The Victorian Government has announced $31 million in funding to help businesses take up smart technologies to reduce emissions, cut energy costs and keep more Victorians in work.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced the funding through the Business Recovery Energy Efficiency Fund which will help 110 businesses across manufacturing, supermarkets, agriculture, health, and retail to reduce energy costs, slash emissions and support 500 jobs.

The energy efficiency funding will also benefit small to medium businesses as it supports hundreds of new jobs as electricians, technicians and labourers carry out these upgrades. The program will also give businesses the support they need to make long-term investments in their business by installing new technologies to slash costs.

The funding will go to businesses across Victoria, including food businesses such as Bega Cheese and Inghams Enterprises, Viva refinery in Geelong and local manufactures such as Furphy’s Foundry in Shepparton.

“We are supporting some of Victoria’s biggest employers – from the Airport to our major supermarket chains – to be more energy efficient while also saving money on their bills,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“This package will support around 500 jobs, as electricians and technicians work to deliver these upgrades in businesses across Victoria.”

Melbourne Airport is receiving funding to replace 3,800 energy inefficient light fittings in their multi story short term and long term car parks with more efficient LED fittings – slashing emissions and reducing wasted energy.

Additionally, ahead of the Government’s ban on single-use plastics in 2023, Melbourne Airport announced they will ban single-use plastic by the end of 2021 – including straws, plastic cutlery, plates and expanded polystyrene food and drink containers from all front of house hospitality venues and lounges.

The Government’s Victoria-wide ban will apply to cafes, restaurants and organisations by 2023. 

The Business Recovery Energy Efficiency Fund will provide $24 million for capital works to help 67 businesses install energy saving equipment and technology – from upgrades to heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, and highly efficient hot water heaters.

The program also provides $7 million to help 43 businesses to undertake energy audits and install demand management systems that will improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure. In total, the Fund will save Victorian businesses up to $17 million per year in energy costs.

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