Funding to help businesses lower energy bills now available

The Business Recovery Energy Efficiency Fund (BREEF) is now open to Victorian businesses, but you will need to register quickly as applications for phase 1 close on 31 December 2020.

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The $31 million BREEF fund, which was announced as part of the 2020-21 Victorian State Budget, is designed to help large-energy-consuming businesses reduce costs and accelerate the uptake of new energy-efficient equipment and practices.

Key details

The BREEF comprises two parts: the $24 million Capital Works Grants, which provides funding for projects that involve:

  • The purchase and installation of energy efficiency equipment
  • The replacement of emissions-intensive equipment with low-emissions alternatives
  • The purchase of communications and monitoring technology

And the $7 million Energy Demand Management Grants, which provide funding for projects that involve:

  • Capital investment in technology needed to enable a demand response, including communications and control technology
  • Professional advice to support the uptake of demand-side opportunities
  • Feasibility studies and energy audits
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Implementing steps under/or formal accreditation to the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems framework.

Projects will need to commence immediately after contract execution.

While the grants will not fund projects that have already commenced, some projects with multiple phases may still be eligible. Organisations can apply for both grants; however, the same works must not be proposed in both applications.

Further details and guidelines are available via the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

How to participate

Applications are open via the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning grant management portal for the Capital Works Grants and Energy Demand Management Grants.

Applications close 2pm, Thursday 31 December 2020 for Phase 1 and 2pm Sunday 31 January 2021 for Phase 2.

Eligibility

In addition to meeting the program objectives, eligible organisations must:

  • Operate in Victoria
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have a site using over 40 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity or over 1 terajoule (TJ) of gas per year, demonstrated by 12 months’ worth of energy bills or meter data, or evidence from their energy provider, representing pre COVID-19 usage.

Solar for Small Businesses support

Solar Victoria is expanding its Solar Homes program to support small business. The Solar for Small Business Program will provide eligible small businesses with up to a 50 per cent rebate of the cost of a solar PV system. There will also be an optional loan provided of equal value.

The program is set to roll out early in 2021, with 15,000 rebates offered over 3 years.

Registrations are now open for businesses to register their interest on the Solar Victoria Website.

The Victorian Chamber is working with Solar Victoria to the determine eligibility requirements for the program and are eager to engage with businesses to ensure as many members can benefit as possible.

If you have any questions or would like to be involved in our advocacy work, please contact policy@victorianchamber.com.au.

The Victorian Chamber has been advocating on behalf of business for energy assistance programs such as the BREEF and the Solar for Small Business Program. As businesses begin to reopen, we will continue to advocate for policies and programs that support Victorian business recovery. 

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