A range of industry and government programs are available to support businesses to understand their energy use and implement energy-efficient practices, systems and technologies.
In this section
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation
- The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
- Enterprise Connect
- Equipment Energy Efficiency Program
- National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER)
- Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO)
- Clean Energy Future Initiatives
- National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)
- Energy Efficiency in Government Operations
- Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD)
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) welcomes proposals from organisations seeking finance for investment-ready renewable energy technology, low emissions technology and energy efficiency projects.
Up to half of the $10 billion CEFC’s funding will be invested in the areas of low emissions technology and energy efficiency. This includes technologies, systems, services or business models related to energy conservation or demand management outcomes.
The CEFC seeks opportunity for co-financing smaller scale energy efficiency projects through third parties and financiers aggregating these transactions.
Following the merger of Low Carbon Australia Limited(LCAL) and the CEFC, LCAL’s energy efficiency programs are being continued and successful financing models scaled up by the CEFC.
For more information and guidance on CEFC investment considerations, and to submit an investment proposal, visit the CEFC website
The $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is an independent Commonwealth authority, supporting innovations that improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. ARENA invests in research, development, demonstration, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy and related technologies; and the storage and sharing of knowledge and information about renewable energy technologies.
For further information about ARENA and new initiatives, visit www.arena.gov.au
Enterprise Connect is managed by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and provides a national network of business advisors and business improvement services to small and medium businesses across the manufacturing, clean technology, resources, defence, tourism and creative sectors. It offers comprehensive advice and support to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises to help them transform and reach their full potential.
Clean21: The Future of Manufacturing program is a one of Enterprise Connect’s targeted support programs developed to assist Australian manufacturers reduce their emissions and energy costs and increase their competitiveness. For more information on services offered see the Enterprise Connect website.
The core elements of the Equipment Energy Efficiency Program include Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and energy rating labelling for regulated equipment and appliances. The program is managed by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, State and Territory Governments and the New Zealand Government and is mandatory for retailers and importers of regulated equipment and appliances. For more information on the program and products covered by the program see the Energy Rating website.
NGER is the national mechanism for businesses to report greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, energy consumption and other information specified under NGER legislation. NGER is mandatory for companies which meet the NGER threshold, which as a guide includes those emitting more than 25 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or consuming more than 25 000 megawatts of electricity or 2.5 million litres of fuel in a year.
The EEO Program encourages large energy-using businesses to improve their energy efficiency. It requires companies to follow a rigorous Assessment Framework to identify and evaluate cost effective energy saving opportunities with a four year payback or less, and report publicly on their business response. The program is mandatory for corporations using more than 0.5 PJ of energy per year. On 1 July 2011, the EEO program was extended to include electricity generators. As part of the Government’s plan for a clean energy future, the Government has also committed to expanding the program’s scope to electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks and major greenfield and expansion projects.
The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Initiatives are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that secures our economic prosperity and achieves emissions reductions at least economic cost. This will be done while maintaining the international competitiveness of Australian industries and adequate, reliable and affordable energy supplies. A range of initiatives will assist industry during this transition including:
- The Jobs and Competitiveness Program which will support jobs in industries that generate a high level of emissions where their trade competitors do not yet face similar carbon costs.
- The Clean Energy Finance Corporation which will invest $10 billion in renewable energy, low pollution and energy efficiency technologies.
- The Clean Technology Programs which support research and investment in manufacturing and other sectors.
- Support for the coal mining sector through the Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package and Coal Sector Jobs Package.
- Assistance for the steel sector through the Steel Transformation Plan.
- The Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program which will assist industry associations and non profits provide practical, tailored energy efficiency information to small and medium enterprises and community organisations.
NABERS is a performance-based rating system for buildings and uses a star system to rate a building on the basis of its measured operational impacts on the environment. The NABERS system now extends to 6 stars and is a simple indication of how well a commercial building manages the environmental impact of the resources used, compared with similar buildings.
NABERS is a national program managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. For more information on the program, including assessment requirements and accredited assessors see the NABERS website.
Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) aims to reduce the energy consumption of Australian Government operations with particular emphasis on building energy efficiency. The program is mandatory for Australian Government agencies and incorporates energy intensity targets, annual reporting and green lease requirements into new office lease arrangements. For more information on the program see the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s website.
Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) is a national program designed to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings. Most sellers or lessors of office space of 2,000 square metres or more are required to obtain and disclose a current Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010.
A BEEC is comprised of a NABERS Energy star rating for the building, an assessment of tenancy lighting in the area of the building that is being sold or leased and general energy efficiency guidance. BEECs are valid for 12 months and must be publicly accessible on the online Building Energy Efficiency Register. There are also certain exceptions and exemptions.
The Energy Saver Program offers subsidised energy audits to small to medium sized NSW businesses. Opportunities identified through the audits may be eligible to generate tradeable certificates under the NSW Energy Savings Scheme. Audits can also be used to generate a NABERS rating in relevant businesses. The program also provides subsidised specialist audits for different types of technology and equipment such as lighting, industrial refrigeration and HVAC, to facilitate adoption of cost-effective, commercially proven energy efficient technologies.
