Bank Australia has awarded five grants of up to $25,000 each to businesses around the country for investment in sustainability and community renewable energy projects.
The bank has offered smaller grants to customers since 2017 for their positive community impact, but this is the first time it has offered grants of this scale to non-Bank Australia customers.
“Renewable energy is a top priority for our customers,” said managing director Damien Walsh, “so we made the decision to create a larger impact in this space by supporting organisations doing innovative work in the sector”.
These more substantial grants went to businesses with “projects that will grow the scale and capacity of the community renewable energy sector”.
These include Pingala Community Renewables, a not-for-profit run by volunteers that wants to create “a fairer energy system where communities are empowered to collectively own and operate their own local renewable energy”. Pingala proposes installing solar and batteries in the house of an Aboriginal Elder in Brewarrina, NSW.
The Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance received a grant to install solar PV systems across the Forest Creek Co-operative Housing in Castlemaine, Victoria “to ensure that all of the houses have access to the benefits, regardless of where the solar system is installed”.
Sydney’s Community Power Agency Co-operative Ltd received a grant for its project to create an “inner city solar garden to serve as offsite solar for ‘locked out’ households who can’t put solar panels on their own roof”.
Bendigo Sustainability Group and Gippsland Climate Change Network also received grants.
These grants were funded by Bank Australia’s Impact Fund, which annually takes up to 4 per cent of its after-tax profits “to support projects that contribute to the mutual prosperity of people, our communities and the planet”.