New program encourages small businesses to be energy-efficient

energy-efficient, renewable energy, clean energy

Sustainability Victoria has launched a program that will provide incentives to Victorian small businesses that will upgrade their equipment to more “energy-efficient” options.

The Small Business Energy Saver Program will provide $5 million in bonuses, providing financial assistance to small businesses that will upgrade to energy-efficient equipment and appliances, in addition to the energy savings they will enjoy for purchasing such items.

The program serves to compliment the Victorian Government’s Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program, which also offers incentives for energy-efficient upgrades. The state has committed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and has put $9.1 million towards the VEU program million as part of its 2020-21 State Budget.

Under the Small Business Energy Saver Program, Victorian small businesses with 19 full-time employees or fewer can receive up to $2000 to install energy-efficient business equipment at their workplace.

The equipment upgrades eligible for the bonus include:

  • replacement of inefficient electric hot water systems
  • replacement of inefficient gas hot water systems
  • upgrade to efficient room reverse cycle air-conditioners
  • installation of energy-efficient refrigerator display cabinets
  • installation of energy-efficient fridges and freezers
  • installation of energy-efficient refrigeration and ventilation fans and motors
  • installation of water efficient pre-rinse spray valves.

Upgrades are available to small businesses across various sectors including hospitality, retail, accommodation, healthcare and professional services, and small-scale manufacturing.

According to Sustainability Victoria, by making energy-saving equipment upgrades, businesses can save 15-20 per cent of the upgraded equipment’s annual energy operational costs. This would allow small-business owners to leverage the savings from reduced energy bills and use the savings to invest on the growth of their business.

Sustainability Australia also touts the benefits of a sustainable workplace in which not only employees get to enjoy the benefits of working in a “greener” workspace, but also helps these businesses win the patronage of environmentally-conscious customers. This also ensures that the business be more “climate-proof” or better to withstand climate change.

Businesses can visit the Small Business Energy Saver page for further details and to register their interest in availing the program.