GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS MELBOURNE ELECTORATE BUSINESSES TO CUT ENERGY COSTS

The latest round of Victorian Government grants to help commercial building owners reduce their energy costs.

Royal Automotive Club of Victoria (RACV) will receive $90,000 and Environment Partners Pty Ltd will receive $30,000  through the State Government’s $1.76 million Better Commercial Buildings program, which helps building owners and tenants make their buildings more energy efficient.

The RACV is engaged with a long-term strategy to reduce the emissions of their portfolio and improve their environmental credentials. As part of this plan, a portfolio-wide assessment will be conducted for all their sites which includes 3 relevant commercial buildings, two offices and one hotel. The projects are all expected to exceed the Better Commercial Buildings target of 1 star improvement (10-15% energy saving).

The money will be spent on key initiatives across the three sites will include:

–              building management system upgrades and optimisation

–              heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) equipment upgrades

–              major plant replacements

–              demand management

–              lighting upgrades.

Environment Partners is a revolutionary mid-tier office that has a long track record of investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The building is currently operating at carbon positive and the project aims to achieve the ambitious target of 100% carbon positive – generating 100% excess energy than the building consumes. Although the building is high performing, it is an exemplar mid-tier office that highlights the potential of the mid-tier commercial sector to contribute to a carbon neutral future.

The project has identified a range of advanced efficiency upgrades including; double glazing, insulation, air sealing and heat recovery ventilation.

The member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Jenny Mikakos, said the Better Commercial Buildings program could help many other local businesses reduce one of their most fundamental operating costs.

“Applications for Better Commercial Buildings grants are now open from building owners, agents, commercial tenants and facilities managers,” Ms Mikakos said.

“These grants can help businesses identify and implement improvements, measure their success, gain access to further finance options and pre-approved service providers.

“It’s a system that takes the guess work out of choosing suppliers, when you carry out energy improvement work,” Ms Mikakos  said.

Common changes have included replacing out-dated heating and cooling systems, upgrading lighting and installing timer or movement switches, supplementing energy from the grid with solar panels.

Apart from helping to cut one of the most fundamental business operating costs, energy upgrades have been found to improve staff comfort and reduce complaints about hot and cold spots in offices.

The program can help improve a building’s rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) system by one star, on average.

Information about how to apply for the Better Commercial Buildings grants and other programs to help businesses can be found at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/grants.

Find out more about how Sustainability Victoria can help your business at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/Business.