Energy efficiency is about using less energy to achieve the same outcomes
What are the benefits to my business?
Investing in energy efficiency can have a number of benefits for your business including:
- Reducing electricity costs
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Improving the comfort and amenity of the workspace
- Making it easier to go carbon neutral
The best way to work out what you can do to improve your business energy efficiency is to get an energy audit.
An energy audit focusses on providing actionable energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption and energy bills. There are three levels of energy audits, as detailed by the Energy Efficiency Council.
Costs can range from a few hundred dollars for a basic energy audit, up to a full scope 3 audit inclusive of recommended projects in a large manufacturing business, which may cost up to $20,000.
The auditor will recommend energy and cost saving projects. Some will be inexpensive, while others may be large projects of many thousands of dollars. Recommendations are costed and the projected savings will be calculated by the energy auditor, along with the expected return on investment.
Sustainability Victoria has a full list of accredited auditors in Victoria and some worked examples of common projects for different industries and the associated savings.
What else should I know about and look for?
Governments are regularly providing grants for energy efficiency upgrades. View current grants and programs information.
There is also the Victorian energy upgrade program which provides subsidies for the installation of some energy efficient equipment.
Electricity smart meters allow all Victorians to have access to their electricity consumption data to help them make informed decisions, understand electricity consumption, patterns and anomalies as well as assisting to determine the viability of major projects such as solar and/or energy storage.
There are many types of finance available. Some are highly complicated, whilst others rely on traditional mortgage backed finance.
It’s worth speaking with a finance professional to understand what works best for your business.
Sustainability Victoria has an overview of some of the types of finance offered. Yarra Council also offers access to Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) to assist businesses with financing commercial building upgrades to improve environmental performance. Upgrades can include:
- The installation of solar panels
- Solar hot water systems
- Equipment upgrades
- Waste water systems
- Other energy management solutions
Under a EUF agreement, lenders provide a long-term loan to a building owner for the upgrades, secured by a charge attached to the rates notice, Yarra City Council collects the repayments from the borrower as a special charge on the properties quarterly rates and passes this money on to the lender to repay the loan.