Up to $150,000 is available to support projects focused on building energy efficiency capability in either SMEs or service providers.
Energy Efficiency Capability Grants
The Energy Efficiency Capability Grants is part of the Victorian Government’s $3 Million Boosting Productivity program which aims to support small and medium sized businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and improve productivity.
Boosting Productivity is a new $3 million Victorian Government program of support for SMEs, announced by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio on 4 October 2016.
Boosting Productivity offers two complementary grant programs:
- Energy Efficiency Capability Grants recognise that skills and knowledge are often a barrier to SMEs taking the first steps towards, or realising the full benefits of, energy efficiency. Industry associations and business networks directly engage with members and offer a trusted source of information and advice; this means that they are well placed to deliver interventions that break down these barriers and create longer term market shifts. This document constitutes the Guidelines for these grants.
- Energy Assessment Grants of up to $9,000 are available to eligible SMEs to subsidise the cost of an energy assessment), develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve energy efficiency, and support businesses to invest in implementing the recommended action(s).
The maximum funding available per grant is $150,000 (excluding GST).
Specifically the requirements are:
- The project will build the capabilities of the people working within small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) or providing services to SMEs. The capabilities are defined as skills and knowledge that enable SMEs to realise the benefits of energy efficiency.
- The project must focus on building capability in either a specific industry sector or local geographic region within Victoria
- The project must demonstrate a credible and logical approach to how it will deliver outcomes of big impact and long lasting change in building the skills and knowledge necessary for more Victorian SMEs to take the first steps towards, or realise the full benefits of, energy efficiency.
- Projects must be able to be completed and deliver measurable outcomes within 21 months of the funding agreement being signed. Completion of the project includes submission of a final evaluation report to SV.
Meeting the outlined requirements is likely to require innovation in the design and/or delivery of projects. Without limiting the originality of submissions, examples of project delivery approaches are:
- Establishing or expanding a ‘tools library’ for SMEs that provides practical guidance on monitoring energy use and identifying improvement opportunities using measurement tools.
- Facilitating a mentoring or coaching initiative that supports SMEs in their journey to improve the energy efficiency of their business
- Embedding energy efficiency into the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements of service providers, so that it becomes standard industry practice.
- Developing new or enhancing existing accredited training so that service providers are more capable to support SMEs to invest in energy efficiency.
- Piloting or expanding the use of digital tools for energy efficiency, e.g. energy tracking software or thermal comfort measurement, with participating SMEs from an industry sector.
- Developing meaningful benchmarking systems that motivate SMEs to improve the energy efficiency performance of their business.
To be eligible for funding, the applicant must:
- an industry association, registered training organisation or a local government or other organisation that operates a business network and
- operating in Victoria currently and for at least two years prior to application.
- Deliver their project in collaboration with one or more industry associations or business networks, if they are an RTO.
- Demonstrate prior relevant experience, including:
- the organisation must demonstrate experience providing direct support to SMEs operating in Victoria.
- the organisation must demonstrate experience providing direct support to service providers that influence how SMEs in Victoria operate.
- Hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Have not had any Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) violations in the past five years, or any such breaches must be deemed acceptable by SV (refer to the FAQs and the full application form for more information)
- Agree to comply with SV’s Terms and Conditions and Terms of Participation.
If the project is to be delivered in collaboration with others, such as by forming a consortium with others or contracting the services of an industry consultant, the following additional requirements apply:
- The full application must include signed letter(s) of support and commitment from each of the other organisation(s) that are specified in the application as playing a key role in delivering the proposed project.
- The full application must clearly state how the applicant and its delivery partner(s) are working, or will work, together, including any proposed contractual relationships.
- SV may require a check of compliance (EPA, VWA) or financial viability of the other organisation(s) and the applicant should ensure that the other organisation(s) agree to cooperate with this requirement.
- If successful, SV will contract with the applicant and require the applicant to fulfil the terms of the agreement and be responsible for the delivery of the project and the performance of any delivery partners.
Applications close 15 March 2017.