Expertise that enables

New South Wales

State of play

In 2016 thousands of people were involved in the Smart Energy Communities campaign leading up to the Federal Election, when the Federal ALP committed $98.7m to the Smart Energy Communities program. We now have a huge opportunity to make sure community power gets the support and funding it needs to really take off in NSW.

The NSW Government has $1.3b in funding set aside for energy projects in the Climate Fund Plan, with details yet to be announced. Community energy must get its share of the pie. We’re calling on the NSW Government to commit to funding the Smart Energy Community Program (you can read our detailed policy brief on the program here).

Last year community energy groups across NSW made submissions to the NSW Climate Fund, sending a clear message about the support communities wanted from government (you can read ours here). We want to make sure the Government acts on these submissions and delivers for the communities remaking the energy sector all over NSW.

We’ve already had a significant win in Victoria with the creation of three pilot Community Power Hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley. We can make sure NSW is next but we need your help.

Take action

Community energy has been building huge momentum in NSW as more and more people recognise that it “just makes sense”. Now it’s time for the NSW Government to take the next step and commit to unlocking the enormous potential of the community power sector.

If you want to seethe NSW Government back community energy, you can contact the Energy Minister and his opposition counterpart with the details below:


The Hon. Don Harwin MLC

52 Martin Place, Sydney, 2000
(02) 8574 7200

Adam Searle MLC

Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, 2000
(02) 9230 2160


My name is X, I live in X.

I am writing to you today to urge you to support the Smart Energy Communities Program with $49.6 million funding over ten years as part of the NSW Climate Fund Plan.

The NSW Government has been a strong supporter of community energy in recent years. Through the Regional Clean Energy Program, the NSW Government has provided invaluable advice and early stage funding for 30 community energy projects to to undertake feasibility and pre-feasibility studies.

As a result of this support and the efforts of dedicated volunteers and community groups all over the state, there are now over 34 community energy groups and over 25 operating community energy projects in NSW. Communities across the state are increasingly coming together to create local, tailored solutions to their energy needs.

These successes are just the beginning. Community power has enormous potential to reduce energy bills, build strong communities, provide network stability and reduce carbon emissions. For community power to flourish, however, it needs a policy framework in place to provide the advice, funding, support and, crucially, the certainty investors and communities are calling out for. The Smart Energy Communities Program provides this framework.

Hundreds of thousands of people all over NSW are locked out of benefiting from the reduction in energy bills solar can provide. The split-incentives that stop renters and apartment dwellers being able to benefit from solar installation mean some of the most vulnerable people in the state are being left behind. With retailers announcing price increases of 20%, it is more important than ever that these households have access to meaningful ways to reduce their energy bills. Initiatives supported by the Smart Energy Communities Program can provide this access.

Community power has a vitally important role to play in NSW lowering its emissions in line with international moves to move towards a less carbon intensive economy. Localised renewable energy projects devolve the economic benefits of renewable energy to communities and keep them there. Community energy builds the social licence required for a successful move to a renewable economy by making people’s lives easier and giving them control over their energy use, lowering consumption and costs.

I would urge you to support community power in Cabinet as the Government discusses the NSW Climate Fund Plan. With the right support, community power can play an important part in meeting the NSW Government’s social, economic and environmental responsibilities.

For more information about the Smart Energy Communities Program and the great reasons the NSW Government should back it, please visit

Yours sincerely, X


NSW Government Champions for Community Energy

We know there are members of the NSW Cabinet who are enthusiastic supporters of community energy. Now is the time to make sure they take this support to Cabinet. Here’s what a few senior Government MPs have to say on the subject:


“We share your passion for community energy… Community energy is really exciting… it shares the benefits of renewables on a local scale… building community support for renewable energy and democratising our energy system”

Rob Stokes MP, Education Minister

“If I can do only one thing – it is to have a genuine peer-to-peer energy scheme operating in this state. I say that because it just makes sense. I mean, duh. This is a way to get the second wave of community interest in PV solar and other renewables happening.”

Adam Marshall MP, Tourism Minister

“I’d like to congratulate the community energy sector on its tremendous development over the past few years, know that you have a friend in the NSW Government”

Ben Franklin MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy

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