There are a number of funding assistance programs that can help you realise energy efficiency savings on your site.
Energy Savers Program Co-contribution
Farms participating in the Energy Savers Plus Program Extensio (ESPPE) that have had an energy audit can claim up to 50 per cent of the implementation costs up to a maximum of $20,000. These funds are available until May 2021 to assist in implementing the audit recommendations.
The Funds are provided by the Department of Energy and Public Works (Formerly Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy) and administrated by the Queensland Regional Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).
If you’re not participating in the Energy Savers program, or are looking for other options to assist with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, the Energy Savers team have compiled a list of opportunities below.
Low interest loans
QRIDA have a Sustainability Loan that support Queensland primary producers focused on improving their profitability and productivity. Sustainability Loans are provided at a concessional rate with no fees and charges to encourage uptake of energy efficient and innovative technologies and processes. Producers are encouraged to consider linking additional on-farm development work.
Further details of QRIDA’s financing are available here: www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs.
The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) also provide fee-free loans for farms to enhance productivity, fund drought-related activities and other purposes. For example, the Farm Investment Loan has a current interest rate of less than 2 per cent for 10 years, with an interest-only period for the firsts five years.
Details of all the RIC loans are available here: www.ric.gov.au/loans
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) offers concessional finance for clean energy projects through various Australian banks and financiers.
The CEFC’s Asset Finance program availability is published on their website here: www.cefc.com.au/where-we-invest/sustainable-economy/asset-finance/.
Outside of CEFC programs, many banks are still offering lower rates for efficiency and clean energy projects. Ask your bank if they offer lower interest rates for energy efficiency or clean energy projects or even more fuel efficient vehicles and generators.
Demand Management Incentives through Ergon Energy (Energy Queensland)
There are a number of areas within Queensland where Energy Queensland offer Cashback Rewards for reducing demand and improving power factor. There are some small areas north of Mackay, west of Townsville and around Kuranda and a large area around Emerald.
These are rebates that are paid after the improvements have been demonstrated and may apply to projects such as power factor correction and replacement of pumps and cold rooms with more efficient, lower demand models.
Renewable Energy Certificates
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and other renewable energy technologies may be eligible for Renewable Energy Certificates under the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
For Solar PV systems up to 100kW, a Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) is credited (deemed) for each megawatt hour MWh the system is expected to generate until the end of the program in 2030. The value of the STCs will be deducted from the purchase price of your system by your supplier, reducing the purchase price of the system. In 2021, the deeming period reduced to 10 years, and will reduce by a year on 1 January each year, slightly reducing the system discount. STCs are also credited for solar or heat pump hot water systems, wind turbines up to 10kW and small-scale hydro plants up to 6.4kW capacity.
For Example, a 30kW PV System installed in Kalbar in January 2021 will generate around 41,400 kWh or 41.4 MWh per year over the period to 2030. It would therefore be eligible for 414 STCs which, at a current value of $36.00 would discount the value of a system by around $14,900. For a quality roof mounted system costing around $1,400 per kW installed, it would reduce the up-front cost from $40,500 down to $25,600.
Larger renewable energy systems of over 100kW create a Large Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) for each MWh of renewable energy once it has been generated. LGCs are then sold or traded at a negotiated price, usually to retailers or other businesses that have an LGC liability through an open LGC market. The price of LGCs fluctuates based on supply and demand and the income from LGCs occurs after the energy has been generated. It will therefore not reduce the purchase price of the system but provide a revenue stream which may fluctuate depending on market pricing.
For more information, please contact the energy savers team at email@example.com.
Over 300 energy audits have been conducted on farms across Queensland to identify energy and cost savings opportunities. Read some case studies about some of these audits HERE and some of our earlier articles HERE.