Business support and advice

Industry and government programs are available to support businesses to understand their energy use and implement energy-efficient practices, systems and technologies.

For more in-depth information on grant-based programs, refer to Grants and funding. Training support programs are outlined in the Training resources and support section.

National

Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP)

ACAP, comprising the Australian partners of the Australia-US Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics, is developing the next generations of photovoltaic technology, providing a pipeline of opportunities for performance increase and cost reduction. Supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). 

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

The $3.2 billion 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.

CitySwitch

CitySwitch is a sustainability program supporting office-based businesses to significantly improve day-to-day energy and waste efficiency. The program provides network members with one-to-one support from an experienced program manager. It also includes free online resources, practical toolkits and regular education and networking events. Discounts on NABERS tenancy energy ratings are also available to members.

Play the CitySwitch Green ICT Challenge.

Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD)

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 1000 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.

Equipment Energy Efficiency Program (E3)

The E3 program is a cross-jurisdictional collaboration through which the Australian Government, the state and territory and New Zealand governments,collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.

Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO)

EEGO policy aims to reduce the energy consumption of Australian Government operations with particular emphasis on energy efficiency in buildings.

Entrepreneurs’ Programme

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme uses experienced advisers and facilitators, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support needed to improve their competiveness, productivity and to seek growth opportunities.

Practical support for businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs includes:

  • advice from people with relevant private sector experience
  • co-funded grants to commercialise novel intellectual property in the form of new products
  • processes and services, funding to take advantage of growth opportunities
  • connection and collaboration opportunities

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)

NABERS is a national program managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. 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.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme (NGER)

The NGER scheme established by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act), is a single national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, energy consumption and other information specified under NGER legislation.

Research & Development Tax Incentive (R&D)

The R&D is a targeted, generous and easy to access entitlement program that helps businesses offset some of the costs of doing R&D. The program aims to help more businesses do R&D and innovate. It is a broad-based entitlement program. This means that it is open to firms of all sizes in all sectors who are conducting eligible R&D.

Sustainable Cities Investment Program

The Sustainable Cities Investment Program will seek to invest $1 billion over 10 years in clean energy and energy efficient technology solutions in cities and the built environment. The finance will be for investments in renewable energy and low emissions technologies, as well as energy efficiency, in cities and the built environment.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) can consider a range of projects for financing through the Sustainable Cities Investment Program:

  • property
  • transport and infrastructure
  • universities and local government
  • social housing

Australian Capital Territory

Actsmart Business Energy and Water Program

Rebates of up to $5,000 are available to eligible Australian Capital Territory businesses when upgrading to more water-efficient and energy-efficient technologies, including with lighting, heating or cooling, refrigeration, toilets and/or tapware.

Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme

EEIS is a compulsory scheme for electricity retailers supplying to the Australian Capital Territory. It works by placing a requirement on electricity retailers to achieve energy savings in households and small-to-medium businesses. A priority household target ensures that a proportion of the savings are delivered in low income households.

New South Wales

Energy Saver program

The Energy Saver program helps New South Wales householders and businesses to understand and save on their energy use and bills.

Energy Savings Scheme

The Energy Savings Scheme reduces electricity consumption in New South Wales by creating financial incentives for organisations to invest in energy savings projects. When businesses invest in reducing their energy use, an Accredited Certificate Provider creates energy savings certificates for each MWh of energy the project saves. Electricity retailers, who are mandatory scheme participants, then buy the energy savings certificates.

Environmental Upgrade Agreements

The financing of sustainability improvements to many existing buildings in New South Wales has been made easier with Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). 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.

Sustainability Advantage

The Sustainability Advantage program is assisting organisations across New South Wales to achieve increased competitiveness and improved bottom lines through better environmental practices.

Queensland

ecoBiz

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

Energy Savers

The objective of the Energy Savers program is to assist farmers to reduce their energy costs by supporting the accelerated adoption of improvements in on-farm energy use. The program is funded by the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Energy Savers has compiled a detailed breakdown of information and resources on reducing your on-farm energy consumption.

See the Energy Saver case studies.

Watt Savers

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

South Australia

Business Sustainability Program

Support for South Australian business and industry:

  • Information, direction and tools to help all types of organisations to make more informed investment decisions on business sustainability
  • Working with industry associations and business groups to deliver practical advice and solutions across industry sectors and regions
  • Understanding the diversity of small-to-medium businesses and partnering with key industry associations to deliver practical advice to a large number of companies to lift overall industry standards

National Energy Efficiency Building Project

The National Energy Efficient Building Project (NEEBP) commenced in 2012 with the aim of supporting consumers, government and industry to achieve better energy efficiency in new buildings, renovations and additions. The NEEBP is led by the Government of South Australia’s Department of State Development and is co-funded by all Australian states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council.

Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme

The Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) is a South Australian Government initiative that requires energy retailers to help households and businesses save on energy use and costs, and lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

To do this, energy retailers need to meet energy efficiency and audit targets that have been set for them. Retailers with a large number of residential customers are set additional targets that ensure a certain amount of the energy savings activities they do are delivered to low-income households.

Tasmania

Tasmanian Energy Strategy

The Tasmanian Government has developed an energy strategy to identify ways in which energy can be used as a key economic driver for the state. The strategy has an overarching vision of restoring Tasmania’s energy advantage.

Victoria

1200 Buildings Program

Through the program, the City of Melbourne is seeking to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1200 non-residential buildings, which represents 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.

Better Commercial Buildings

The Better Commercial Buildings program offers $1.8 million over four years to support poorly performing commercial buildings to implement energy-efficiency improvements. This program is set to save $18 million over 10 years, reducing emissions by 55ktCO2e.

Boosting Business Productivity

Boosting Business Productivity is a $6.1 million Victorian Government program that gives businesses access to expert advice and support for cutting energy and material costs, reducing greenhouse emissions and improving productivity. The program provides grants for businesses, a sustainable finance service and various training, events and information resources.

  • Gas efficiency grants of up to $50,000 are available for businesses to invest in gas-related projects including capital equipment upgrades, non-routine maintenance and repairs, fuel switching and improved metering. 
  • Energy assessment grants of up to $18,000 are available for businesses spending over $20,000 a year on energy to commission an assessment which will identify and implement energy improvements.
  • Materials efficiency grants of up to $13,000 are available for businesses looking for solutions to their waste problems, which will result in more efficient use of materials and less waste sent to landfill.
  • Energy efficiency knowledge and skills. A number of industry associations, business networks and registered training organisations have received Energy Efficiency Capability grants to develop energy efficiency knowledge and skills in small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) and service providers. 
  • Sustainable finance service is available free to all businesses, property owners, councils and community groups seeking to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Victorian Energy Upgrades

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program, previously known as the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme, is designed to make energy-efficiency improvements more affordable, contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, and encourage investment, employment and innovation in industries that supply energy-efficient goods and services.

The program provides households and businesses with access to discounts on energy-efficient products and services. Upgrading from inefficient appliances can help homes and businesses cope better with cold winter and hot summer temperatures.

It is also an ideal way to take control of your energy bills. In 2016-17 alone, 20,000 businesses and 100,000 households undertook energy efficiency upgrades through the program.

Western Australia

CleanRun

CleanRun is a Western Australian Government program aimed at improving air quality by reducing vehicle emissions. It is focused on heavy vehicles and fleets and includes an EcoDrive program for transport companies to train their drivers to use safer, smarter techniques to maximise fuel economy.

Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme

In Western Australia, government-owned retailers must offer eligible customers a buyback scheme. This ensures residents, schools and non-profit organisations with renewable energy systems can sell their excess energy to retailers. According to requirements, the retailers establish their own terms and conditions (including rates) for buying excess energy and are responsible for running the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme.