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Carbon Tax: Grants for companies to improve energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency will be one of the main ways for many businesses to manage the cost impacts of a carbon price.

That’s the Government’s expectation and it promises to help businesses identify and implement technologies that will improve energy efficiency and reduce their vulnerability to changing electricity prices.

A $40 million program will provide grants over four years to industry associations and non‑government organisations that work with small businesses and community organisations.

These groups will deliver information about the impacts of a carbon price on small businesses and community organisations and practical steps to manage these impacts.

As part of the Clean Technology Program, the Clean Technology Investment Program will provide grants to manufacturers totalling up to $800 million over seven years, enabling firms to invest in energy‑efficient capital equipment and low‑pollution technologies, processes and products.

 Measures to support Australia's Energy Markets (Carbon Tax)

 New measures to support energy markets (Source: Clean Energy Future)

The Government will continue and expand Energy Efficiency Opportunities:
* extend base funding to 30 June 2017
* expand the program to include energy transmission and distribution networks, major greenfield and expansion projects
* enhance assessment and verification requirements
* establish a voluntary scheme for medium‑sized energy users.

Including transmission and distribution networks in Energy Efficiency Opportunities could see reductions in network losses. This would lower carbon pollution from electricity use and put downward pressure on energy prices.

A voluntary scheme for medium‑sized energy users will allow the resources and information available under the existing program to be tailored to these energy users. A key element will be training, mentoring and help with program management.

Australia’s buildings are responsible for around 20 per cent of energy use. From 1 July 2012, eligible businesses that invest in improving the energy efficiency of their existing buildings will be able to apply for a tax break through the $1 billion Tax Breaks for Green Buildings Program.

The Building Code of Australia was also recently changed to include minimum energy efficiency standards for all classes of commercial building in Australia. This standard will eliminate poor energy performance in new buildings and major refurbishments.

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