Up to $10,000 is available to help businesses assess their energy and materials use, identify opportunities to operate more efficiently, and save money.
The Sustainability Victoria Resource Assessment Grants initiative provides funding for eligible businesses to review their activities and to identify and implement energy and materials efficiency improvements.
Sustainability Victoria is offering grants to eligible businesses to cover 50% of the cost to engage a consultant to conduct a resource assessment of their operations. These assessments will help businesses to identify the greatest materials or energy impact areas and to develop targeted actions in those areas where the greatest opportunities to save money and create value exist.
Since 2012, more than 100 Victorian business resource assessments show average potential savings of 20% for energy, and 20 – 30% for materials identifying a range of measures to significantly reduce energy and materials. Findings include:
- Average potential savings of over $130,000 from recommended materials efficiency initiatives, and over $95,000 from energy efficiency measures.
- An average payback period of less than two years for materials efficiency recommendations, and three to four years for energy efficiency recommendations.
A detailed resource assessment can provide scoping work that helps inform decisions to invest in energy or materials efficiency, with activities including options analyses, business case development, feasibility studies or scoping work.
Businesses can apply for up to $5,000 for an energy assessment and up to $10,000 for a materials or combined materials and energy assessment.
Businesses that have participated in the Resource Assessment and can show evidence of implementing one or more recommendations from their assessment are eligible to receive an implementation a bonus of up to $3,000 towards:
- Purchasing and installing capital equipment, except lighting and lighting controls, recommended in the assessment report, OR
- Engaging a consultant to conduct a feasibility or business case study of one or more of the recommendations from the report, OR
- Engaging a consultant to manage implementation or provide technical advice on implementing one or more of the recommendations from the report.
The following criteria must be met:
- Implementation costs must be greater than $1,500 to receive the bonus. The bonus will pay $1 for $1 over $1,500 and up to $3,000
- Implementation support work must be completed before the end date of the funding agreement.
- Evidence of payment and implementation (e.g. photos), estimated or actual quantified savings and dollars saved and a copy of any extra study report, must be provided. A site inspection may be requested for confirmation purposes.
An eligible project must be implemented in Victoria.
Funding is provided for businesses to engage a consultant (assessor) to undertake an energy OR materials efficiency assessment OR combined materials and energy efficiency assessment.
The scope of the proposed assessment should be tailored to the business, and developed by the assessor, in consultation with the business.
In undertaking the assessment and in developing the resource assessment report, the assessor must consult with the business to ensure that the opportunities identified for resource efficiency and the recommendations are appropriate to the business.
Resource assessments must be completed withing three months of Sustainability Victoria approving the grant.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the resource assessment grants:
- Have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
- If you are the owner of multiple businesses, only one application for one business is permitted
- Employ fewer than 200 people. For small businesses (defined as having fewer than 20 employees), additional eligibility criteria applies*
- Have not had any Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) violations in the past five years or any such breaches are deemed not relevant by Sustainability Victoria
- Agree to comply with Sustainability Victoria’s Funding Terms and Conditions
- Agree to comply with Sustainability Victoria’s Terms of Participation in – Grant Programs
*Additional criteria for small businesses
Businesses with fewer than 20 employees that have high energy or materials use are eligible to apply for funding provided they can demonstrate:
- An annual energy spend of at least $50,000 (excluding transport fuel costs) for site energy use, or
- The potential to significantly improve materials efficiency.
Applications for the Resource Assessment Grants will close:
For energy assessments: 31 March 2016.
For materials assessments and for combined material and energy assessments: 5 August 2016.