The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the State Government’s commitment of $10 million to extend the Energy Savers Plus program.
The expanded Energy Savers Plus program will include an additional 200 energy audits for agricultural customers and offer a 50% co-contribution (capped at $20,000) towards the cost of implementing changes recommended through the audits.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said that the Energy Savers Plus program has been and continues to be an important resource for Queensland farmers to identify, learn and implement energy efficiency practices and changes to their businesses.
“By expanding the partnership between QFF and the State Government, farmers throughout the state will continue to benefit from the opportunity to identify energy savings as the sector grapples with the impact of electricity price increases.
“QFF is looking forward to working through the details of the expanded program with the government. The addition of an implementation bonus for farm businesses taking up the audit recommendations is a positive step, and we must continue to evolve other elements of the program too.
“An industry-led program will give greater consideration of the entire water-energy-productivity nexus that farm businesses face and we look forward to seeing the details.
“In a public debate that is so focused on supply-side energy matters, it is pleasing to see the government recognise the importance of energy efficiency and demand management in reducing energy costs.
“It is also important to remember that the Energy Savers Plus program is an essential, but not the only, piece of the puzzle when trying to solve the ‘energy crisis’ gripping rural and regional Queensland.
“Energy Savers is a useful tool to help farmers proactively dampen the impact of the massive price rises we have seen, but it does not completely solve the broader issues of electricity affordability – we have to keep working at the other areas too”, Mr Armitage said.
To date 60% of the 130 farms participating in the Energy Savers program have or plan to implement part of the $3 million of annual energy cost savings identified in the energy efficiency audits across different industries. This includes 50 farms implementing energy efficiency projects and another 32 that are planning to in the future.