Energywise with Brockbank
Grants and Funding, Past to Present: What’s Out There?
March 31st, 2016
Funding is typically the greatest hurdle preventing the rollout of energy efficiency projects. In the past few years Enigin has secured over $13M in funding (both grant and financing) for our clients’ energy efficiency projects. But it’s an ever-changing landscape. What did we achieve in the past, and what’s out there now?
Regardless of how short the ROI of an energy efficiency project may be, the availability of capital to fund the project can be an insurmountable hurdle if the funds simply do not exist.
Enigin has enabled our clients’ energy efficiency projects by securing funding from programs and bodies including the:
- Green Building Fund
- Clean Energy Efficiency Program
- Clean Technology Investment Program
- Local Government Energy Efficiency Program
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
- Retooling for Climate Change Program
We’ve assisted local governments, commercial property owners and not-for-profit organisations make their projects a reality. The funding not only reduced the upfront capital requirements for our clients, but in the case of grants it also halved their return on investment. All of our clients’ projects have now been successfully delivered under Enigin’s project management and have reduced their operating expenditure, in addition to significantly reducing their carbon footprint.
What’s Out There Today?
While grants are subsiding, there is ample funding available for renewables and energy efficiency projects through the CEFC, commercial banks, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
ARENA: Debt and equity funding for renewables is available to power industrial processes from ARENA. If you are developing or operating an industrial plant with large (typically gas) powered processes, now is the time to secure funding to switch to lower operating cost renewables.
CEFC: The CEFC finances projects to increase the flow of funds into renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies. The CEFC is like the government’s green bank and operates like a traditional financier. They work collaboratively with co-financiers and project proponents to seek ways to secure financing solutions for the clean energy sector.
More recently, the government has announced CEFC and ARENA coming together to enable debt and equity financing through the $1B Clean Energy Innovation Fund, designed to support emerging technologies.
ERF: The objective of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is to help Australia to meet its emissions reduction target of five percent below 2000 levels by 2020. Through the ERF, the government will purchase lowest cost abatement (in the form of Australian carbon credit units) from a wide range of sources, providing an incentive to businesses and landowners to proactively reduce their emissions.
In the property sector, $250M is currently available through the CEFC for Energy Efficient Community Housing loans. If you are a property developer or operator of community housing, this can be a good option for funding clean energy projects this year.
Take advantage of grants and financing arrangements to fund your clean energy projects.
(Source: Freeimages.com/Pawel Kryj)
Of course, more than government schemes are available; there are also equipment loans from banks and alternative funding models such as PPAs, to name a few. It’s a vast landscape when it comes to financing clean energy projects.
With the low cost of capital, the funding options available, and the substantial benefits & reduced operating cost of energy efficiency and renewables, you too might claim your piece of the pie. Contact us to discuss how your business can take action.
So Much to Gain, So Little to Lose: Electricity Supply Brokering
February 29th, 2016
You choose where you shop, so why not do the same when buying electricity?
How do you gain access to the lowest cost electricity contract? And how do you assess which one is the best deal for your site? One option is to engage an energy broker – and that’s where Enigin’s free service comes in.
A surprising number of business owners aren’t aware that they can shop around for their electricity retailer to find the best value contract to suit them. Unless you’re a residential household, you may be classed as a “contestable” supply customer (consuming more than 50 MWh of electricity each year), which means that you’re not just tied to Synergy but can access a whole range of alternative electricity retailers!
In 2015, Enigin completed a review of electricity supply for the owners of a Perth CBD office building.
This client had first engaged us to review strategies for reducing the operational expenditure of their site (through an Energy Management Plan) and one that we recommended was reviewing their electricity supply tariff.
We brought the offer to market and obtained five competitive quotes from retailers, then analysed each proposal to make sense of the figures, appraise the T&Cs and make a judgment on the best deal for our client’s electricity consumption profile. We presented our findings to the client (the table below summarises this) who proceeded to engage the supplier with the best value quote – and enjoy a brand new Electricity Supply Agreement (ESA) with the peace of mind that their savings were optimised!
The tariff offered directly to the client by the existing retailer would have resulted in savings of $69,903 over a period of two years. By engaging Enigin to complete the brokering of a new electricity supply agreement, a further $95,261 of savings was forecast over a two year period.
The return on investment is immediate as the client pays Enigin no fees for this service. Our brokering fees are paid by the retailer and not by the client, resulting in a no-cost benefit to all of our electricity supply clients.
With these savings up for grabs and no penny to pay, why not engage an energy broker today?
How Do You Get Smarter With Energy?
Regardless of the size of your energy footprint, improving energy management is one of the most cost-effective strategies to gain business advantage. But what is “energy management”?
Quite simply, it’s about getting smart about energy: how you get it (how you generate it, where you buy it, how much you pay for it), when you use it (what times), and what you do with it (efficiency of your loads / appliances).
In many commercial cases, energy management has been overlooked for years in favour of reducing costs of materials or wages or other operational expenditure. The emergence of cheap renewable energy systems has raised awareness of the ability to reduce these costs, but after they’re implemented, where to next?
Renewable energy systems create a cheap source of electricity, however rarely can they supply 100% of requirements (how to get your energy for business advantage will be discussed in future articles) and renewables also do not increase the energy efficiency of your operations. This “what” is where most organisations can significantly decrease costs without breaking the bank.
Increases of efficiency don’t happen by chance. Increasing energy efficiency within an organisation requires knowledge of “what” you’re currently using your energy to do and a clearly defined plan for improving efficiency by doing it better – with benchmarks, targets and timelines.
Getting knowledge happens through Energy Audits – an analysis of how your business uses energy so you know where you’re at to begin with. The plan bit which we call Energy Management Plans (EMP) is the road map to achieving business advantage from energy. Sometimes an EMP will include an energy audit within its scope.
Enigin uses a 4-step process to develop a tailored EMP for our clients:
Following this methodology we have reduced business operational expenditure by thousands of dollars – even up to 50% – for organisations including 190 St Georges Tce, West Coast Institute and the City of Vincent. The knock-on effect is an increase in competitiveness within a market, or reduced costs for government organisations.
EMPs are essential for any organisation looking to achieve an easy business improvement or indeed a business advantage in 2016. Inclusive of energy audits, EMPs are a great starting point for saving money without compromising your operations.
When will you begin your energy management journey?