A range of government funding and rebate programs are available to support tourism businesses to understand their resource use and implement resource-efficient practices, systems and technologies.

State Government programs

Standard feed-in tariff

Victoria's standard feed-in tariff is available to households, community organisations and small businesses generating electricity from wind, solar, hydro and biomass sources with a generation capacity of up to 100 kilowatts.

The standard feed-in tariff allows eligible customers to sign up and receive a "one-for-one" payment rate for any excess electricity they feed back into the state's electricity grid.

All electricity retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer the Standard Feed-in tariff, but they may offer different packages and terms and conditions. Check the details of any individual offers before signing up.

Local government programs

A number of local councils also offer funding support for environmental improvements/initiatives.

The Sustainable Australia Fund

The Sustainable Australia Fund is interested in hearing from Melbourne organisations and businesses who have ideas for sustainability projects that meet the following investment criteria:
  • Deliver clear environmental benefits and contribute to sustainability in the City of Melbourne.
  • Provide a proven business case for investing in water, energy and waste efficiency.
  • Demonstrate the application of new, clean technologies.
  • Enhance alliances and development opportunities with other organisations and the private sector who are committed to the principles of sustainable development.
  • Help overcome financial barriers to implementation of sustainability initiatives.
The fund is able to undertake three main investment types:
  1. Alliance – a project in which Sustainable Melbourne Fund is a partner, through a variety of means and provides capital to the partnership for the development of the partnerships aims.
  2. Sponsored – sole funding from Sustainable Melbourne Fund.
  3. Savings - projects which will only provide a low rate of return through efficient resource management or via notional return type activities.

1200 Buildings

Through the 1200 Buildings Program, the City of Melbourne is seeking to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1200 non-residential buildings, which represent 70 percent of the commercial building stock within the municipality.

The program is managed through a strategic partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Sustainable Australia Fund (SMF) which offers environmental upgrade agreements to eligible building owners.

Loan financing

There are a range of different loan financing options available. These include traditional loans but also include a range of innovative financing arrangements which enable companies to avoid upfront costs and enable loan repayments with the savings generated from the energy efficiency project.

Different financing arrangements

Financing arrangements can be designed to suit your specific requirements, which include:
  • Leasing – leasing equipment enables companies to avoid upfront costs and manage energy efficiency projects within operational budgets.
  • On-bill financing – allows businesses to install and upgrade energy efficiency equipment which is financed by the energy utility. Repayments are made by the business through their monthly power bill and ownership is transferred on final payment of the finance. Up-front capital is not required and repayments can be equal to or less than the energy cost savings achieved.
  • Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) – are commonly used as a financing method in the commercial building sector. Energy service companies (ESCOs) guarantee reduced energy bills for commercial tenants, by identifying potential savings in a building's operations, commissioning and funding a retrofit of the building and using the energy saved to fund the upfront costs. This financing model overcomes the inherent barrier of split incentives where building tenants benefit from retrofits through reduced energy bills, but building owners are responsible for the upfront infrastructure costs.
  • Environmental Upgrade Agreements – similar to EPCs, Environmental Upgrade Agreements involve external financers covering the upfront cost of a retrofit, which is then recovered from the building owner through a council levy over a fixed period. Building owners can also pass part of the environmental upgrade charge to the building tenants. The council forwards these levy payments to the finance provider. These structured payments remain with the property if ownership changes.

Talk to your bank or ESCO to explore loan financing options.