Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is Australia's untapped energy resource - a means to improve the productivity of the economy and boost the move to a prosperous low carbon future

Improved energy efficiency offers significant opportunity for least cost carbon emissions reductions.

Under the CEFC Act, up to 50 per cent of CEFC's funds are to be invested in energy efficiency and low emissions technology.

The CEFC is improving access to finance so that organisations in all sectors can take advantage of the energy productivity gains and cost reductions available through implementing more efficient and cleaner technologies.

Access to upfront finance, access to suitable information about available technologies, global economic pressures and uncertainty surrounding government policy direction have been shown to be very real impediments to achievement of the energy productivity and costs savings that investment in energy efficiency would deliver, as well as being the most cost-effective path towards a low carbon economy.

Interest in financing for energy efficiency has come from sectors across the economy including manufacturing and industry, commercial building, government, agriculture, mining, retail and utilities. In addition to regulatory drivers, an increasing share of business effort is already being directed towards energy efficiency, with the strongest motivations for action are concerns about energy prices and the desire to maintain or enhance profit margins. Australian Industry Group's (AiG) July 2012 report Energy Shock: pressure mounts for efficiency action, found most businesses were looking for quick wins, only considering a project when the expected payback period was less than three years.

The CEFC is providing $120 million through the National Australia Bank (NAB) to support a major investment program to help Australian businesses cut their energy and operating costs and lift business performance. 

The CEFC-NAB investment program is designed to help accelerate the switch to greener vehicles, as well as help businesses upgrade industrial and agricultural equipment and increase their energy efficiency and the uptake of solar + storage.

CEFC NAB investment grid

Read the CEFC-NAB investment program fact sheet

Read the case study

A $50 million asset finance agreement between the CEFC and Firstmac, a leading Australian non-bank lender, will help accelerate business and personal adoption of low emissions and electric vehicles, as well as solar and energy efficient equipment. More information

The new program targets finance for highly efficient cars and light vehicles, solar PV and energy efficient equipment in buildings. The finance is available for a wide range of commercial activities including manufacturing, logistics, agribusiness, retail and all levels of government, as well as schools, hospitals and clubs.

Asset financing is an important option for consumers, particularly businesses, providing opportunities to more effectively deploy business capital and support investment in jobs and growth. The CEFC finance will include support for: 

  • The private and commercial purchase of a range of passenger vehicles which are included in the best performing quartile in the Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide, which categorises vehicles in terms of their CO2 savings, fuel consumption and overall pollution rating
  • The accelerated uptake of solar systems by residential and commercial users, including solar panels and inverters for rooftop installation. Leasing for solar thermal, including for hot water, and for batteries that form part of a solar installation, is also be eligible.

Read the fact sheet

CEFC has established a co-financing agreement with the Commonwealth Bank to support businesses, particularly those from the manufacturing sector, to improve their energy productivity. The CEFC has committed $50 million, with matched financing from Commonwealth Bank, to make Energy Efficient Loans available for energy efficiency, low emissions technology and small-scale renewable projects. CEFC and Commonwealth Bank have also established a similar $100 million loan facility co-financing Energy Efficient Loans for not-for-profits, including local governments, to help them save on energy costs.

Read the Energy Efficient Loan fact sheet

See our case studies

The CEFC's approach to determining eligible energy efficiency technologies includes demand management technologies and energy conservation.

Information on energy efficiency finance is available through the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage Energy Efficiency and Renewables Finance Guide which provides information on the range of finance options available for energy efficiency upgrades and installing renewable energy.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) offers a range of programs, products and services to help Victorian businesses identify energy efficiency opportunities and access available financing or funding. Their free government-funded Carbon Compass helpline is available for small and medium sized businesses for energy efficiency and solar information and advice. Call (03) 8662 5490 or learn more.

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