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ALGA welcomes solar heating announcement

ALGA President, Mayor Genia McCaffery has welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will use funds from the Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme to provide a one-off grant to support local communities with heating costs.

Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, said $24 million would be used to establish a Local Government Energy Efficiency Program (LGEEP) to help local councils install solar or heat pump hot water systems in community facilities. 

The LGEEP is part of the Government’s clean energy future plan to reduce carbon pollution by embracing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency across government.

“Councils across the country will be grateful for the financial assistance, as it will help to ensure the comfort of community buildings and facilities, subsidize heating costs and ensuring the use of efficient sources of energy,” Councillor McCaffery said.

“All local governments will be eligible to apply for funding under the $24 million program and costings have been calculated on a 100 percent take-up by councils.”

“The funding allocation available to each council will be dependent on size and while the guidelines are still being finalised as part of consultations in developing the program, it’s understood that small and rural councils can apply for $25,000; medium and regional councils can apply for $40,000; and metropolitan and large regional councils can apply for $73,000.”  

“Local governments will be required to co-fund the installation of solar and hot water systems in their buildings and community facilities and the co-contribution amount will vary depending on the size of the council.”

“Funding will be available from October and councils will have six months to complete their projects. This time is to enable smaller councils to use local businesses to source and install systems.”

“The LGEEP is another great example of how direct funding from the Australian Government can assist councils with ongoing community infrastructure costs,” Councillor McCaffery concluded.