Energy Efficient Communities Program case study: Thredbo Valley Distillery


Australian Government



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

Thredbo Valley Distillery, NSW

Thredbo Valley Distillery, NSW

About the business

Thredbo Valley Distillery is a small, family-owned artisan distillery, producing traditional Austrian-style spirits and liqueur schnapps.

The distillery strives to be a responsible and sustainable member of their community by actively engaging in environmentally friendly practices, such as water conservation and waste reduction, and minimising their ecological footprint.

Applying for the grant

When applying for an Energy Efficient Communities Program Grant, the distillery conducted an energy audit. The audit recommended several improvements to make better use of the electricity generated by the distillery’s solar panels.

‘Through the energy audit and the implementation of various improvements, our team became more aware of the ways in which we could reduce energy consumption and operate more efficiently’, said Brad Spalding, owner and founder of Thredbo Valley Distillery.

‘This knowledge equips us to make informed decisions about further upgrades and initiatives aimed at enhancing our energy efficiency and sustainability, ensuring the long-term success and responsible operation of our distillery’, Brad said.

Improvements funded by the grant

The distillery implemented the following improvements:

  • replaced fluorescent lights with motion-controlled LED lights
  • installed a centralised compressed air unit to provide compressed air to equipment
  • installed a wall-mounted radiator.


As a result of the energy efficiency improvements, the distillery has seen productivity improvements in their distillery operations.

‘The solutions addressed our immediate energy efficiency challenges and enhanced the safety and sustainability of our distillery operations. These were made possible with the Energy Efficient Communities Program Grant’, Brad said.

‘The energy efficiency upgrades extend beyond financial savings. They have improved working conditions and made the work environment more enjoyable by reducing noise levels. These positive outcomes demonstrate that investing in energy efficiency can have far-reaching advantages for both our business and our community’, Brad said.

With the improved energy-efficient systems in place, the distillery now has the capacity to meet higher demand for their products, both domestically and internationally.

New distillery tanks at Thredbo Valley Distillery

New distillery tanks at Thredbo Valley Distillery

Advice for other businesses

After implementing the upgrades made possible by the grant, Brad has some advice for other businesses looking to improve their energy efficiency.

  1. Conduct an energy audit: Begin by conducting a comprehensive energy audit of your facility. Identify areas where energy is being wasted and opportunities for improvement. An energy audit will provide a clear picture of your current energy consumption and help you prioritise your efforts.
  2. Set clear goals: Define specific and measurable energy efficiency goals for your business. Establishing clear objectives will help you track your progress and stay motivated to make improvements.
  3. Involve your team: Engage your employees and make them part of the energy efficiency journey. Encourage them to contribute ideas and support your initiatives. Well-informed and motivated employees can play a significant role in implementing energy-saving practices.
  4. Invest in energy-efficient technology: Consider upgrading to energy-efficient equipment and technology, such as LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC systems and energy-efficient appliances. These investments often pay for themselves through reduced energy costs over time.
  5. Implement behavioural changes: Encourage energy-saving behaviours among your staff. Simple actions like turning off lights when not in use, shutting down computers and properly maintaining equipment can lead to substantial energy savings.
  6. Monitor and measure: Install energy monitoring systems to track energy consumption in real-time. Regularly review and analyse the data to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  7. Seek financial incentives and grants: Explore available financial incentives, rebates and grants for energy efficiency projects. Government programs and organisations often provide support to businesses making energy-saving upgrades.
  8. Educate and train: Invest in training and education for your staff on energy-saving practices. Knowledgeable employees are more likely to adopt energy-efficient behaviours and contribute to the success of your initiatives.
  9. Prioritise renewable energy: If feasible, consider incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines into your energy mix. These sources can provide long-term savings and reduce your carbon footprint.
  10. Regularly review and adapt: Energy efficiency is an ongoing process. Regularly review your energy usage and the effectiveness of your initiatives. Be prepared to adapt and make improvements as technology evolves and your business changes.

Read more

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