum project period from up to 12 months to up to 18 months. If you are unable to complete your project by 30 June 2022 (in accordance with the program guidelines) due to these circumstances, please contact to arrange a variation to your grant agreement. Projects with approved variations will be able to be completed up to 31 December 2022.

The extension of the maximum project period does not affect the project scope or project outcome as submitted by successful grantees in their applications.

On completion of your project, we will review your compliance with the grant agreement.

Powering Communities Program

The Powering Communities Program provides each of the 151 Federal electorates with $67,700 to fund small projects. These projects aim to assist community organisations improve their energy efficiency practices and lower their energy bills. Federal Members of Parliament (MPs) identify potential projects and invite applications from their electorate.
This grant is currently closed to applications
Application detail:Federal Members of Parliament have until 6 September 2021 to nominate community groups that will be invited to apply. 

What do you get?

Up to $12,000 for small projects.

Who is this for?

Not-for-profit community organisations invited to apply by their local Federal Members of Parliament.


The Powering Communities Program will run over 2021–2022. It provides grants to not-for-profit community organisations to improve their energy efficiency practices and technologies. This aims to reduce energy use, improve energy productivity and reduce carbon emissions.

The program will assist organisations to:

  • upgrade equipment to reduce energy consumption
  • undertake energy management activities and assessments, such as energy systems assessments and feasibility studies
  • invest in energy monitoring and management systems
  • invest in on-site renewable energy and solar-connected batteries.

The grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project expenditure. Grants will be between $5,000 and $12,000. You must fund any expenditure over the grant amount they are awarded. You should complete your project by 30 June 2022.

Become an invited organisation

Community consultation is a critical element of the program. In consultation with their community, each MP must identify potential applicants and projects in their electorate and invite them to apply for a grant. Invited applications will be assessed against the program’s eligibility criteria through a closed non-competitive process.

Each electorate has total funding of up to $67,700 that can be allocated to successful applications. A maximum of 12 projects will be funded in each electorate.


What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible you must:

  • be invited to apply by your MP
  • have an Australian business number (ABN)

You must also be one of the following incorporated entities:

  • an incorporated not for profit organisation
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust with responsibility for a community asset or property

Incorporated not-for-profit organisations can include:

  • incorporated associations
  • non-distributing co-operatives
  • companies limited by a guarantee
  • Indigenous corporations
  • religious organisations incorporated under legislation.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an organisation, or your project partner is an organisation, included on the National Redress Scheme’s list of ‘Institutions that have not joined or signified their intent to join the Scheme’
  • a for profit organisation
  • an individual
  • a partnership
  • a Regional Development Australia Committee
  • a university, technical college or school
  • an educational facility such as primary, secondary schools, tertiary (universities, colleges, TAFE) and/or related entity such as P&C association
  • a group that use the site primarily for gambling or the sale of alcohol
  • a hospital
  • an unincorporated association
  • any organisation not included in section 4.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines
  • trust (however, an incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
  • a Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government body (including government business enterprises)
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.


How do you apply?

The Powering Communities Program is closed to applications.

We’ll assess your application for completeness. Your project must meet all eligibility criteria for us to recommend you for funding.

The Program Delegate decides which grants to approve. They will consider the application assessment, availability of grant funds and whether funding a project provides value for money and is a proper use of public resources.

The Program Delegate will make the final decision.

If you’re successful, you’ll receive notification and an approval letter or exchange of letters grant agreement, including any specific conditions attached to the grant.

We must execute a grant agreement with you before we can make any payments. We are not responsible for any expenditure you incur before a grant agreement is executed. If you choose to start your project before you have an executed grant agreement, you do so at your own risk.

We’ll pay 100% of the grant on execution of the grant agreement. You’ll be required to report how you spent the grant funds at the completion of the project.

We make payments by direct credit into your nominated bank account.

If you’re unsuccessful, we’ll notify you in writing.

Need help?

Let us answer your question via phone, email or live chat. And if we can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone who can.

  • Phone:
  • Open Hours:
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia
  • Website:

Grant recipients

Successful applicants offered funding under the Powering Communities Program.

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Informational video

Powering Communities Program informational video

This video aims to provide community organisations with guidance and information about the Powering Communities Program, including who is eligible and how to apply.

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.63 MB docx · 0.21 MB

Frequently asked questions

pdf · 0.62 MB docx · 0.11 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.60 MB docx · 0.17 MB

Sample grant agreement approval letter

pdf · 0.29 MB docx · 0.09 MB

Sample grant agreement exchange of letters

pdf · 0.31 MB docx · 0.09 MB

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