The On-farm Energy Audit and Capital Grant Program provides subsidies to assist farmers to reduce their energy charges. The program is made up of two types of grants:
- Audit Grants, which provide a subsidy to assist farmers to engage a qualified professional to review their farm energy use, infrastructure and systems and identify savings strategies. This may include advice on pumping and efficient irrigation systems, general farm operations, solar, domestic usage, and farm machinery and equipment, which could potentially save thousands of dollars each year in energy charges. For every $2 of grant funds provided, successful Audit Grant applicants must contribute at least $1. Minimum grant assistance for an Audit Grant is $1 000 (which equates to an audit cost of $1 500).
- Capital Infrastructure Grants, which provide a subsidy to assist farmers to purchase new energy-saving or energy-efficient capital infrastructure to support improved or optimised on-farm energy efficiency, as recommend by an audit prepared by a suitably qualified professional. This may include, for example, irrigation pumps, lighting, insulation, ventilation infrastructure, solar panels, solar powered battery storage, or heating or cooling infrastructure. For every $1 of grant funds provided, successful Capital Infrastructure Grant applicants must contribute at least $1. Minimum grant assistance for a Capital Infrastructure Grant is $1 000 (which equates to a purchase cost of $2 000).
Program funding of $750 000 is available over three years from 2018/19 to 2020/21 with applications to remain open until the allocation for each financial year is fully committed. Maximum grant assistance available under the Program is $20 000 per applicant, which can be spread across an Audit Grant and a Capital Infrastructure Grant. Applicants can be approved for funding under each grant type only once.