Up to $25,000 is available from the Custom Upgrades Grants to assist businesses in collecting baseline data and prepare a business case for a significant energy efficiency upgrade.
Custom Upgrades Grants
Custom upgrades are new in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. They help businesses invest in large, complex energy saving projects where “off the shelf” activities are not appropriate. To support their uptake, the Victorian Government is providing $250,000 in funding in 2018 to support eligible businesses to participate.
In June 2017, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the department) introduced a custom upgrades method, called the Measurement and Verification or M&V method into Victorian Energy Upgrades. The method is the first project-based activity (PBA) method eligible under Victorian Energy Upgrades. The M&V method provides a technology-neutral means to generate incentives (VEECs) for a broad range of gas and electricity efficiency savings in nonresidential premises (known as custom upgrades).
To support the introduction of the method the department is looking to provide funding for up to 10 projects to develop a business cases and baseline. These funds can be used to engage an experienced consultant, install metering equipment, purchase software and collect data.
Custom upgrades projects require more planning and a larger investment than deemed Victorian Energy Upgrades activities. However, the incentives generated can be much larger. Thus, they are well suited for larger energy users. An M&V professional should advise if the size of the project is suitable for the method.
The larger investment is partially due to the need to collect “business-as-usual” baseline data (energy use and factors affecting energy consumption) before an upgrade. Depending on the project, this can take a few weeks or up to 24 months. The data is then used to create a baseline model, which helps verify energy savings after an upgrade has occurred.
Grants of up to $25,000 are available for each project, which may completely or partially fund these initial stages. The total funding available is $250,000. These grants will not require co-contributions from the applicant, but business support in the form of additional funding will be well regarded in the selection process.
The Custom Upgrades Grants program can be used for M&V planning (including the initial business case), data collection and analysis for the production of a baseline energy model. Acceptable uses include:
- In-house labour;
- Equipment (e.g. metering) purchasing or hiring;
- Consultants and/or subcontractors
- Data collection; and
- Data modelling.
The funded projects must result in a baseline energy model for publication in the form of a case study. The Victorian Government will be responsible for generating the case study, but the applicant will provide all data and information required for this case study. These case studies will be published by the department.
Projects should be undertaken at a business premises or non-residential premises. They may also be undertaken in a Class 2 or Class 3 building (under Part A3 of the Building Code), if the project does not relate to services supplied to a sole-occupancy dwelling.
The following organisations in Victoria can apply for the Custom Upgrades Grants program, if they are the energy consumer at a site:
- Educational institutions
- Not for profit organisations
- Local government authorities
The program highly encourage applications from:
- Gas efficiency projects
- Multiple energy source projects (incl. fuel switching)
- Projects in regional areas
- Projects in manufacturing
Service providers can apply on behalf of a consumer of electricity or gas. However, the funding agreement will be between the energy consumer and the department.
Applications close 14 June 2018.