Energy Efficient Communities Program case study: Port Phillip Estate


Australian Government



Hear from people whose businesses are benefitting from the Energy Efficient Communities Program grants.

Port Phillip Estate, Victoria

Port Phillip Estate, Victoria

About the business

The Port Phillip Estate Group owns and operates vineyards, winemaking facilities, a bottling line, a cellar door, a restaurant and luxury accommodation.

The bottling process uses a significant amount of hot water to washdown and sanitise equipment. The group was considering more reliable and efficient systems to replace the existing gas boilers to heat water.

‘The boilers were beginning to approach end of service life, and the cost of LPG was increasing. Rather than simply replacing the LPG boilers like-for-like with more modern and efficient systems, we decided to look at ways to make use of energy from the existing 99.8 kW roof top solar PV system’, said Marco Vallesi, Production Manager at Port Phillip Estate.

Applying for the grant

Before applying for an Energy Efficient Communities Program grant, the group consulted engineers to review the entire system and equipment. The engineers in their formal report recommended replacing the LPG boiler with a heat pump system, as this would offer better energy efficiency, greater performance and reliability.

The group chose a supplier to develop a system that could easily integrate into the existing pipework and continue to use an existing solar evacuated tube water heating system.

New heat pump system at Port Phillip Estate

Improvements funded by the grant

The group identified an opportunity to electrify the hot water system by replacing a 130 kW gas boiler with two 19 kW heat pumps. The updated hot water system provides hot water to the entire building, including the wine bottling operations, the cellar door, commercial kitchens and accommodation.

‘We’ve noticed an increase in the hot water temperature delivered throughout our entire building. The needs of the production area are easily being met during weekday operations. An important improvement is that the dining room and accommodation are no longer reporting hot water shortages on very busy weekends’, Marco said.


The group expect to almost halve their annual gas consumption from approximately 26,000L to below 14,000L.

The group is also investigating other energy efficiency measures across various business departments and sites with the aim of further reducing their emissions.

Advice for other businesses

After implementing the upgrades made possible by the grant, Marco’s advice for other businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency is to:

  1. Seek out an experienced and well-resourced supplier.
  2. Explore local, state and federal grant opportunities.  

Read more

To find out more about funding opportunities for your energy efficiency projects, see: