How to get finance for energy-efficiency improvements

A range of Australian Government and state and territory government programs exist to help companies access finance for energy-efficiency improvement projects.

Options are extensive. Funding can be used on relatively simple upgrades such as lighting, through to more complex major technology improvements or equipment upgrades.

Below is a brief summary of what’s available and links to relevant websites. Your industry association can also be a good starting point when looking for finance, as it can provide information specific to your sector.

Whichever option you choose, it is worth conducting an energy assessment prior to considering finance options: this will help you determine where gains may be made. It will also help your company develop the business case that usually supports any funding applications. Remember, when you do conduct an assessment, it’s worth knowing that some established energy services companies will not only recommend cost-effective improvements, but guarantee the savings will cover all project costs.

Australian Government financing options

The Clean Energy Finance Corp is an Australian Government statutory authority formed to 'facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector'. It runs a range of programs targeting clean energy and energy efficiency improvements for small businesses, manufacturers and the agricultural sector, as well as small-scale commercial property. It also partners with external organisations to provide access to funding via co-financing.

Programs include:

The Clean Energy Finance Corp has comprehensive details of funding programs and a range of case studies where funding has been provided. Funding proposals may be submitted online.

State-based financing options

New South Wales

NSW Office of Environment & Heritage has tailored programs, management tools, training services and finance options for businesses working to reduce energy consumption, overheads and costs. The Environmental Upgrade Agreement program is very popular with businesses in NSW—it allows for the use of private finance to upgrade non-strata commercial buildings.

Victoria

Sustainability Victoria has a range of options to assist businesses to cut costs and boost productivity by saving energy and materials, reducing and better managing waste, or improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

South Australia

The new South Australian Energy Productivity Program helps local energy-intensive businesses with audits and implementation of energy efficiency improvements.