Small Business Energy Saver Program

The recent Gippsland Climate Change Network (GCCN) News had an article on the Small Business Energy Saver Program (SBESP) currently being run by the Victorian government. Improving energy efficiency is one of those actions commonly referred to as “low hanging fruit” – actions where substantial gains can be made for relatively low cost, or effort, and little or no political interference. The latter is important as the actions of our Federal government over the last decade on climate change and renewable energy illustrate in the negative. One of the important gains (and the easiest) in this field has been the switch to LED lighting.

The article noted that the SBESP “provides incentives known as ‘bonuses’ to reduce the cost of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program (VEU) activities for each small business. By choosing to upgrade to new energy-saving equipment, businesses will proactively take the next step toward becoming energy-efficient and climate-proofing their work premises.”

The GCCN “is working closely with Sustainability Victoria to introduce the Small Business Energy Saver Program to local small businesses. We provide independent advice on whether you are eligible for rebates, information about Government programs and connection to local products, installers and retailers that you can claim rebates on.

 In addition to Victorian Energy Upgrade rebates there is a bonus of up to $2000 for selected items across various sectors. If you have 19 employees or less and have a commercial (non-residential) premises you are eligible for the Program.”

“Rebates are available to various sectors including accommodation, retail, hospitality, healthcare and professional services, and small-scale manufacturing. You can use bonuses to make multiple eligible upgrades, which can include: heat pump hot water systems, space heating and cooling systems, water efficient pre-rinse spray valves, low-flow shower heads, refrigerators and upright freezers, refrigerated display cabinets, fan motors in refrigeration systems.”

GCCN projects officer Chris Barfoot noted that “to date we have engaged with 208 businesses with about 35 asking for quotes and about 10 will receive their equipment shortly. These businesses range in locations from Warragul to Lakes Entrance” and “In the case of many we have been able to provide the equipment at very low cost and some even free. Some suppliers now also offer point of sale discount meaning that the business does not need to expend funds to purchase the item and wait for the rebate. We are also investigating the interest in providing lighting upgrades.”