The Australian Government has abruptly suspended its "solar schools" program without giving any notice.

The program provided up to $50,000 to schools for solar panels, solar hot water heaters, water tanks or other energy efficiency measures.

So far, 1,800 schools have received funding and formal applications have been received from a further 700. These will be processed but no more applications will be accepted this financial year. Another 2,500 schools have registered for the scheme but have not yet made formal applications.

Schools in New South Wales received no funding for more than a year after the scheme began because of delays in the State’s centralised tendering system.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said it was "amazing that this government can waste $16 billion on unwanted school halls but suspend a key solar program that every school appears to want".