In brief - Businesses should consider adopting energy efficiency programs

Renewable energy and energy efficiency remain important considerations for business and private property owners alike. Two recent announcements have created new opportunities for companies involved in agribusiness or located in regional areas.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation and National Australia Bank announce joint initiative

On 9 June 2015, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) announced a joint initiative with the National Australia Bank (NAB), providing $120 million of funding by way of a 0.7% discount on the funding of qualifying energy efficient assets to encourage the uptake of energy efficiencies. Whilst the program is available nationally to commercial businesses generally, it has a particular emphasis on agribusiness and regional Australia.

The type of measures being targeted by this program include:

  • the upgrade of light and heavy vehicles to higher fuel efficient, hybrid or electric vehicles
  • the improvement of manufacturing and agricultural plant and equipment through the acquisition and installation of equipment aimed at cutting energy use, such as high efficiency engines and variable speed pumps
  • an increase in solar use through installation of rooftop solar systems and solar hot water to replace diesel generation systems
  • the upgrade of buildings to cut energy use through upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • the upgrade of industrial and commercial refrigeration
  • the enhanced adoption of biogas and waste-to-energy options

Funding is limited to $5 million per project, with applications made directly through NAB.

Feed-in tariffs introduced in Ergon Energy regions

The Queensland Competition Authority made preliminary recommendations to the Energy Minister that households in the Ergon Energy regions be paid six cents per kilowatt of excess power produced by rooftop solar systems. Ergon Energy's website today indicates a feed-in tariff of 6.348 cents per kilowatt taking effect from 1 July 2015.

How can your business adopt energy efficiency measures?

There are many ways in which we can assist you or your business to adopt energy efficiency measures.

  • Property: Negotiating lease amendments (on behalf of the landlord or tenant) to provide for the installation of equipment or infrastructure and distribution of the benefit of measures, such as solar panels or power factor correction equipment.
  • Banking: Negotiating finance arrangements (through any financial institution) for the installation of energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Commercial: Reviewing third-party contracts for the acquisition, installation and maintenance of energy efficient technologies.

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2024.

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