Funding & rebates

A range of government funding and rebate programs are available to support tourism businesses to understand their resource use and implement resource-efficient practices, systems and technologies



Other opportunities


Energy Saver Incentive (ESI)

The ESI scheme, which is enabled by the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) legislation, makes available energy efficiency products and services at a discount through the creation of tradable Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs).

Under the ESI (or VEET) scheme, commercial lighting upgrades can create VEECs when undertaken by accredited installers. More External link

Living Victoria Water Rebate Program

The aim of the rebates is to encourage more small businesses, including restaurants, laundromats and car washes, to become water efficient.

Small businesses that purchase and install eligible water saving products or services for the serviced property between 19 July 2011 and 30 June 2013 will be eligible if they:

  • have 50 FTE employees or less
  • provide a current ABN for the business name
  • provide a site address (if mailing address is PO Box)
  • have a water account being charged non-residential/commercial water charges

The total rebate payable is calculated at 50 per cent of the expenditure [multiple claims can be made] up to a maximum rebate of $2000 for the purchase and implementation of a range of products, appliances and services as set out in an approved schedule. More External link

Smart Water Fund

The Smart Water Fund External link is an investment vehicle of the Victorian water industry and the Victorian Government. The five funding partners are City West Water, Melbourne Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The fund has two key objectives:

  1. Invest in industry led applied research projects that deliver commercially focused outcomes and quantifiable return on investment
  2. Relentlessly pursue knowledge transfer opportunities that drive knowledge uptake and utilisation for the benefit of Victoria's water utilities and the customers they serve

The funding stream available to businesses and individuals is known as the ‘Open Innovation Investment Stream.’

Click here External linkfor more information or call 1800 882 432

Standard Feed-in Tariff

Victoria’s standard feed-in tariff is available to households, community organisations and small businesses generating electricity from wind, solar, hydro and biomass sources with a generation capacity of up to 100 kilowatts.

The standard feed-in tariff allows eligible customers to sign up and receive a "one-for-one" payment rate for any excess electricity they feed back into the state’s electricity grid.

All electricity retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer the Standard Feed-in tariff, but they may offer different packages and terms and conditions. Check the details of any individual offers before signing up.

Click here External linkfor more information or phone 136 186

Transitional Feed-in Tariff

The Transitional Feed-in Tariff will offer eligible properties with small-scale solar photovoltaic [PV] systems of up to five kilowatts in size a credit of at least 25 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid. This rate is slightly higher than the average retail rate consumers pay for electricity.

All Victorian electricity retailers with more than 5,000 customers are obligated to offer the Transitional Feed-in Tariff.

Solar feed-in tariffs are available to households, community organisations and small businesses.

Click here External linkfor more information or phone 136 186 External link

Back to top



Low Carbon Australia Energy Efficient Program

The Energy Efficiency Program has a range of finance options to stimulate private sector investment in projects for energy efficiency retrofits of existing non-residential buildings. Projects are expected to seek a positive return on investment and address traditional barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency improvements.

Projects must demonstrate the ability to provide a positive return on investment and address traditional barriers and market failures in implementing energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings. The initial focus of this program is energy-efficiency improvements in non-residential buildings including offices, food and non-food retail, education, community, health, hotels and local government.

Click here External linkfor more information or phone 1300 661 678

Renewable Energy Certificates

The Commonwealth Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme is designed to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. The RET scheme includes incentives to support Australian households and businesses installing small scale solar, wind and micro hydro generating systems.

‘Solar Credits’ are available to households, businesses and community groups that install eligible small generation units by multiplying the number of certificates, called small scale technology certificates (STCs), that eligible systems can create.

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) provides support for installations of small renewable energy systems such as rooftop solar panels and solar water heaters.

The level of support available under the RET for installations of solar panels and small-scale wind or hydroelectricity systems depends on the amount of renewable energy it generates, the location where it is installed and the price of STCs. The STCs can be traded at $40 through a voluntary clearing house established by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator under the new Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Alternatively, they can be sold on the STC market, usually for a lower price. More External link

Energy Grants Credit Scheme

This scheme is designed to reduce costs for anyone using diesel or alternative fuels as part of their business. To be eligible to claim a grant under the Energy Grants Credits Scheme, businesses must be undertaking an eligible activity using eligible fuel. The grant rates vary depending on the activity and fuel used in the activity.

Click here External linkfor more information or phone 1300 657 162

Back to top

Other Opportunities

Local Government Programs

A number of local councils also offer funding support for environmental improvements/initiatives.

The Sustainable Melbourne Fund

The Sustainable Melbourne Fund External link is interested in hearing from Melbourne organisations and businesses who have ideas for sustainability projects that meet the following investment criteria:

  • deliver clear environmental benefits and contribute to sustainability in the City of Melbourne
  • provide a proven business case for investing in water, energy and waste efficiency
  • demonstrate the application of new, clean technologies
  • enhance alliances and development opportunities with other organisations and the private sector who are committed to the principles of sustainable development
  • help overcome financial barriers to implementation of sustainability initiatives.

The fund is able to undertake three main investment types:

  • Alliance – a project in which Sustainable Melbourne Fund is a partner, through a variety of means and provides capital to the partnership for the development of the partnerships aims.
  • Sponsored – sole funding from Sustainable Melbourne Fund.
  • Savings - projects which will only provide a low rate of return through efficient resource management or via notional return type activities.

Click here External linkfor more information or phone (03) 9658 8740 (Sustainable Melbourne Fund or 1300 432 044 (Environmental Upgrade Finance customer service)

1200 Buildings

Through the 1200 Buildings Program, the City of Melbourne is seeking to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1200 non-residential buildings, which represent 70% of the commercial building stock within the municipality.

The program is managed through a strategic partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund (SMF) which offers environmental upgrade agreements to eligible building owners. More External link

Loan Financing

There are a range of different loan financing options available. These include traditional loans but also include a range of innovative financing arrangements which enable companies to avoid upfront costs and enable loan repayments with the savings generated from the energy efficiency project.

Different financing arrangements

Financing arrangements can be designed to suit your specific requirements.

They include:

Leasing – Leasing equipment enables companies to avoid upfront costs and manage energy efficiency projects within operational budgets.

On-bill financing – Allows businesses to install and upgrade energy efficiency equipment which is financed by the energy utility. Repayments are made by the business through their monthly power bill and ownership is transferred on final payment of the finance. Up-front capital is not required and repayments can be equal to or less than the energy cost savings achieved.

Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) – Are commonly used as a financing method in the commercial building sector. Energy service companies (ESCOs) guarantee reduced energy bills for commercial tenants, by identifying potential savings in a building’s operations, commissioning and funding a retrofit of the building and using the energy saved to fund the upfront costs. This financing model overcomes the inherent barrier of split incentives where building tenants benefit from retrofits through reduced energy bills, but building owners are responsible for the upfront infrastructure costs.

Environmental Upgrade Agreements – Similar to EPCs, Environmental Upgrade Agreements involve external financers covering the upfront cost of a retrofit, which is then recovered from the building owner through a council levy over a fixed period.  Building owners can also pass part of the environmental upgrade charge to the building tenants. The council forwards these levy payments to the finance provider. These structured payments remain with the property if ownership changes.

Talk to your bank or ESCO to explore loan financing options. 

Back to top


Last Updated 6th September 2017