On-farm Energy Audit and Capital Grant Program

The Tasmanian Department of State Growth's On-farm Energy Audit and Capital Grant Program presents your Tasmanian Farm Business with a great opportunity to save on energy costs:

  • 67% subsidy on energy audits
  • 50% subsidy on capital infrastructure, including solar, batteries , irrigation pumps, heating, cooling, insulation, etc

Maximum grant assistance is $20,000 per applicant (which can buy you a lot of solar panels!)

Funds are limited, DON'T MISS OUT! Contact us now: Todd Houstein, (03) 6281 9361, todd@slt.org.au

You can only receive funding for capital infrastructure recommended by an Energy Audit prepared by a suitably qualified professional, which Sustainable Living Tasmania can do for you. We are on the Tasmanian Government’s Energy Efficiency Expert Panel, and have performed more than 4,500 audits over the past decade. We are a not-for-profit organisation, with 45 years of experience helping Tasmanians to take up and enjoy the benefits of sustainable living.

On this page:

How we can help you

  • Assess your eligibility
  • Apply for the grants (they’re pretty straightforward)
  • Perform energy audits using qualified professionals (required to be eligible for the infrastructure grant)
  • Organise quotes from reputable Tasmanian suppliers and installers

Contact us

Todd Houstein
Executive Officer
(03) 6281 9361
todd@slt.org.au

Our capabilities

We have a range of capabilities, and can tailor a package to suit your needs and budget. The On-Farm Energy Audit Grant has a minimum spend on audits of $1,500 ($1,000 contributed by government, $500 by you). If energy use on your site is relatively simple then we may be able to keep the cost to that amount.

1) Consumption data analysis

If you have a remote-read interval meter, we retrieve your electricity consumption interval data (full year at 15-minute time step) from TasNetworks. With it, we compare daily load profiles of weekdays and weekends in summer and winter, which allows us to estimate base load and seasonal heating loads, identify anomalies and potential wastage, and identify the potential of demand management strategies to reduce costs. We also analyse billing data for other energy sources (e.g. gas).

2) Tariff optimisation

Are you on the best network tariff? If not, you might be able to save tens of thousands of dollars simply by switching! Unfortunately, it is very difficult for anyone to calculate this for themselves, as electricity bill calculations are very complicated. They involve retail, environmental, market, and network charges, all of which have rates that change over time. Some components are adjusted for network loss factors and/or distribution loss factors; some depend on energy consumption, others on peak demand; some on active power, others on apparent power. Some rates also vary by time of day, and day of week, and this varies from tariff to tariff. We have developed a tool that precisely calculates how much your electricity consumption would cost under each of the network tariffs available to you. Our tool has been verified to the cent against actual billing data for dozens of clients. Even if you're on the best tariff now, adding solar panels may change which tariff you're best to be on, so it is important to make these calculations when considering solar.

3) Solar business case

Our clients are making upwards of 20% p.a. return on investment from rooftop solar. It's a great investment opportunity, especially for a school that has high daytime usage and plenty of roof space. But, as with any investment, you should be sufficiently informed before making it. As a potentially large capital investment, you want to ensure you make the most out of it. We determine the financially optimal Our report includes financial key performance indicators to help you make informed investment decisions, including upfront cost, annual savings, payback period, return on investment, net present value, and internal rate of return.

We do this using sophisticated modelling, with:

  • Your actual electricity consumption data - a full year at 15 minute time steps
  • Solar insolation and temperature Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data at 30 minute time steps. These data sets were developed using data purchased from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology from the 1990s up to the end of 2013 for 25 sites across Tasmania. We select the data set for the site that best matches your location.
  • Roof orientation and size from satellite images.
  • Precise network tariff rates provided by Tas Networks, and your retail tariff rates from your electricity retailer.

The work is conducted by our experts, and overseen by our Executive Officer, Todd Houstein B.Eng. (Electrical) Honours, who has conducted 3-years of postgraduate research into the techno-economic optimisation of energy systems.

4) Energy audit

An energy audit will help you identify and evaluate energy efficiency opportunities, which often have greater financial returns than solar and tariff changes, as well as increased thermal comfort, which can improve learning environments and outcomes in schools. We provide a succinct report that summarises options and our recommendations. Our report includes financial key performance indicators to help you make informed investment decisions, including upfront cost, annual savings, payback period, return on investment, net present value, and internal rate of return.

We do this by retrieving and analysing your energy consumption data (as above) and conducting an onsite energy audit to Australian Standard AS/NZS3598:2014.  We visit your premises to inspect the thermal performance of buildings (draughts, insulation, window glazings and furnishings); usage patterns, suitability, and efficiency of appliances (heaters, hot water systems, lighting, refrigeration, etc); and any particulars. Combined with the consumption data analysis, this enables us to evaluate options and provide recommendations with estimated costs and savings for a range of opportunities (e.g. top-up of insulation, or upgrade of appliances). We also look at usage patterns and behaviours, and suggest appropriate changes that can sometimes result in significant savings for no financial cost.

We conduct our audits to Australian Standard AS3598:2014, which specifies different types of audits, including Type 1 Basic energy audits and Type 2 Detailed energy audits. The Energy Efficiency Council describes their accuracy as:

  • Type 1 Basic: "Broad. Rule of thumb, generic, indicative, not necessarily customised to site conditions"; and
  • Type 2 Detailed: "Medium. Site specific and reconciled to available site data".

We tend to go above and beyond with our Type 1 Basic audits. They are a great starting point. If the findings from a Type 1 Basic audit require more detailed exploration before an investment decision can be made with confidence, then a Type 2 Detailed audit can be conducted focusing in on just the particular aspect you're interested in understanding in more detail.

The On-Farm Energy Audit Grant has a minimum spend on audits of $1,500 ($1,000 contributed by government, $500 by you). If energy use on your site is relatively simple then we may be able to keep the cost to that amount. Contact us now for a quote:Todd Houstein, (03) 6281 9361, todd@slt.org.au.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the On-Farm Energy Audit and Capital Grant Program, you must:

  1. Meet the Definition of a Tasmanian Farm Business, which is as follows: "... a small to medium sized operation, where its products and services are produced in Tasmania and it is engaged in the business of primary production. A Tasmanian Farm Business is involved in the agriculture, horticulture, pastoral, apiculture and/or aquaculture industries in Tasmania. A Tasmanian Farm Business, in conjunction with its primary production activities, may also undertake activities related to agri-tourism, or include a value-adding/processing facility. Stand-alone or dedicated agri-tourism or processing facilities will not be considered to be a Tasmanian Farm Business."
  2. Operate as a sole trader, trust, partnership or private company.
  3. Are registered for tax purposes in Australia with an Australian Business Number (ABN); are registered for GST.
  4. Are classed as a primary producer by the Australian Tax Office (see here for details).
  5. Have an annual sales turnover (revenue generated) of $5 million or less.

How to apply

Applications for the grants are made online at this website. The application forms are fairly straightforward, and don't take too long, but we are happy to help you, especially with the "Project Details" page of the form. Contact Todd Houstein, (03) 6281 9361, todd@slt.org.au

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