Wednesday 3rd March 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is giving local communities across Eastern Victoria the power to drive down their energy bills with major investments in community renewable energy.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said the program will play an integral role in bringing community-owned renewable energy projects to life.

The Labor Government announced the expansion of the Community Power Hubs program to support the development of community-owned and operated renewable energy projects across the state, based on the successful pilot program that ran from 2017 to 2020.

The program is offering more than $3.3 million in grants to community organisations to establish and Community Power Hubs across in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Each hub will be led by a local not-for-profit or social enterprise organisation and will bring together organisations from across the region to work together to deliver community projects. The hubs will provide the resources, expertise and start-up funding required to successfully develop projects such as solar panel installations on community facilities and solar bulk buy programs for local businesses.

The Victorian Government established the Community Power Hubs pilot program in 2017 to leverage local expertise and get community energy projects off the ground in the regional areas of Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley.

During the three-year pilot, the three hubs supported 43 projects and saved project host organisations a total of $437,000 a year on energy bills, while reducing carbon emissions by 4,100 tonnes annually – the equivalent of taking more than 1,240 cars off the road. For more information and to apply, visit: sustainability.vic.gov.au/Grants-and-funding/Community-Power-Hubs-Program

Quote to be attributed to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“The Community Power Hubs program will contribute to emission reductions right across Victoria. It will support grassroots renewable projects and get more renewable energy into our grid.”

Quotes to be attributed to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“The community owned and operated hubs will help drive investment in regions like ours, while creating jobs and reducing energy bills,”

“I encourage local community groups in Eastern Victoria to come together and take advantage of the program.”