Community Renewable Energy Fund

The government is committed to supporting community-based renewable energy projects to help households afford and secure the energy they need. This new Fund further supports the government’s effort to enhance resiliency in communities and trial innovative ways to store and distribute locally generated electricity.

The Community Renewable Energy Fund has been established to support renewable energy projects that help communities to access secure, renewable and more affordable energy. Cheaper power also encourages households to better heat their homes, which leads to improved health outcomes.

The Fund focuses on supporting innovative projects that trial new ways of storing and distributing locally generated electricity. This can help inform larger–scale projects in the future.

Some communities, particularly those in remote areas and islands, don’t have reliable access to affordable energy. For example, some communities aren’t connected to the national electricity grid, and others may be at higher risk of power outages from natural hazards, such as earthquakes, storms, and floods. These risks will increase as our climate changes.

Investing in locally generated electricity helps enhance community resilience by providing an alternative and more secure source of electricity, while also increasing energy independence.

There is a range of building types that can be considered for this fund, such as:

  • community housing
  • community buildings
  • marae
  • civil defence–designated buildings.

This new Fund builds on the successful Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund.

Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund

Community Resilience Sites

Approximately $6.5m is currently being allocated  to communities in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events. 

Up to 55 community buildings used to support the emergency response during this year’s North Island severe weather events are being fitted with solar PV and battery systems. Areas identified for targeted funding are Northland, Auckland, Waikato including Coromandel, Tairāwhiti, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.

Community buildings are often used in civil defence events to protect people during and immediately after emergency events. The Fund’s investment in solar PV and battery systems for these buildings will provide communities with renewable energy for emergency events and for day-to-day use.

MBIE is not running a contestable open funding round for this workstream. Suitable community buildings – like marae, places of worship halls, schools, and community halls – are being identified and prioritised in collaboration with government agencies, local authorities, Civil Defence Emergency Management and Cyclone Recovery staff, and community and Māori organisations involved in recovery efforts. 

Funded projects

A total of $1.12 million in funding was awarded to 5 high-quality projects in 2023. These projects were unsuccessful in an earlier bid to the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, missing only on the criteria to ‘predominantly support those in Māori or public housing’.

The new Fund has an expanded scope of eligible projects, and given the high quality of these 5 projects, early funding was released to these projects.

List of funded projects

Media releases

Five community energy projects kick start, May 2023(external link) —

Renewable energy fund to support community resilience


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Last updated: 22 April 2024