What is the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan Extension?
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan Extension is an initiative to support farm businesses to reduce energy costs, improve energy efficiency and explore alternative energy options. Potential benefits include productivity improvements, energy and water efficiency gains, emission reduction and waste reduction, helping to sustain Victoria’s adaptable and internationally competitive agriculture sector.
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan is made up of:
- Assessments – providing On-Farm Energy Assessments to assist farmers in identifying where they may reduce energy costs
- Grants – to support farmers to invest in energy efficient or own-generation technology within existing energy policy
- Demonstrations – showing energy efficient or own-generation technology on-farm
- Skills and education – linking farmers and businesses to information and education resources
- Research – facilitating partnerships to commercialise research for the farming sector
Applications for grants and assessments under the first round of AEIP opened in late-2018 and closed in mid-2020. Additional funding has been provided in the 2020-21 Victorian Budget to extend the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan.
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan has two types of support to help farm businesses: energy assessments and grants (including a Fast Track Rebate).
On-Farm Energy Assessments
On-farm energy assessments provide eligible farms and agricultural businesses with independent expert advice on how to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and manage energy costs.
Fast Track Rebate
Up to $20,000 ex GST with matched funding for farm businesses that have received a Type 1 or Type 2 On-Farm Energy Assessment through the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan.
On-Farm Energy Tier 1 Grants
Government funding between $20,000 and $50,000 (excluding GST) will be available for grant proposals under this program. All funding must be matched by a minimum cash co-contribution of $1 for every $1 funded.
On-Farm Energy Tier 2 Grants
Government funding of between $50,000 and up to $250,000 (excluding GST) will be available for grant proposals under this program.
Eligible Project expenditure includes the following activities relating to the proposed Project:
- Equipment as detailed in the On-Farm Energy Assessment or equivalent energy assessment report;
- Capital expenditure (but does not include motorised transport vehicles);
- Wheeled equipment supporting irrigation, technology advances e.g. centre pivots and remote weeding, (as identified in the On-Farm Energy Assessment or Equivalent Energy Assessment report);
- Harvest equipment such as headers, seeding equipment, towable weed sprayers, (i.e. attachments to tractors and/or specific single-purpose equipment) and zero emission farm vehicles (excluding utes and motorbikes), as identified in the On-Farm Energy Assessment or Equivalent Energy Assessment report;
- Training specific to the technology for safe operation (external costs only); or f) Minor building alterations and fit-out costs (as identified in the On-Farm Energy Assessment or Equivalent Energy Assessment report).
- Minor building alterations and fit-out costs (as identified in the On-Farm Energy Assessment or Equivalent Energy Assessment report).
To be eligible for either an On-Farm Energy Assessment or a grant under this Program, the business must:
- be a legal entity;1with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- have a farm/s located in Victoria that is a primary producer either:
- cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts (including seeds, spores, bulbs and similar things) in any physical environment; or
- maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce (including natural increase); or
- manufacturing dairy produce from raw material that they produce; or
- operating on-land aquaculture facilities.
- spend $8,000 or more per annum (including GST) on energy on -farm inclusive of electricity, gas, LPG and diesel (excluding energy for transport);
- meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards; and
- agree to participate in future program evaluation activity.
Applications close 15 December 2021.