Community Choices Program

Community Choices logo

Even the biggest hearts need a little boost and Essential Energy is proud to give back to our real local heroes and the grassroots organisations which support communities through our Community Choices Program.

This year we have $175,000 in grants available across 20 zones in our network area, with funding of up to $2,500 per successful group. We have also introduced a new category for groups located in small communities with populations less than 20,000. There will be 10 prizes of $500 for the groups who receive the highest votes in this category. The value of each grant will be determined by the number of community votes a nominated group receives.

We are pleased to announce our Community Choices Champions for 2021. Check out our Champions in your area.

Thanks to everyone who supported their local community groups by voting in our Community Choices program.

Resources for Community Choices Champions

Choices Champions resources are located on the Champions page. Here you’ll be able to check out past champions stories and find resources for existing champions. We encourage Champions to use the I’m a Community Choices Champion artwork across their social media channels and online communications to share the good news with local communities. Don’t forget to tag Essential Energy in any posts.

Community Choices eligibility criteria

To be eligible groups must:

  • Be located within Essential Energy’s network area
  • Be a charity, registered not-for profit group or community group. Note that community halls run by Council Section 355 Committees are eligible, however Councils are not eligible to apply
  • Be able to receive payment via EFT only
  • Be able to provide content such as photos and commentary about the stories associated with the nominated applicant as requested by Essential Energy
  • Provide a photocopy of either a deposit slip or bank account header (with financial details covered) showing the BSB, account name and account number for the group or hall along with their application form and
  • Have a valid email address which will be used for communications relating to the Community Choices program.

Groups are not eligible if they:

  • Are located outside of Essential Energy’s network area
  • Are the sole responsibility of Local, State or Federal Government
  • Provide personal bank account details
  • Do not reflect Essential Energy’s values
  • Involve any type of unlawful activity
  • Involve gambling, betting or gaming
  • Solely support political and/or religious organisations
  • Present a safety risk to the community
  • Denigrate, exclude or offend minority community groups
  • Create environmental hazards
  • Do not reflect community standards
  • Have narrow community involvement
  • Have or may have any perceived conflict of interest.

Applicants who don't provide photos and commentary may jeopardise their eligibility for future applications to the program.

Stay up to date

Register here to stay up to date with the Community Choices program and latest news.

Related information

Community Choices zone map 
Frequently Asked Questions
Customer Voting Terms and Conditions
Essential Communities Program
2021 Community Choices Champions
2020 Community Choices Champions
2020 Community Choices final voting tally
2019 Community Choices Program winners