The Federal Government has launched a $62 million grants program, the Energy Efficiency Grants for SMEs program, with an investment of $16 million in the first round to support businesses to implement energy-saving measures and save on energy bills.

Grants between $10,000 and $25,000 will be available to small to medium businesses (SMEs) in all industry sectors to enable them to take energy-saving action such as installing tools to monitor energy use, upgrading, or replacing existing air conditioners with high efficiency units or gas heating boilers with heat pumps.

Federal Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister, said the program would help businesses use less energy and improve their competitiveness, while lowering carbon emissions.

“These grants deliver on our election commitment to support Australian businesses to increase the uptake of energy efficient technologies, which will also help Australia reach net zero emissions by 2050,” Ms McAllister said.

“We know that SMEs are under stress, 36 per cent of small businesses report that electricity is one of their biggest overheads, with a further 38 per cent saying they are a substantial cost to the business.

“This funding might help a regional food manufacturer replace a costly gas boiler with an efficient electric heat pump, or help a commercial building change to efficient air conditioners and smarter management.”

The new grants will be allocated to states and territories based on the distributions of small and medium businesses nationally.

Applications for the grants will open on 6 March and close on 19 April 2023. The second round of grants will be delivered in 2024.

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