Sustainability Victoria recently announced a new funding program called the Community Sustainability Infrastructure (CSI) Fund.
The Fund is open to Victorian community groups, local government and businesses to lend a hand to achieve local sustainability goals. The objective of the program is to support small to moderate scale infrastructure projects demonstrating best practice and/or innovation that facilitates recycling, energy efficiency and/or local environmental improvement.
The fund comprises two streams:
- Community grants of up to $50,000 are available to community organisations, charities, and schools for infrastructure projects that achieve either a sustainable energy or resource recovery outcome (projects must be completed within 12 months of being contracted). In this stream the grants are matched dollar for dollar.
- Local Government and business grants are available to support both feasibility studies and capital expenditure to achieve resource and energy efficiency, resource recovery and/or local environmental improvement outcomes (projects must be completed by 30 June 2017). In this stream the funds are matched on a 1:2 ratio (i.e. the grant covers a third of the costs).
There is cross over between the EEOB program and the CSI fund, specifically as CSIF will fund capital equipment upgrades not eligible under EEOB. Because of this, it has been determined by Sustainability Victoria that any office building owner looking to take advantage of the CSI fund would be required to first apply to EEOB. This means that a new building owner looking to take advantage of the CSI Fund would need to both apply and be approved to join EEOB and complete the stage one opportunities assessment before they could submit a CSI application.
On completing an opportunities analysis through EEOB, a building owner could chose to either go straight to tuning or forgo CSIF funding, or to apply for CSIF funding for the purchase of eligible capital items. If successful with CSI, they would still be eligible to have the costs of installing and commissioning the new equipment through the EEOB stage 2 funding. Monitoring & Evaluation (stage 3 works) would also still be funded through EEOB. Note that funding is also available to building owners already in the EEOB program.
The CSI fund is open until June 2017 or until the funds are exhausted.