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Tag Archives: Energy

Government Grants for High Energy Users

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is providing businesses with grants of up to $25,000 to improve their efficiency through the High Energy Using Business Grants.

Opened Monday, the grant opportunity aims to support high energy using businesses to lower power bills and reduce emissions through:

> replacing existing equipment with higher efficiency equipment

> installing or replacing a component to help an existing system run more efficiently

> carrying out energy audits

> carrying out monitoring of energy use and emissions.

High energy using businesses are defined as those with annual net consumptions greater than 0.05 petajoules per year

Over $14 million is available under this grant opportunity, distributed between states and territories based on the distribution of relevant businesses nationally. Further information on the jurisdictional breakdowns, along with the grant guidelines, are available here.

Funding, between $10,000 to $25,000 per business, can be used for any of the actions above as well as for investing in feasibility studies for efficiency upgrades. Grants are available for 50% of the project expenditure, with the recipients responsible for the remaining 50%.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor highlighted that lowering power bills will help strengthen businesses’ resilience during these challenging economic times.

“Energy is a big part of the operational costs for businesses. Any support the Government can give to get those costs down will help businesses to invest, expand and employ more Australians,” Minister Taylor said. “The Morrison Government is working closely with business to create jobs and rebuild our economy”. The full media release can be viewed via the following link.

The Energy Efficient Communities Program, which was announced as part of the Government’s Climate Solutions Package in the 2019 Federal Budget, will deliver $40 million in grants to help businesses and community groups improve efficiency practices and technologies and better manage power consumption to reduce their power bills. Information on other streams is available here.

Applications for The High Energy Using Business Grants close on 24 September 2020.

If you are interested in the announcements or need assistance in assessing the opportunities, please contact the Equilibrium team on (03) 9372 5356 or at info@equil.com.au

Equilibrium often posts about new grants so be sure to follow our blog posts.

SMEs Weathering the COVID-19 Storm

From a recent article in Ondeck, Equilibrium’s Nick Harford shares some views about how a calm and steady approach to running an SME can help weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following story was originally published online at Ondeck.

In March, COVID-19 struck, and Equilibrium’s contracts were frozen as the national carrier, and its subsidiary, grounded their flying fleets. The Melbourne-based firm, which includes a team of six consultants, provides a range of private and government sector organisations with technical and strategic compliance services such as energy audits, environmental management systems reviews, and waste and recycling management advice lost 50% of its work in a matter of weeks.

But rather than losing their heads, the steady and strategic Harford, along with business partner Damien Wigley, pivoted their SME, and focussed on a range of opportunities to help weather the COVID-19 storm, which has once again reared its unpleasant head in the Victorian capital.

Staying cool and seeking new markets

Harford, whose firm operates across diverse industries and sectors, says Equilibrium particularly focused on existing contacts and government work.

“In the past, we were sometimes cautious about bidding for some government tenders because from a business sense they are very competitive, can involve a significant investment in time, and the return can be very risky.”

“But we put in extra work when COVID-19 hit by being more open to government tenders and proposals and taking any opportunities that arose. We gave it a red-hot crack,” Harford confirms.

Equilibrium also identified a spike in government grants promoting recycling and other business activities. Harford explains, “This wasn’t a business opportunity for Equilibrium that involved us working with government directly but rather an opportunity to be advising and assisting other businesses to access government funding and other support programs.”

Networking into new business

Apart from pursuing government work, Nick and his team upped the ante on networking. “We worked our contacts hard, making sure we understood where they were at and how we could help them address their environment and sustainability compliance issues.”

These business development efforts enabled Equilibrium to collaborate with a major Australian manufacturer that responded early to the pandemic threat by pivoting from packaging into sanitary and hygiene products such as disinfectants.

“The manufacturer needed a hand to make sure they had a range of systems in place. This work resulted from connecting with our contacts to see if we could help people with their compliance or strategic challenges.”

Dealing with the lockdowns

Apart from the loss of revenue, Equilibrium has needed to manage the impact of the first raft of lockdown in Melbourne between April and June. “We had to make sure we could work online. We have people in four different locations nationally but given the nature of the work we do, it’s not too hard for us.

“With the latest restrictions in place in Melbourne, we feel we are well-prepared for another extended period of working from home arrangements.”

Nick’s three tips for surviving COVID-19

1. Don’t panic:  Review the business profoundly and frequently. By not panicking and taking advantage of government support such as JobKeeper and the payroll tax relief, we have been able to keep all our staff employed.

2. Be prepared to take opportunities from left field:  Quickly pivot into new business opportunities when lockdowns and restrictions arise.

3. Cut unnecessary costs:  The other owner and I are also taking less income when needed. Where our people are underutilised, we’ve used them for other activities such as business development and to assist our marketing and communications activities.

Make contact with the Equilibrium team if you need help navigating COVID-19 from an environmental, waste or sustainability angle:  BH (03) 9372 5356.

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Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at July 2020. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. 

For information on how Equilibrium has responded to auditing during lockdowns, read the following article.