On 13 December 2016 the Treasurer announced that the 2016-17 Mid Year Budget Review provides $31 million over two years to help large South Australian businesses manage their electricity costs. The Energy Productivity Program will be available to businesses that use more than I60MWh of electricity each year to incentivise investment in energy saving measures. The funding will be available for businesses to undertake energy audits of their facilities to determine where efficiencies can be made.
The audits will also make recommendations about technology or infrastructure upgrades that could be carried out to reduce cost and grants will be available to implement those recommendations. Funded projects could include the installation of solar systems with battery storage units, Power Factor Correction equipment which can reduce power usage and the replacement of equipment such as pumps, compressors and refrigeration with more energy efficient technologies. The funding package provides:
- $7.5 million to cover 75 per cent of the cost of energy audits for up to 500 businesses
- $8.5 million to implement audit recommendations in at least I 10 businesses with $75,000 grants on a one-to-one funding basis; and
- $15 million to implement at least six major energy saving opportunities, with grants of up to $2.5 million on a $1 of Government funding for $2 of business contribution basis.
Guidelines for the program will be available soon.