A range of Australian Government and state and territory government programs exist to help companies access finance for energy efficiency improvement projects.
Funding can be used on relatively simple upgrades such as lighting, through to more complex major technology improvements or equipment upgrades.
Your industry association can also be a good starting point when looking for finance, as it can provide sector-specific information.
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.
Please note, the information in this website and the links provided are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances.
Australian Government financing options
Clean Energy Finance Corp
The Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) is an Australian Government statutory authority formed to 'facilitate increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector'. It draws on expertise, extensive networks and market reach to make it easier for businesses and consumers to secure finance to transform their energy use.
The CEFC 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.
Small business asset write-off initiative
The small business instant asset write-off initiative allows businesses with an annual turnover of up to $10 million to immediately deduct for the cost of each business asset up to $30,000, improving cash flow and helping them to reinvest in their business and replace or upgrade their assets.
This write-off applies irrespective of whether the asset is purchased new or second-hand. It is possible to use this $30,000 option multiple times, however, the cost of each item must be under the threshold.
For more information visit the Australian Taxation Office website. See also the Energy Efficiency Council fact sheet which helps small business owners, advisors and service providers make use of this initiative.
State-based financing options
New South Wales
The NSW Government 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 New South Wales - it allows for the use of private finance to upgrade non-strata commercial buildings.
The South Australian Government has a range of options to assist businesses to cut costs and boost productivity by saving energy and materials or improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The South Australian Energy Productivity Program helps local energy-intensive businesses with audits and implementation of energy efficiency improvements.
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.
Other financing options
Leasing reduces the up-front cost of switching to more energy-efficient equipment. A lease can also allow for upgrades as technology improves, or to easily switch to a more suitable option.
Some energy retailers offer on-bill finance where the retailer provides energy-efficient equipment in return for regular repayments added to the company’s energy bill. Ownership is transferred on the completion of the payment term.
Energy performance contracts
Energy performance contracts are common in the commercial building sector. Energy service companies guarantee to reduce an energy bill by finding potential savings in a building’s operations and commissioning and funding a retrofit of a building.
FitsME - Essential Guide to Business Funding Australian Government - Information on the types of funding available for small business operators and outlines the steps to increase the chance of securing funding.
Business Funding Guide Australian Government - A tool for trusted advisers to help their clients find the right funding and become 'finance fit'. The guide is written primarily for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers.