Apply for a project loan

The CORENA Fund provides interest-free loans to help fund Quick Win climate projects anywhere in Australia in cases where the up-front capital cost is a barrier.

We welcome loan applications for projects at the premises of non-profit organisations that provide tangible community benefits, but also for other entities if the proposed project has associated community or climate breakthrough benefits. We particularly welcome applications from organisations that are willing to assist with local awareness of their Quick Win climate project.

Our interest-free loans and technical advice are intended to overcome the up-front cost and knowledge barriers to implementing cost-effective climate projects, so please do not apply IF your organisation can afford your intended project without our help.

Types of projects eligible for CORENA Quick Win climate loans

– Renewable energy (eg. rooftop solar PV if you have a mostly unshaded roof in good repair and no heritage listing)
– Energy efficiency measures (eg. insulation, LED lighting, replacement of old inefficient appliances)
– Electric vehicles (difference in cost between a suitable EV and a petrol vehicle)
– Replacement of gas use with electric alternatives (eg. for space heating, hot water, cooking, pool heating)
– Other cost-effective tangible climate-focused projects – contact us if you have something else in mind!

…or a combined package of two or more of the above.

To apply for a project loan, please fill in and submit the online Expression of Interest form. If you need to collect information from multiple sources, it might suit you better to download the Expression of Interest form and save it to your computer so that you can fill it in bit by bit. If so, please copy across the information to the online EOI form when you are ready to submit your application.

Note that we favour projects that represent cost-effective climate benefit and that ‘pay for themselves’ in a reasonable time (with your loan repayments to us covered by your savings on bills). Accordingly operational differences and the source of grid electricity supplied in your area might affect the type of project or project package for which we will offer you a loan.

Alternatively, email us if you have any questions.

NOTE: In 2019 we introduced a one-off project development fee, $100 or $10/kW up to a maximum of $500 for larger projects, to help CORENA continue to function. The fee only becomes payable after all project details are finalised and you have accepted our project loan.

Impact on your budget

Chart showing no budget impact while repaying a CORENA project loan
Example for a solar PV or energy efficiency project loan

You don’t pay any interest on your CORENA loan, and the quarterly loan repayments are set to be a little less than the savings on your operating costs averaged over a year. This means you are never out of pocket, but you don’t save much overall in the short-term. But after your loan is fully repaid you reap the full financial benefit of having lower operating costs.

Solar PV and energy efficiency projects typically ‘pay for themselves’ in 3-7 years. For electric vehicles or projects for getting off fossil gas, the payback time will depend heavily on the project details.


Info sheet for project applicants

A4 information sheet about CORENA climate project loans

Click here to download the flyer at left as an A4 pdf if you want to print this information and take it along to a meeting of your committee or want to encourage a local organisation to consider a Quick Win climate project loan.


Info sheet re EV loans

A4 information sheet about CORENA electric vehicle loans

Click here to download the EV loan info sheet at left as a pdf.


Typical project workflow

Chart showing typical steps from CORENA project application to completion

Click here to download the pdf at left showing the typical project workflow for a Quick Win climate project.


Feedback

From Jim Edwards, Clunes Old School Association, on completion of repaying their loan in October 2020:

In early 2018 our community centre in Clunes NSW decided to invest in a 5kw Photovoltaic system for it’s buildings. A 4 year no-interest loan was quickly organised through CORENA. These older buildings were for many years the local primary school, having educated many students from the 1880’s to 1996. The community centre currently houses 6 permanent & a number of casual tenants. We have outdoor stages for events such as weddings, music & parties. A BBQ, half basketball court, kids cycle track, natural playground & gardens compliment the venue which is well utilised by the village residents. Under normal sunny conditions the PV system supplies all the power for the community centre with any excess going to our energy retailer Enova Energy. We are more than happy to recommend CORENA to any non-profit organisation who may be interested in a renewable energy system.


From Vicki Hawker of Tastex Knitwear and Uniforms at completion of their solar loan repayments on 30/8/18


From Heather Walch, Ravenshoe Community Centre, Qld, 11/9/17. This, our 6th Quick Win project, installed a 3.89kW solar system.

We would like to thank CORENA for the opportunity to have an interest free loan to purchase our solar system. As an NGO this has made it easy and affordable and has made our running costs go down for the Community Centre.


And from Sheryl Rasmussen, Centre Coordinator Ravenshoe Community Centre Inc on the occasion of completing payback of their CORENA solar loan:

Having the solar system has meant a reduction in electricity costs allowing more money to be spent on services and knowing that it reduces our carbon footprint is a great feeling.


From Jill Cochram, Moss Vale Community Garden, NSW, 16/9/17 about our 8th Quick Win project installed in February 2016.

With regular visits to our community garden from workshop attendees, open day participants, farmers’ market customers and school groups, we take every opportunity to show off our 3.7kW Quick Win solar energy system made possible by CORENA’s no-interest loan. Such a luxury to have a fridge, electric urn, lights, power tools and electric mower & whipper snipper powered by the sun after ten years without power on-site. Thankyou to all the team at CORENA for making this possible. It’s good to feel a part of the movement towards climate action.