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CEEP Round 2 Wrap Up

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism began contacting councils around Australia in late May to let them know whether they had been successful in the second and final round of the Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP). Unlike CEEP round 1, which was announced in June 2012, there was no public announcement or press releases from the Department however over the last month CEEP recipients have been listed on the DRET website and some projects have been publicly announced. You can also download a list of all recipients here.

While councils have been notified, they have also been asked to hold off on public announcement of successful applications until after the funding agreement has been negotiated and executed. Having worked with dozens of councils on round 2 applications, Ironbark is aware of many of the successful and unsuccessful applications and a pattern is already emerging as to reasons for success or otherwise.

Firstly, from Ironbark's point of view we’re thrilled to have worked with 44 successful councils from CEEP round 2 and congratulate those who were successful. The total project cost of these 44 council projects is around $50.64 million. This represents buildings and street lighting projects from Western Australia to Tasmania and everything in between. This is a fantastic investment into energy efficiency in the local government sector and we’re very excited to see how the projects develop. When combined with our CEEP round 1 projects, this adds up to successful applications for 64 council projects worth $70.31 million!

From analysing those who were successful and those who missed out, it is clear that the ability to demonstrate low socio-economic benefits was critical, just as the Department had outlined. For example, one council (in Victoria's southwest) received the following feedback for their application that missed out: 

We scored highly (9/10, 8/10, 8/10, 8/10) in four criterion but only a 3/10 for the low-socio economic criterion.

It was a street lighting application and was essentially identical to others that were successful, the only difference being the low socio-economic score.

Another pattern is that applications that were clearly rushed missed out. No matter how much you include at the last minute, if the funder can sense that the applicant is not prepared, then this represents a risk. For example, building audits dated a few days before the application is due may raise a few eyebrows. 

If you haven't already, we’d highly recommend requesting feedback from the Department whether you were successful or not. A lot of time and effort went into the application so if you ask for detail of where the application went wrong/right according to the criteria then they’ll send it on.  

If you did miss out, then don't let all of the hard work, project planning, internal budget bidding go to waste! There are alternatives that we’d highly suggest you look into.

Funding Agreements for CEEP round 2

For CEEP round 1, the negotiations around funding agreements centred mainly on milestone dates. This meant that in some instances there were months between a successful CEEP announcement and the signing of the funding agreement. 

For CEEP round 2, the Department of Energy, Resources and Tourism have removed the milestone dates from the initial funding agreement. Instead the draft funding agreements we’ve seen have "Milestone 1", which is the execution of the funding agreement, and "Milestone 2", which is submission of a project plan (including all subsequent milestone dates) due any time from September 2013 to early 2014.

We've started working with successful councils on their project plans including some who have already submitted their plans to DRET. If you want some advice or a quick review from a financial or technical point of view then please contact us. Otherwise we recommend getting your skates on with those project plans!

Where to
find us

Ironbark Sustainability

Suite 8, 70-80 Wellington Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

1300 288 262
info@realaction.com.au