Sustainability Advantage is an initiative to help businesses in New South Wales identify and implement environmental improvement projects that will reduce risk, lower costs and improve productivity. The program brings together groups of businesses into clusters that share regional, industry or supply chain interests. Cluster meetings are held 3-4 times a year and provide an opportunity to draw on the ideas and experiences of like minded organisations. The program’s initial management diagnostic helps participants evaluate their current environmental performance and rank areas of priority. For more information on the program see the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.
Queensland’s Department of Energy and Water Supply website offers advice and information for building owners and local government on Low Emission Generation of renewables including photovoltaic installations, co-generation projects, wind-turbines and other technologies.
The ecoBiz program supports Queensland companies to measure current energy, water and waste use, identify opportunities, and plan and implement efficient business practices. ecoBiz is run by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
The Business Sustainability Alliance (BSA) Energy Efficiency program is funded by the South Australian Government to provide energy audits for small to medium businesses. Participating companies obtain an energy audit report with advice on capturing and analysing data as well as cost benefit analysis and a strategic action plan. Successful applicants receive 75% of the costs of their energy assessments, up to $10,000 (excluding GST). Please note applications for Round 4 funding closed on January 31 and Innovate SA concludes as an entity on June 30, 2012. For more information see the Innovate SA website.
This program is part of the Adelaide Solar City project and is designed to assist small-medium and large companies, as well as business tenants and organisations, to cut power consumption, increase profitability and reduce the production of greenhouse gases. It includes an energy audit and assistance to develop and implement an action plan. For more information see the Adelaide Solar City website.
REAP supports South Australian companies to measure their energy, water and waste usage. It is set up to tailor specific programs for each company to help them develop long term resource efficiency mechanisms. Available tools include business diagnostics, benchmarking, strategic planning and staff training. REAP is part of Zero Waste SA which subsidises waste audits and development of resource management plans to a maximum of $25,000.
The Tasmanian Government does not have any specific industrial energy efficiency-related programs however to speak to a relevant government representative contact Industry Support, Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts on email@example.com or call 03 6233 5888
Through the 1200 Buildings Program, the City of Melbourne is seeking to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1200 non-residential buildings, which represent 70% of the commercial building stock within the municipality.
The program is managed through a strategic partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) which offers environmental upgrade agreements to eligible building owners.
For more information visit the 1200 Buildings Program website
Grow Me The Money is a 12 month online program designed to help small to medium sized businesses become more sustainable and save money. Grow Me The Money provides businesses with the tools, resources and support to use less energy and water, create less waste and save money and is partnership between Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) and the Victorian Government.
The Low Emission Energy Technology program will provide funding for renewable energy plants and low emission technology projects. The Victorian Government has allocated $82 million to sustainable energy research and development and pilot demonstration projects which is divided into two separate grant programs (each program with up to a maximum of $5 million per project). These are:
- the Sustainable Energy Research & Development program; and
- the Sustainable Energy Pilot Demonstration program.
For more information see the Victorian Department of Primary Industries website.
This ‘tradeable certificate’ scheme is aimed at increasing consumer energy efficiency, reducing emissions and promoting investment, employment and innovation in energy efficiency industries. Accredited installers offer householders and businesses around 30 prescribed energy efficiency activities designed to reduce their energy use. The installers can convert these to Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEEC). The VEECs are typically sold to large energy retailers in Victoria which are required by law to surrender a certain number each year. For more information see the VEET scheme website.
(also see Mandatory Obligation Schemes)
This simple online guide assists companies by rating current performance and showing what is required to improve performance. It also provides guidance in minimising resource use and moving towards an overall 5StarSustainability rating.
5StarSustainability is designed to be consistent with business management processes and systems, and continuous improvement philosophy. Businesses need to register to access the 5StarSustainability for Industry and SMEs online tools. The tools were developed by Sustainability Victoria and Zero Waste SA.
The EREP program requires large energy and water users to show they have assessed their operations, identified opportunities to improve resource efficiency and prioritised these actions. Participating companies are supported through the program with guidelines, toolkits and case studies of companies which have achieved significant savings.
The Victorian government has announced it will close the program from February 2013 as part of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commitment to reduce duplication of existing national programs and the Carbon price. For more information see the EPA Victoria website.
CleanRun – Let’s drive down emissions is a Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) program aimed at improving air quality in Western Australia by reducing vehicle emissions. It is focused on heavy vehicles and fleet vehicles and includes an EcoDrive program for Transport companies to help them train their drivers to use safer, smarter driving techniques that maximise fuel economy by operating the engine as efficiently as possible.
The program, funded in part by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPC) is the key initiative for the National Environment Protection (Diesel Vehicle Emissions) Measure (Diesel NEPM) implementation in Western Australia.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACTSmart Business Energy and Water Program aims to assist small businesses in the ACT to reduce energy and water use, while lowering operating costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The program offers a subsidised energy and water assessment conducted by a qualified assessor which will result in a tailored energy and water action report for the business. Businesses can claim 50% of costs of upgrades recommended in the report, up to a maximum of $5,000. For more information on the prorgram please visit the ACTSmart website.
For more information on the ACT Government’s energy efficiency policy and programs contact the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 13 22 81.
ecoBiz NT is a program for small to medium businesses in the Northern Territory to assist them to address energy and water use, materials management and consumption. It is based upon a six-step process which includes an audit of resource usage and an assessment of relevant efficiency measures with the ultimate aim of reducing business costs and improving efficiency. For more information on the program see www.ecobiznt.nt.gov.au