Due to time and financial constraints, small businesses are not always aware of the best ways to identify, manage and reduce their energy costs. To empower small businesses and community organisations to make informed decisions about energy efficiency, reduce operating costs and improve competitiveness, the Australian Government funded the Energy Efficiency Information Grants (EEIG) program.

EEIG provided funding to 46 industry associations and non-profit organisations to deliver practical, tailored energy efficiency information.

EEIG projects covered a range of sectors including agriculture, commercial property, community services, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and tourism. These projects produced sector-specific information on the benefits of energy efficiency as well as guides, tools and case studies to help small businesses with their energy management.

EEX now features 26 small business sector-specific pages, with links to valuable tools and resources funded under the EEIG program.

Case studies demonstrate significant savings

A range of the resources demonstrate that equipment upgrades and improving energy management practices are among the most cost-effective ways a business can manage rising costs and ensure future profitability and competitiveness. Below are examples of case studies highlighted in the small business content that demonstrate the significant financial savings businesses can gain from improving their energy efficiency:

  • Office tenants - Through an environmental finance upgrade, Kings Technology Park in Melbourne financed a $3.2 million upgrade to its heating and cooling system and building control system. The annual energy costs for the owner and tenants were reduced by $250 000.
  • Irrigators - The Burdekin Bowen Energy Efficiency Gains for Australian Irrigators project identified that increasing the inflow pump of a sugarcane farmer’s irrigator resulted in a 54% decrease in costs. The improved efficiency reduced the irrigator running time in a test 8.8 hectare field from 108 hours to 50 hours, saving $2593 annually for no upfront cost.
  • Tourism - Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort in Mackay is saving $31 000 annually by replacing gas-fired hot water systems with heat pump systems, and outdated lighting with energy-efficient globes and motion sensors.
  • Fruit - Apple and Pear Australia found fruit packing businesses can save more than

    $16 000 a year by carrying out cost-effective upgrades with a payback period of six years or less.

  • Wineries -McLaren Vintners plans to insulate its wine tanks to decrease external heat gain. This one innovation will result in a 23% reduction in energy use and save McLaren $50 000 a year in refrigeration costs.
  • Supply chain and logistics - as a result of its new driver training program, Xtreme Freight has seen an annual saving of $87 500 due to reduced fuel consumption.

For detailed information on these and other resources developed with EEIG support, see Small business.