New Grants

Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZEN) is a new Victorian Government initiative to shape the sustainable future of new residential developments.

ZEN is a $6 million funding grant program will run over four years and aims to engage local government, developers and industry partners. Sustainability Victoria will work collaboratively with these groups and provide support (both financial and non-financial) to implement best-practice sustainable neighbourhoods.

ZEN will support developments that are designed for zero net greenhouse gas emissions. These developments will showcase innovative precinct scale water, waste, transport and energy solutions, such as local renewable energy supply, sustainable master planning & design, energy meters to help track and manage usage, onsite recycled water, as well as parklands and waterways. ZEN will also support projects that address the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental sustainability, as well as those that are designed to support the health and wellbeing of both residents and ecosystems both now and in the future.

ZEN is supported by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, managed by Sustainability Victoria.

More Details:

Funding availability

Funding of $6 million has been committed to the program over four years to support the development of four to six prototype zero emissions communities. Out of the total funding, $5 million has been allocated to capital funding for infrastructure projects (Capital Stream), $0.3 million to scoping projects, feasibility studies and business case development, and $0.2 million to independent research (Research Stream).

Types of projects considered

See below for project examples which have potential to be supported. Please note that these projects are indicative only.The ZEN program adopts a case by case approach wherebythe projects are assessed against the selection criteria.

• Co-generation plant powered by biogas which has been captured from on-site waste water treatment. The plant will supply energy to nearby buildings (all of which display) best-practice energy efficient design. Waste from the community is either reused or recycled through an on-site waste reuse and recycling program and residents are encouraged to use a vehicle-sharing program to minimise transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.

• Wind and solar generation on energy efficient buildings to power a new residential development, with mini-grid distributing power between generation site and buildings. Residents are transported to nearby community facilities on a mini-transit system powered by renewable energy sources. Sewage water is treated and recycled on-site for toilet flushing, irrigation and a naturalized creek and pond system on site. Buildings have a recycling room to collect materials which can be either recycled or reused.

• Biomass energy system that converts waste wood into fuel. This fuel will power the development’s co-generation unit and supply electricity to an electric vehicle system and other demand centres. This will be complemented by energy efficient design in all buildings and precinct infrastructure elements. Water consumption is reduced by deploying efficient appliances and practice in both buildings and landscaping. Storm water is treated and recycled by using an on-site naturalised creek and pond system. Purchase and utilise fuel-efficient vehicles forthe vehicle-sharing program and upgrade the local public transport system.

If you are interested in more details on this program please register your details by sending an email to

If you would like to find out more information about how Treadstone can help you with government grant submission please call us on 03 9016 3575

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