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Energy Insights

Guide to government & industry programs for energy-efficient businesses

With the volatility in recent energy prices, it’s timely to remind our clients that in addition to, and parallel with, the services provided by Energy Action, there are a range of industry and government programs available to support businesses to understand their energy use and implement energy-efficient practices, systems and technologies.

Both national and state-based incentive programs may be available to assist businesses to reduce their energy and environmental footprint, some of which are set out below.

Please contact your Energy Action representative for more information.

National Australian Renewable Energy AgencyThe $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.

For further information refer to Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Clean Energy Finance CorporationThe Clean Energy Finance Corporation accepts proposals from organisations seeking finance for investment-ready renewable energy technology, low emissions technology and energy efficiency projects. Funding will be invested in the areas of low emissions technology and energy efficiency related to energy conservation or demand management outcomes.

For further information refer to the CEFC website.

Commercial Building DisclosureCommercial Building Disclosure 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.

For further information refer Commercial Building Disclosure.

National Australian Built Environment Rating SystemThe National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) is a performance-based rating system for buildings that 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.

For further information, refer the NABERS website.

NSW Energy Saver ProgramUnder the Energy Saver Program, opportunities identified through energy audits on small to medium sized NSW businesses 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 subsidises 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 practices and technologies.

For further information refer the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.

Environmental Upgrade AgreementsThe financing of sustainability improvements to many existing buildings in New South Wales is now easier with Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EAUs). Under the agreement, owners of non-strata commercial and light industrial buildings can access funds from a finance provider for energy, water and other environmental improvements.

For further information refer the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage website.

Queensland ecoBizThe ecoBiz program supports Queensland companies to measure current energy, water and waste use, identify opportunities, and plan and implement energy-efficient business practices.

For further information refer to ecoBiz.

Watt SaversWatt Savers aims to assist small to medium enterprise and community organisations in South East Queensland to save money and greenhouse emissions. The program includes fact sheets, telephone advisory services, workshops and information on accessing finance and funding options.

For further information, refer to the Watt Savers website.

South Australia Solar Cities Business Energy Efficiency ProgramSolar Cities Business Energy Efficiency Program is part of the Adelaide Solar City project and is designed to assist small to medium and large companies, as well as business tenants and organisations to cut power consumption, increase profitability and reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

For more information on Solar Cities, visit the EEX website.

Victoria 1200 Buildings ProgramThrough 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 further information refer to the 1200 Buildings Program website.

Victorian Energy Efficiency TargetVictorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) is a ‘tradeable certificate’ scheme 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 refer to the VEET scheme website.

Northern Territory ecoBiz NTecoBiz NT is a program for small to medium businesses in the Northern Territory to assist them in addressing energy and water use, materials management and consumption. It is based on a six-step process which includes an audit of resource usage and an assessment of relevant energy-efficient practices with the ultimate aim of reducing business costs and improving efficiency.

For more information refer to ecoBiz NT.

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