Federal Government in $20 million bid to boost SME energy efficiency

The Federal Government has awarded more than $20 million to 28 business and community groups in a bid to improve energy efficiency among small businesses.


The first round of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program, part of the carbon pricing package, attracted more than 200 applications.


The result is a number of hefty payments to business groups, with the Australian Industry Group receiving $1 million and the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry getting $1.87 million.


Other industry groups to lodge successful applications for funding include the Australian Hotels Association, which got $423,000, the Australian Tourism Export Council, which received $612,000, and the Hunter Business Chamber, which was awarded $1.2 million.


The grant recipients, which represent sectors including tourism, manufacturing and agriculture, are obliged to use the money to help their small business members become more energy efficient.


The government says the program is necessary to help businesses cut their operating costs, while also lowering the greenhouse gas emissions.


“These grants will enable organisations such as Master Grocers Australia to work with small grocery chains and help them assess how they can make smarter energy choices to reduce energy costs,” says Greg Combet, the federal Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister.


“Small and medium businesses and community groups are under a lot of time pressure. As a result, they often don’t have the time, resources or information to find out how to save money by improving energy efficiency.”


“This overwhelming response shows the Australian community understands that we need to be smarter with our energy use as we move towards a clean energy future.”


The second round of the program will open in October. Funding recipients are chosen based on value for money, project effectiveness and delivery.


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