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Backing bright ideas – renewed ECA Grants Program

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Energy Consumers Australia

Energy Consumers Australia today launched the renewed ECA Grants Program after a review that commenced in September 2015.

ECA funds and manages grants to build the knowledge and capacity of the consumer advocacy community to shape energy policy and empower consumers in the National Energy Market.

The review was initiated to align the grants program with ECA’s constitution and best practice grants management.

“We want to build on the strong legacy of the previous program by funding high quality and innovative projects that make a difference for consumers,” CEO of Energy Consumers Australia, Rosemary Sinclair said.

Ms Sinclair said the improvements announced today will help build a shared evidence base and make it easier for consumer advocates to collaborate to promote the long term interests of consumers in electricity and gas market decisions.

“Under the former arrangements, organisations could only apply for grants on a yearly basis, but the changes announced today will give them the flexibility to choose a funding horizon that better matches their strategic objectives, providing certain governance requirements are met.

“For the first time, consumer advocates will also be able to apply for fast-track funding of up to $10,000 under the CEO Grants Program trial to participate in policy and regulatory processes.

“New eligibility and selection criteria, as well as a project evaluation framework, are being introduced to make the ECA Grants Program more transparent and accountable.”

Ms Sinclair said funding for the ECA Grants Program will be maintained at current levels, with $2.1 million expected to be spent in 2015-16.

Next steps

Dates for the next funding rounds are:

29 April 2016

9 July 2016

14 October 2016

ECA will also consider proposals for six-month bridging grants in the April round to provide organisations with projects that end on 30 June more time to develop project proposals under the new arrangements. More information is available on the Grants section of our website. For media enquiries please call Tim O’Halloran on 0409 059 617.